Saints up to 7th

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It was back to Superleague duty last Saturday after the previous week’s cup tie, and it was a familiar face in Steve Scott, the ex-Banchory manager, who greeted the Banchory team and officials at Sunnybank’s Heathryfold.

Steve is now managing the Aberdeen side and has done well to keep the club going when it looked as though they could have folded at the start of the season.

Saints manager Sandy Carrol had more or less a full squad to choose from and made only one change from the previous week with Chris Irvine replacing Grant Sim in goal.

Banchory started the game playing with a strong wind, but it was the home side who forced two early corners.

A Shaun Carrol 30 yard effort went just over the Sunnybank bar and then Carrol linked up with Jake Strachan with the latter’s first attempt at goal being blocked and then his second being saved by the legs of ex-Banchory keeper Justin Knowles.

Banchory opened the scoring on 12 minutes when Richard Stainer held the ball up well, laying off to Campbell Watt who turned the defender and found the net from 8 yards. This turned out to be Banchory St Ternan’s 1500th goal scored in Junior Football.

Saints were in control but a Sunnybank equaliser came out of the blue on 24 minutes when Andrew Close broke into the box and centre half Mark Galashan tripped the forward who got up and scored from the penalty spot.

This was the wake up call Banchory needed and on 32 minutes a pin point kick out from Irvine found Watt who broke down the left, squared the ball finding Scott Garrett and Saints’ top scorer made no mistake from close range to make it 2-1.

Right on half time Garrett skinned his full back to square for Strachan whose header was held by Knowles just under the bar.

Within one minute of the second half it was 3-1 to Banchory. Watt made a lung bursting run down the left and crossed for Carrol to lay the ball off to Strachan and his lob went over the head of Knowles in the home goal.

On 55 minutes it was 4-1 when from a throw Carrol squared to Richard Stainer for the centre forward to hold the ball up, turn his defender and pick his spot in the corner of the net.

Sunnybank pulled it back to 4-2 within two minutes with a well worked move that caught the Saints defence napping.

This gave the home side a boost for a few minutes although Irvine in Saints goal was never really bothered.

Banchory got themselves back on track with Stainer becoming prominent. The centre forward was through on goal but his angled shot went well over when perhaps a squared ball was the better option.

Knowles then handled the ball outside the box when he met the onrushing Garrett but quite rightly the referee took no action against the goalkeeper. Carrol’s attempt from the resultant free kick was blocked by the ‘Bank wall. Banchory were stretching Sunnybank and Carrol put Stainer through but once again the striker shot well over.

Carrol then hit the bar and Garret skinned his full back once again and from his low hard cross Stainer flicked the ball inches past the post.

With ten minutes remaining Stainer was through with an open goal but once again hit over the bar.

Garrett had two efforts blocked before he had a third deflected onto the bar and a goal seemed certain when the ball broke to Carrol eight yards out but his net bound effort was cleared off the line by the leg of a Sunnybank defender.

Saints had the last say with Garrett beating Knowles to the ball to poke past the keeper, but the ball rolled agonisingly towards goal only to hit the post and go out. From the resultant corner Stainer headed onto the bar.