Stonehaven travelled to Uniconn Park on Saturday to take on Hermes in the PMAC Group McLeman Cup quarter final.
After some rain the morning the surface proved quite heavy and it was Stonehaven who started the game better than the home side who were finding the slippery surface difficult.
Despite the better start The Hive failed to test Sweeney in the home goal.
By the quarter-hour mark the hosts were coming more into the game and forced three corners in quick succession, the third of which found Lee Smith who shot narrowly past Stark’s front post.
Two minutes later Hermes had a great chance to take the lead when, after a mix-up on the half way line, Close ran fully 40 yards with ball, but as he tried to round keeper Stark, the Hive ‘keeper did brilliantly to get enough on the ball to clear the danger on the edge of the penalty area.
Hermes came close again a minute later when Stevenson was played in over the top of the defence but his shot was blocked for a corner which Stark gathered at the second attempt.
Shortly after a foul on Jordan Reid saw a free kick awarded however Sweeney was equal to the ball into the area.
Good short play on 23 minutes saw the ball find Armstrong out wide but his cross was unable to find a Stonehaven player and the danger was gone.
Mackie picked the ball up in plenty space on 26 minutes and fired a shot goalwards which Stark did well to hold on to.
The Hive had their best chance on 33 minutes and really should have taken the lead.
The ball was played over to Armstrong who in turn found Wyness but his shot was blocked for a corner. The resulting ball in found Shand at the back post but he could only send his free header wide of target.
A short passing move shortly before half time involving Smith, Macklin and Thomson gave the latter a chance, but he slipped as he lined himself to shoot, and the chance was lost.
Half Time: Hermes 0 Stonehaven 0
Stonehaven created an early chance in the second half when a free kick into the goalmouth was missed by the two strikers.
On 49 minutes a powerful run by the visitors McWilliam gave Shand an opportunity but his shot went high over the bar.
In the 53rd minute the ball was played to Mackie whose shot brought a great save from Stark.
Three minutes later Shand played the ball in which found Wyness who in turn played to Jordan Reid who shot wide.
A minute later Stark came to the rescue again as he kept out an Andrew Close shot at his front post. The ball was played back in and Pyper cleared for a corner.
With 68 minutes gone The Hive had a chance when a short free kick was blocked by the wall and the ball was played wide but Armstrong’s was missed by everyone.
A long throw in from McTavish on 75 minutes found Wyness but he was just unable to get enough to turn it over the line and Lee Smith did enough to scramble the shot off of the goal line.
In the 79th minute a Thomson corner was well dealt with by Hive ‘keeper Stark. This was followed by two further substitutions for the home side which were to turn the game in their favour.
A corner into The Hive box was not dealt with and substitute Smith’s header fell to McLACHLAN who turned the ball in at the front post to give Hermes the lead.
Three minutes later and the hosts’ lead was increased when McLACHLAN cut in from the right leaving defenders in his wake before firing low past Stark at his front post.
Full Time: Hermes 2 Stonehaven 0
Hermes: Sweeney; Cruickshank; Lee Smith, Brown, Strachan; Mackie, McKenzie, Thomson, Close (Michael Smith 75 minutes), Macklin (Alexander 81 minutes), Stevenson (McLachlan 81 minutes)
Subs not used: Watson; Nash
Stonehaven: Stark, Gray, Schmid, Steven Reid, McTavish, Pyper; Shand, Jordan Reid (Jonny Cook 77minutes), Wyness, Armstrong, McWilliam
Subs not used: Smith, Gavin Robertson, Pashley, Dunbar.