Stonehaven beat champs

Stonehaven FC manager Dougie Baxter says his side enter 2012 with confidence high after their 3-2 away win over last season’s Superleague champions Culter on Christmas Eve.

In a pre-Christmas cracker, Culter took the lead, but before half-time, striker Martin Shand found the net against his former club.

Culter took a 2-1 lead, then midfielder Lewis Shand followed his brother on to the scoresheet to make it 2-2.

Threee morale-boosting points were up for grabs and it was Stonehaven who grabbed them when Martin Shand scored the winner ten minutes from time.

Dougie Baxter said: “It was a great win against last season’s champions.

“We have been going well this season, but we needed the win after our disappointing defeat against Banks o’ Dee on their plastic pitch the previous week.

“Culter have seven games in hand on us and will certainly be one of the main challengers for the title again.

“They would go above us if they won their games in hand, but they wouldn’t go above league leaders Hermes.”

Hermes top the table with Dyce second and Stonehaven tucked in nicely in third.

Hermes play Dyce this Saturday while Stonehaven travel to Banchory, then a week later, (January 14) Stonehaven are at home to Dyce.

Dougie added: “Nothing has been decided yet. We are still in a couple of cup competitions and are aiming to at least reach a final.

“Reaching a final would add to the interest already being generated. We would like nothing more than a few more fans turning up to watch us in our home games as there is good football on offer.

“Hermes deserve to be on top of the league as they are the best side we have faced so far this season, including Culter.”

Stonehaven have played 14 league games and have 12 still to play.

“There is a lot of football still to be played. We go into the second half of the season with confidence and if we play as well as we have done in the first half of the campaign, we will be there or thereabouts.”