Deveronside 0-1 Banchory St Ternan
With Dean Henderson and Grant Munro still out injured, Ethan Grant unavailable and Craig Peters out with the dreaded bug, there was only one change to the starting line up from last Saturdays successful team, with Calum Wilson replacing Craig Peters.
After last week’s good performance in beating Stoneywood Parkvale, it was vital for Banchory to maintain the momentum and get another win against the Banff side who were one point behind Saints at the top of the league with two games in hand. And it was Banchory who deserved all three points with an all-round solid display in all departments.
The opening quarter was pretty frantic with both sides playing at a fast pace and creating chances. In the very first attack Darren Reid’s cross was headed over the home bar by Ryan Whelan. Deveronside then had a chance with a free kick 20 yards out but the Saints wall stood solid to block the effort. Minutes later the home side had a similar move blocked again, before a move down the left and dangerous cross saw Liam Cheyne clear over his own bar for a corner.
It was then Cheyne’s chance to do something with a free kick from 20 yards and the left back beat the wall but was frustrated to see his effort just shave the junction of bar and post. Ross Salmon in Saints goal was the first to make any save worthy of note when he dived low to his left to turn the ball past the post and from the defended corner Banchory broke up the park for Calum Wilson to win a corner and from the flag kick Jason Ritchie’s header was headed off the line.
Jordan Clark was beginning to cause problems down the left and on 20 minutes he cut inside but his low shot was easily saved by the home keeper. Then another run and cross from the winger found Calum Wilson at the back post winning a corner which Clark took finding Jason Ritchie in the box, but the defender’s header went inches over the bar.
However, a minute later the deadlock was broken when Ryan Whelan was pulled to the ground just inside the penalty box and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Whelan stepped up sending the keeper the wrong way to score his third goal in two games.
Above: Ryan Whelan sends his penalty into the bottom corner.
On 27 minutes it could have been 2-0 but the Deveronside defence managed to clear another Ritchie header.
After that flurry of Banchory activity, it was the home side who came back into the game, but Saints were well organised and were snuffing out any semblance of chances that Deveronside were making. In the final five minutes of the first half, both sides had a chance. The first fell to Darren Reid whose 18 yard shot fizzed a foot past the home post and then right on the whistle Ross Salmon had to look lively to hold a high looping shot from Deveronside.
Banchory opened the second half on the front foot looking for a second goal to seal the game. Jordan Clark had a chance which was cleared, before Ryan Whelan saw his low shot palmed round the post. Saints kept pressing and on 50 minutes captain Steve Travers had his header cleared off the Deveronside goal line. Ryan Whelan beat the offside trap but could not control the ball and was hounded out by two home defenders.
At the other end Ben Ross cleared at the expense of a corner but there were loud claims for a penalty by Deveronside and from the flag kick, Jason Ritchie made a vital headed clearance. With 15 minutes gone, Greg Smith replaced Calum Wilson on the right flank. A minute later Ritchie gave away a free kick 20 yards out, and Deveronside went close with a shot just past the post but Salmon had it covered. It should have been 2-0 on 18 minutes when Darren Reid made another lung bursting run down the right, sent in a wonderful cross which Jordan Clark should have headed in for a simple goal, but hooked the ball over the bar from 3 yards.
Deveronside then had another free kick opportunity from the same position as shortly before, but this time they sent it well over the bar.
With 25 minutes remaining, the pace dropped a bit which was not surprising, but Saints were still on top and creating the better chances. Deveronside were relying on free kicks and corners for their chances as their attacks were fizzling out as a result of a well organised Saints midfield and defence.
On 75 minutes Ryan Whelan was replaced by Mark Reid to hopefully do the same as he did the previous week and score a late goal to secure the three points. The pace had dropped now but the final 10 minutes belonged to Deveronside who pushed forward looking for that elusive equaliser. Their best chances both came from corners, the first on 85 minutes with a header going a foot over and then in the last minute of injury time they went even closer with a bullet header inches over, but the Saint’s held on to claim all 3 points.
We caught up with the Saint’s Assistant Manager, Andy Farquhar after the game.
To a man, the whole team put in a great battling shift against a decent Deveronside team. We more than matched them in every department and put in a very mature performance for such a young team. Sometimes you need to grind out results and we certainly did that today for 3 well earned points.
The win consolidates Banchory’s position at the top of the McBookie.com First Division, increasing their lead to 4 points, with Deveronside having two games in hand.
Team: Ross Salmon, Ben Ross, Liam Cheyne, Aaron Thomson, Jason Ritchie, Steve Young, Calum Wilson (Greg Smith), Steve Travers, Darren Reid, Ryan Whelan (Mark Reid), Jordan Clark. Subs: Josh Robertson, Adam Reid, Euan Rose.
This Saturday, 26th January, Saints have a break from league duty when they entertain Second Division Glentanar in the Morrison Trophy Group 2 cup tie, kick off 1.30pm at Milton Park.