Banchory St.Ternan 4 v 2 Colony Park
Banchory were back on McBookie.com Superleague duty on Saturday looking for three points to push them up the table from their current 10th position. Injuries were still an issue for Manager Ewan Robb, with Mikey Bruce, Liam Cheyne, Ben Ross Steve Travers and Conor Watt all absent. However, returning from injury for his first full start of the season was Grant Munro. With rain all day Friday and overnight, Saturday mornings 8am pitch inspection by groundsman Ally Sharp was rather surprising, as there was hardly any surface water on the park, although by kick off, further rain had made it a bit soggier, however, the referee had no hesitation in declaring it playable.
Saints made the first foray forward after 4 minutes when Ryan Whelan was challenged inside the box but despite loud claims for a foul, the referee waved away the claims for a penalty. Whelan was in action again a few minutes later when he set up Greg Smith for the midfielder to see his left foot effort easily saved.
The home side were on top at this point with the visitors not making much headway, but that changed on the quarter hour when they forced four corners in quick succession with the home defence struggling to get the ball clear. On the final attempt, Whelan latched onto the clearance and was through on goal, but was flagged offside by the Assistant.
Jordan Clark moved inside from his left wing position to receive a pass from Smith but sliced his effort well wide and then from another two Colony Park corners, Smith broke free but his weak shot was easily saved.
But after 22 minutes Clark who had moved over to the right hand side sent in a cross that Darren Reid headed down to Josh Robertson who chested the ball and turned to volley high into the Colony net. Three minutes later it was close to a second when from a corner to the near post Whelan’s header was blocked.
Apart from the series of earlier corners, Colony were not bothering Ross Salmon in Saints goal but after an Aaron Thomson effort from a corner being blocked on 30 minutes, Salmon had to make a low scrambling save to his right to prevent the equaliser.
A good Saints move on 40 minutes down the left produced two corners and from the second to the near post Whelan’s flick went just past the post. But two minutes later the vital second Banchory goal arrived. Greg Smith’s free kick to the back post was nodded down and with Darren Reid’s tenacity to win the challenge, the loose ball fell to Whelan to tap in from 2 yards. Colony applied some pressure at the end of the half but made no headway.
Into the second half and within a minute Whelan was in action again when he rounded the keeper only for the ball to bounce off the keeper’s trailing leg which gave Whelan a tight shooting angle resulting in his effort hitting the post. Moments later a good move ended with Darren Reid shooting well over.
Colony began to get themselves into the game as the half wore on. The referee began to get a bit card happy and decided to book both Whelan and Craig Peters for rather innocuous challenges. The second of which gave Colony a free kick from 22 yards, with Ross Salmon brilliantly finger tipping the ball just over the bar.
Whelan then broke left to set up Smith but the midfielder shot past. Then Whelan was through on goal but the Colony keeper made a good save at his feet. On 59 minutes Mark Reid came on for Jordan Clark and within a minute the referee rather unfairly had a word with the young striker after a perfectly fair challenge.
It was 3-0 to Banchory though after 61 minutes when from a corner and a scramble in the box, Aaron Thomson scored from 2 yards. But from the kick off Colony went up the park and from a clearance the Colony player struck a lovely low 25 yard shot into the bottom corner to make it 3-1.
This prompted another change for Saints when Connor Kelly came on for Smith and shortly after Kelly had a half chance but his low shot was easily saved. A good Saints move saw Darren Reid dummy the pass knowing that his right back Craig Peters was behind him and the Crathes loon’s rasping first time shot was expertly saved by the Colony keeper.
Banchory’s final substitution came with 15 minutes remaining with Martin Shand replacing Ryan Whelan. A few minutes later Colony went very close to scoring their second when a glancing header went a yard past the Saints post. Then at the other end, Aaron Thomson thought he had scored his second of the day, but his diving header hit a Colony defender’s face on the line.
Colony were pushing forward now as they could smell another goal coming. A 41 minute 35 yard free kick was blocked by the Saints wall, but a minute later a high ball forward dropped kindly for Colony player and his lob shot went over the advancing Salmon into the net to make it 3-2.
Colony were up for it now and they forced two corners on 90 minutes with a header going just over the bar from the second flag kick. But two minutes into added time, Darren Reid found space on the right and weighted a fine pass to Martin Shand for the striker to find the net and seal the game and the three points.
The lads have put in a good performance to lift the spirits after last week. We’ve only managed 4 goals in the last 6 league games so to go and get 4 today was great. Very sloppy goals to concede from our point of view but it was a big 3 points.
Team: Ross Salmon, Craig Peters, Jack Dalgarno, Aaron Thomson, Josh Robertson, Steve Young, Darren Reid, Greg Smith (Connor Kelly), Grant Munro, Jordan Clark (Mark Reid), Ryan Whelan (Martin Shand). Subs: Riley Cooper, Dean Henderson.
This Saturday 9th November Banchory make the short trip into Spain Park, Aberdeen for a Superleague match against last season’s champions Banks O’Dee, kick off 2.00pm.