U15s hit back to draw v Banks o’ Dee

Stonehaven U15s travelled to Aulton on Sunday looking to continue their late promotion charge which has seen them win eight successive matches.

Stonehaven U15s travelled to Aulton on Sunday looking to continue their late promotion charge which has seen them win eight successive matches.

However, despite their good run, Stonehaven have started recent matches poorly and this one was no exception.

Banks ‘o Dee went a goal up after six minutes when the away side failed to clear a free-kick and the ball was played back into the box by means of a spectacular overhead kick which was met by a looping header over Forbes and into the corner of the net.

Just three minutes later, Stonehaven had Garrow to thank as he got back to clear off the line as the home side looked odds on to score again.

Banks o’ Dee did not have to wait long before doubling their advantage. After 10 minutes, their winger skipped down the left and reached the byeline before firing in a decent cross that was converted at close range.

Stonehaven were stunned into action and Gammie came close to pulling one back being denied by the legs of the goalkeeper as he ran through on goal.

The home side resorted to the offside trap at every opportunity and they succeeded in frustrating the visitors on countless occasions as the half wore on. There was always a danger that Stonehaven would concede again as the numerous free kicks awarded for offside were dropping dangerously in the away side’s penalty area on the small pitch.

However, Stonehaven survived and when they managed to beat the offside trap they created several chances of their own but failed to convert any of them as the half came to a close without any further scoring.

It was vital that Stonehaven got the next goal if they were going to claw their way back into this match and it duly arrived just a minute after the restart. Lovick took possession in midfield and fed the overlapping full-back McKenzie who charged down the left and fired a ball into the box that was well converted first time by leading scorer Collie for his twenty fourth goal of the campaign.

Banks o’ Dee were allowed to restore their two goal advantage just four minutes later. Once again a free-kick awarded for offside was pumped long into the Stonehaven box. The ball cleared the defenders and an onrushing striker beat Forbes to the ball to score.

To their credit, Stonehaven marched straight back down the pitch and reduced the deficit barely a minute later. Gammie broke clear on the right and sent in a superb cross that was met by Lovick whose header struck the post but Pyper followed up and kept his composure to stroke home the rebound.

The game was much more even now and both sides were able to force several corners without being able to profit from any of them. Time was running out for Stonehaven but they finally managed to beat the offside trap and equalise with just 10 minutes remaining. Lovick again took possession on the left side of midfield and played a superb diagonal crossfield ball. Gammie ran onto it from deep using his pace and strength to shrug off a defender and drive in on goal before supplying a fine right foot finish that gave the ‘keeper no chance. Stonehaven went for the win and came agonisingly close when Payne could not quite reach a cross from Lovick at the far post. However, the away side was also exposed at the back as they chased victory and Forbes had to come smartly off his line to deny Banks ‘o Dee a winner.

The final whistle went shortly afterwards and the draw felt like a defeat for Stonehaven. They had simply left themselves too much to do following that dreadful start.

they remain top of the table and could still get promoted if they win their remaining two games and the teams below them drop points in their games in hand. BANKS o’ DEE 3 STONEHAVEN U15 3

Stonehaven U15: Forbes, McKenzie, Laing, Collie, Freeman, Smith, Garrow, Lovick, Gammie, Hartley, Barclay, McCallum, Payne, Pyper.