Five-star performance despite wintry weather



It was back to league duty this weekend for Athletic as Torphins made the trip to Stonehaven to face their hosts for the fourth time this season.

The pitch was in excellent condition given the weather of the past week but the wind and cold made conditions far from ideal.

It was the home side who started the better and were to take the lead after only five minutes.

Lawson played in Elliott down the left, and after great trickery created space for him in the box, he squared the ball to Neish for the easiest of goals.

The hosts should have added to their lead, with Metelski and Neish both passing up great chances.

Elliott was unlucky with one effort which crashed back off the bar after a corner fell to him in the box.

They were made to pay soon after when the visitors equalised.

Ironically, their goal was to come from an Athletic corner.

The ball was cleared to the halfway line and, when Ross failed to win a header, the ball broke to an onrushing midfielder, who beat Duncan before running on to slot the ball past Middleton from just outside the area.

Middleton was to keep his side level with a smart save but he was soon to be picking the ball out his net for a second time.

When a ball was played into the box from the left, Bowron failed to head clear and the ball broke to the unmarked striker who easily beat Middleton at the far post.

This spurred the home side onto greater effort and Neish brought a great save from the keeper with a header from an Elliott cross.

They were to get their reward shortly before the interval in fortuitous manner.

Reid played a corner in from the left and the ball was missed from everyone.

When a defender tried to clear, Neish stuck out a leg to divert the ball into the back of the net.

They should have added to this on the stroke of half-time when Reid crossed in from the right. With Metelski seemly having the simplest of tasks to head home, Neish stole in in front of him to head wide.

Irvine came on for Cohen at the break to give Athletic a greater attacking threat down the left.

They were to regain the lead with a great piece of finishing.

Ross played a great ball over the top for Reid to run clear to dink the ball over the onrushing keeper to grab his first.

It was now one-way traffic towards the visitors’ goal. Shuttleworth was played through clear of the defence but failed to emulate Reid with his finish.

Irvine saw a great effort tipped wide by the keeper, but then should have done better later, when he decided to square the ball to Neish when it seemed that a shot was the better option.

He was soon to become provider when Athletic put daylight between themselves and the visitors.

He played a ball in from the left which Reid controlled at the back post before lashing home.

They were to put a gloss on the result with a fifth in the final minute.

Reid played a corner in from the right and, after a scramble, the ball fell to Metelski to prod the ball home for his first goal for the club.

This was great team effort and more of the same will be required from the whole squad in the coming weeks with midweek games to be soon upon the club.

This result maintained their momentum in their push for promotion and kept Athletic second in the league, although some of their opponents do have games in hand.

Athletic: Middleton; Duncan, Bowron, McLeod, Ross; Cohen, Metelski, Lawson, Elliott; Neish, Reid.

Subs: Cordiner, Shuttleworth, Irvine, Robb & Gunn.