Maud arrived at Hermes in perfect plying conditions at the weekend, however they were also short of the recent central defensive partnership of Russell McBride and Kevin Simpson so it was a changed line-up to face the current Superleague champions.
Greg Alexander started Maud’s first attack after six minutes when he won possession on the halfway line and played Scott Lynch in on a run on goal, but the low shot was saved by the home keeper Sweeney.
The game then settled into a midfield battle where neither team were in the ascendancy and it was only after 30 minutes when Hermes upped the tempo and a cross from the right found Wyness with a free header at goal but Joe Barbour made the save.
The home team got another free header from a corner three minutes later but this time Jack Stott did well to clear off the line.
Maud should have been awarded a penalty two minutes later when Alexander, who had been causing the home defence problems down the right, ran into the penalty area but was taken out by keeper Sweeney. It was a clear penalty but the officials somehow disagreed and Hermes escaped.
A couple of minutes later, with Maud really pushing for the opening goal, a great move involving Jonathan Garden and Alexander carved out a chance to James Duguid but his goal-bound shot was deflected out for a corner that came to nothing.
However Maud’s deserved first goal wasn’t long after. With four minutes to the break, Alexander again won possession on the halfway line, this time his ball to Lynch left the forward with more work to do but he rounded the defenders and keeper and coolly slotted the ball home for the first goal of the afternoon.
It was a great end to the half and was thoroughly deserved by the visitors.
The second half kicked off and it was obvious the home team had been given instructions to put long high balls into the visitors’ box because almost from the kick-off that seemed to be the main tactic.
Unfortunately, from Maud’s point of view, with the changes to the back four enforced on them, this tactic paid dividends within nine minutes of the restart.
Hermes won a free kick 30 yards from goal and a simple high ball into the heart of the defence was met by Freeland who headed the equaliser unchallenged.
On the hour mark another high ball into the visitors’ box was well headed by Courage but Barbour was well placed to make the save.
Maud were defending well and although Hermes had the upper hand, the visitors were still dangerous on the break.
They almost scored from one ten minutes from the end when they took a quick throw-in 15 yards from Hermes corner flag, it found Alexander who broke into the box and his shot across goal only just missed the far post.
Then with two minutes of normal time left, Maud scored what should have been the winner.
Following a good passing move in the middle, Garden found Lynch who then laid it between the defenders to second half sub, Sean Bremner and he beat Sweeney to put Maud 2-1 up.
Maud knew they still had to work but they didn’t expect five minutes of added time and it was in the last of the five minutes that Hermes scored with the last kick of the game.
It was a cruel end to a game that Maud worked hard in but a draw was probably a fair result even if it happened that way it did with so much added time.
Maud have a chance to prove they are on the way back up the table with a home game against Lewis United in the Superleague, with a 2pm kick-off.
Maud face current champions Hermes at their newly renamed Uniconn Park in the Superleague next Saturday with a 2pm kick-off.
MAUD: J. Barbour, Stott, Elrick, Robertson, Hall, Garden, Rae, Duguid, Erskine, Alexander, Lynch. Subs: Bain, Mair, Ritchie, Bremner, L. Barbour