Banchory St.Ternan 2 v 1 Sunnybank
Sunnybank travelled out to Milton Park for this Morrison Cup Semi-Final looking to repeat their recent 2-0 League victory, but Banchory had other ideas making it the second 2-1 victory in five days.
The opening 15 minutes was played at a fast pace with both teams having half chances. And the opening goal arrived on 16 minutes with Banchory’s Steve Travers sending in a perfect free kick from the left to find Grant Munro at the back post to power in a header.
A Sunnybank corner saw a volley headed over by a Saints defender, then at the other end the Bank keeper dropped a cross but recovered just in time. There was a bit of a stalemate at the mid-point of the first half, but then Banchory produced a couple of close efforts. Grant Munro’s header went just past the post, then Ryan Whelan forced the Bank keeper to make a fine one handed save.
The visitors tried their luck from 30 yards and the ball fizzed a couple of feet past on 38 minutes and five minutes later the Bank centre forward headed past from a good position. Right on half time Mark Reid moved in from the left and his angled low shot hit the side netting.
Banchory started the second half intent on increasing their lead with Mark Reid prominent in an early move. And it was the young striker who created the second goal on 48 minutes when his run and low cross found Grant Munro but his effort was blocked only for the rebound to be met by Jordan Clark who fired low into the net from 12 yards.
Five minutes later Sunnybank pulled a goal back when from a Ross Salmon block, the ball fell to the Bank right back 40 yards out who sent in an absolute screamer of a shot into the top corner.
This spiced the game up and some meaty challenges were going in. Aaron Thomson had to leave the field temporarily to get attention to a nose bleed, but this did not stop Saints having three efforts blocked by the Bank defence.
Sunnybank then went close on 63 minutes with a header that deflected off Steve Travers head. Saints Thomson, back on the park was up in attack to head over the bar from a Travers free kick then at the other end Thomson was on his defensive duties to head clear a corner.
Mark Reid was fighting for every ball and his tenacity gave Clark a great chance but once again the net bound shot was blocked. Travers was replaced By Calum Wilson on 70 minutes and almost immediately Thomson’s cross to the back post found Ryan Whelan but his shot was saved by the Bank keeper at the expense of a corner.
Craig Peters came on for Jordan Clark with 17 minutes to go and at this stage it was Banchory who were creating the chances with Sunnybank perhaps having the best of possession but doing nothing with it.
Five minutes to go and Dean Henderson came on for Ryan Whelan. Darren Reid who had a few chances throughout the day looked as though he had scored but the Bank keeper’s legs saved the day.
Henderson then had his shot blocked before Sunnybank had the last piece of action with a 30 yard free kick that was blocked by the Banchory wall.
Banchory now play Buchanhaven Hearts in the Final on Friday 10th May at New Advocates Park, Aberdeen, kick off 7.15pm.
What a week. Our third game in 8 days showed in the legs. It was certainly a great game of football. An absolute rocket from their right back although for me it was a clear foul on Darren just before the shot but Keith will maybe argue the foul leading to our first goal was soft. We certainly created enough chances to win the game. Mark has a great chance to square it for a tap in but pulls his shot wide, a great save from the keeper to deny Wheels and another from Jo, then Mark blocks a goal bound effort as he tries to get out of the way. But it’s just about getting the end result at this stage and we’ve made sure we’re in the final.
Team: Salmon, Ross, Cheyne, Thomson, Robertson, D.Reid, Travers (Calum Wilson), M.Reid, Whelan (Henderson), Clark (Peters). Unused Subs: Conran Wilson, Rose.
This Saturday Saints play their final League game of the season when Deveronside visit Milton Park, kick off 2pm.