Maud pressure only earns a draw

With the terrible weather conditions across the region Saturday’s clash between Maud and Deveronside was in serious doubt right up until kick off time.

Only sterling work by the Maud committee and management on the playing surface during the morning meant this game finally kicked off.

The conditions were probably as bad as they could be with a very strong icy wind and non stop driving rain, but once the teams kicked off Maud were straight onto the attack. Kevin Simpson started off the first Maud chance with a ball over the top of the Deveronside defence to Bob Morrice who ran onto it wide left and laid an inviting bal across the middle but it was fractionally in front of the onrushing forwards and was cleared.

Maud were dominating the play, camped out in the visitor half but it took until the 20th minute before another chance when Ally Graham also put a ball over the defence to Luke Barbour but his shot was saved.

On 27 minutes more Maud pressure saw a free kick by Allan Hale curl past the defensive wall but the visitors keeper made a good save around the post for a corner which came to nothing.

A couple of minutes later a long ball from Russell McBride into the danger area was only cleared out to Morrice but his low shot was just wide. Not long after the visitors had one of their few attacks and it was only after Frazer Hall made a fantastic challenge to win the ball four yards from the Maud goal line that prevented Deveronside taking an undeserved lead.

The ball went directly up to the other end again and Morrice again played the ball into the goal area where it looked certain a Maud player had to open the scoring but a mixture of defensive blocks and last ditch tackles by the visitors that finally saw the ball cleared.

Then on 43 minutes Maud were caught with a sucker punch, the ball was played into the Maud area from wide left and not cleared and the ball fell kindly to the opposition forwards who made no mistake from five yards out to open the scoring against the run of play.

The half time whistle went and Maud trudged back to the changing rooms not really knowing how they were a goal down after so much possession, something that would have to be remedied in the second half.

The weather was deteriorating, as was the light but after less that a minute Maud won another corner, this time L. Barbour got his head to the ball but saw it smash off the crossbar.

Five minutes later good work by Jonathan Garden and Kenny Mair saw the ball laid invitingly in the penalty area but it was hacked clear again.

On 55 minutes Maud’s best chance saw Morrice again cause problems beating defenders wide left, he put a dangerous low cross across the six yard line and just as Allan Hale was about to score the ball stuck in the mud and he missed his shot and the ball was cleared.

There was a controversial decision in the 66th minute when a ball over the Maud defence saw keeper Joe Barbour coming out to meet it, unfortunately he seemed to hesitate for a second then decided to come, but by then the forward had got to the ball and their collision outside the area was deemed by the referee to be a sending off offence.

Graeme Bain came off the bench for Ally Graham to go in as a makeshift keeper for the remaining 24 minutes.

On 75 minutes sustained Maud pressure, despite being down to 10 men, saw a thunderbolt shot from Simpson only parried by the keeper but the defenders again hacked the ball to safety.

Greg Alexander came off the bench for Mair and had an immediate effect when he ran down the left and crossed to Hale who was at the far post, his goal bound shot was blocked by a lunging defenders leg for another corner, it was played into the area and cleared and came out to Garden who’s shot took a deflection and went over the bar, but the referee again made the wrong decision by awarding a goalkick to everyone’s amazement.

The persistent Maud pressure finally paid off with eight minutes to go, another free kick was awarded out on the left, Morrice swung in a fantastic ball which was met by Simpson to place it past the keeper and into the net for the equaliser.

Duguid came on for L.Barbour to try and snatch a winner but it wasn’t to be. The game finally ended with Maud looking for the winner but really glad of the whistle to be able to get out of the horrendous weather.

Despite the loss of keeper Barbour, Maud really did enough to win this game and in the end a point was the least they deserved but at least they managed a game after a four-week break and with the local derby against Longside next week it was a vital run out before the Christmas Break.

Maud JFC would like to wish all their players, management, supporters and all their sponsors a peaceful Christmas and thank them for the effort and support in 2012.

Next week Maud travel to Longside in the Superleague with a 1.15pm kick-off.

Maud: J. Barbour, Graham, Simpson, McBride, Hall, Rae, Mair, Garden, Hale, L.Barbour, Morrice Subs Bain, Robertson, Bremner, Alexander, Duguid