Stonehaven Athletic 0
AC Mill Inn 6
AC Mill Inn took all the glory in this derby with Athletic on Saturday, but both teams remain in relegation trouble in Division One East.
Local derbies between these two clubs rarely needs an added incentive, however with both their league positions, this encounter was their most important game of the season.
Conditions were far from perfect with heavy rain making things difficult, however right from the start Mill Inn looked the more determined and immediately put the Athletic defence under pressure. This pressure paid off after only 4 minutes when Dunn found himself clear inside the box and easily slotted past Taylor.
The visitors kept up the pressure and extended their lead five minutes later and this time it was ALLAN who headed home from 6 yards with the home defence posted missing.
Athletic were a shadow of the side who had battled hard to win their previous game and it was no surprise when Mill Inn went three ahead on 20 minutes. A free kick was swung in from the left and when Taylor slipped coming for the ball, full back Morrice was able to head home from close range.
Burnett and Michael Adam were controlling the game for Mill Inn and Park in goal was a virtual spectator. He was however called into action on the half hour mark when he made a superb save from Reid’s shot from 8 yards.
The visitors put the game beyond doubt just minutes later and again it was Dunn who found space in the box to score his second and Mill Inn’s fourth.
Athletic introduced Nicoll and Forrest in the second half but this made little difference and the Mill Inn defence were rarly troubled. The visitors seemed content to let Athletic have possession then hit them on the break.
The home side’s misery was complete in the final 10 minutes and again it was Dunn who inflicted the damage. First he shot home from 6 yards, then he capitalised
on a mix-up between keeper Taylor and Steer to stroke the ball into an empty net from the edge of the box to bring his personal tally to four.
This was a shocking performance by Athletic and unless they can get points from their remaining two fixtures, a spell in Division 2 looks likely. The whole team
lacked character and when combined with poor defending, no creativity from midfield, and lightweight strikeforce you are in trouble.
Mill Inn on the other hand will gain confidence from their performance which gives them a chance of avoiding the drop.
Man of the Match came from the visitors. Burnett and four goal Lee Dunn were excellent, however Michael Adam was just ahead with an inspiring performance
for his team.
With three teams going down from Division One East, bottom club Banchory are doomed and the two Stonehaven sides face battles to avoid joining them.
Athletic have 26 points from 24 games and Mill Inn have 24 points from 23. MS United, Halliburton and Newmachar all lie below the Stonehaven pair in the division, but all three have games in hand on them. Athletic and Mill Inn need to take points from their remaining games.
Athletic: Taylor, Duncan, Ross, Steer, Holtes, MacLeod, Mitchell, R MacKenzie, Neish, Reid, Jolly. Subs: Cohen, Nicoll, Elliott, Forrest, Toner.
AC Mill Inn: Park, G Dunn, Morrice, Burnett, D Adam, Blackhall, Pearson, M Adam, Allan, Adams, L Dunn. Subs: Hutchison, King, McNab, Goodwin, Muir.