Stoneywood Parkvale 1-3 Banchory St Ternan
With last week’s home game being postponed due to a frost bound Milton Park, this was Saints first game since 15th December and in the first half the rustiness showed.
It was a slow tentative start by both sides as they were getting to grips with the windy conditions and a bumpy pitch. The first piece of action came on 10 minutes when the Stoneywood number seven flattened Liam Cheyne with a late tackle which he was fortunate to only receive a yellow card for.
The home side were playing with the wind and were on top in the opening exchanges. The best chance fell to Saints though when Jordan Clark’s run down the left and cross was mishit by Craig Peters in a good position 10 yards out. But an even better chance was wasted when the Stoneywood number 7 volleyed over the bar from 6 yards.
Clark was in action again for Saints on 20 minutes when his attempt was easily saved by the home keeper. Chances were scarce half way through this first half with neither keeper being bothered too much.
Stoneywood had a half chance on 27 minutes from a free kick which bounced around the Saints 6 yard box and then cleared by Darren Reid. Ryan Whelan was put through on the half hour but a combination of keeper and defender cleared the danger for Stoneywood.
Jordan Clark started to cause more problems to the home side and twice he was brought down as he skipped by his marker. Both times however, the free kicks came to nothing. Stoneywood had the last move of the half with a free kick into the 6 yard box which was eventually cleared.
Right from the kick off Darren Reid was through with only the keeper to beat and as he rounded the keeper he was brought down with Ryan Whelan taking responsibility to score from the spot kick. Minutes later Steve Travers had a chance but his hooked shot went well past.
Jason Ritchie who was replacing flu victim Josh Robertson at the heart of defence was too casual and lost the ball allowing Stoneywood to advance forward from the half way line, but his other defenders helped him out to clear the danger.
The home side made a change which was to turn the game for them and on 59 minutes a run down the right and low cross was met by substitute Still who side footed into the net from 8 yards to make it 1-1.
Stoneywood now had the momentum for the next ten minutes but Saints weathered the storm and made a change themselves on 67 minutes with Calum Wilson replacing Craig Peters. Whelan tried his luck with a curling shot but was well off target but on 71 minutes the striker made no mistake with a glancing header from a Darren Reid cross to restore the lead.
From the restart Steve Young was forced to leave the field for treatment, but returned a few minutes later. A third goal seemed certain when Calum Wilson burst through and squared the ball to Jordan Clark but with only the keeper to beat 10 yards out, the keeper’s legs saved the day.
Another change was made by Manager Ewan Robb with 12 minutes remaining, with Mark Reid coming on for Jordan Clark who had done a power of work. And with 3 minutes of normal time left the substitution worked a treat. Ben Ross played a great ball down the right for Mark to chase down and as the Stoneywood keeper advanced the young striker lobbed the ball into the net from 25 yards to make it 3-1.
Adam Reid came on for Ross on 90 minutes to see out the final four minutes of added time.
The Saint’s boss was delighted with the win.
The lads were brilliant. We knew it would be a tough, physical game and they’ve some decent players who can hurt you. The wind made conditions difficult also so we’re thrilled to come away with all 3 points. Everybody played their part but Jo, Whelan, Ben, Daz & Stevo were outstanding. Ross has not really had much to do. We felt it was a mature performance in the last 20 mins or so from a young team. At 1-1 Stoneywood had 10 minutes or so but we stood strong and went on to win the game.
Team: Ross Salmon, Ben Ross (Adam Reid), Liam Cheyne, Aaron Thomson, Jason Ritchie, Steve Young, Craig Peters (Calum Wilson), Steve Travers, Darren Reid, Ryan Whelan, Jordan Clark (Mark Reid). Subs: Euan Rose, Josh Robertson.
The win put Saints top of the League and next Saturday 19th January Saints travel to MacDuff for another important League game against Deveronside who are now one point behind Saints but with two games in hand. Kick off is 1.30pm.