Sunnybank are hit for six

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Stonehaven travelled to a wet and cold Heathryfold on Saturday to take on bottom side Sunnybank as they looked to keep the pressure on leaders Hermes who were also in Superleague action.

The Hive started poorly however and within three minutes they were 1-0 down. The ball wasn’t cleared and was played through, despite offside claims, to Low who slotted past Smith.

This stung Stonehaven into action and in five minutes, Murray saw his speculative effort tipped over by Knowles in the Sunnybank goal.

McCall was next to try his luck just a minute later after he picked the ball up and ran with it before his left foot shot was saved by the ‘keeper.

Stonehaven continued to press as they looked for the equaliser but efforts from Cruickshank and Alexander were dragged wide of target. Martin Shand was next to threaten and his shot was palmed wide but from the resulting corner the equaliser came. Horne fired the corner across the face of goal and McCALL got the final touch to turn the ball over the line.

A minute later Stonehaven were let out of jail when a slack ball by Cruickshank saw Whyte race clear but lob his shot wide of target.

Stonehaven were becoming the dominant side in the first half and after a few half chances found the net again in 22 minutes. The ball was played to McCALL out on the left and the big defender was given time and space to take the ball on and fire a left foot shot into the bottom corner.

The Hive took heart from this and just three minutes later went 1-3 up. Horne played a free kick from the right into the box finding the run of Cruickshank who glanced a header into the bottom corner.

Sunnybank weren’t completely out of the game despite the two goal deficit and in 35 minutes Smith had to be alert to make a good save with his feet from Hutchison. Duff picked up the rebound and Smith did well to save his shot across goal.

Stonehaven had a few half chances towards the end of the first half but were unable to find the back of the net again.

Stonehaven started the second half on the attack, but after just two minutes Murray went down injured in the penalty area and the game was held up for 30 minutes while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

After play restarted it took both teams a while to get back into the swing of the game but it was Stonehaven who extended their lead 10 minutes later.

A ball down the Sunnybank right found Horne who cut inside and ran past two men before curling a shot into the bottom corner.

It was Horne who turned provider five minutes later when he played a great cross into the box and found substitute Sinclair who made no mistake with his header.

Sunnybank reduced the deficit minutes later albeit in very controversial circumstances. A mix-up in the Hive defence resulted in the ball breaking loose and Whyte running through on goal. Smith came rushing out of his goal and was judged to have brought the striker down despite no contact having been made. Low stepped up and his penalty found the bottom corner of the net for his second goal of the game.

Stonehaven increased their lead further in 70 minutes when a great cross into the box from Croll found the head of Lewis Shand whose header found the back of the net despite an overhead kick attempt from Horne.

Stonehaven made a couple of changes with Glass and MacGregor replacing Winton and Cruickshank respectively.

The visitors created a few chances towards the end with Martin Shand going close to increasing the lead further but the game ended with Stonehaven picking up a valuable three points to remain four points behind Hermes.