Persistence pays off for patient Maud

Maud entered this Superleague game without a league win since September and although had good Cup results in that time, points were important on Saturday against Lewis United.

Things weren’t made any easier with an ever-increasing injury list, but the squad showed their resilience and from the first whistle the effort was there to try and secure the win.

However Lewis were giving as good as they got and it took 18 minutes before Maud managed to make an impression on the Lewis defence when John Willox did well with the ball in the Lewis penalty area, finally passing inside to Ross Walker eight yards out with his back to goal.

He swivelled and hit a low shot past Fyffe in the Lewis goal to put the home side ahead.

Maud kept the pressure up and within eight minutes they were two goals ahead when Walker took a free kick 30 yards out to Willox in the area again. This time he crossed it for Bob Ritchie to score from close range with a good finish.

A couple of minutes later Maud almost increased their lead when a free kick from Fraser Hall found Willox free in the area but he looked surprised to be totally unmarked and his looping header landed on the top of the net.

On 34 minutes Hall again laid the ball into the Lewis penalty are where Ritchie met the ball at the same time as Fyffe and the keeper did well to make the save.

The second half started with Lewis almost pulling a goal back when McLelland played a ball into the Maud goal area from a free kick. It was inviting to be turned into the net but Mike Rae did well to turn the ball over the bar for a corner which came to nothing.

On six minutes a great cross field ball from Willox found Hall in space on the left in the penalty area, if he had reacted quicker the ball could have been laid into the middle before the defenders had recovered but by the time he had laid it back to Walker his final shot was deflected away for a corner.

A minute later Luke Barbour collected the ball on the right 25 yards from the Lewis goal, he went into the box but his final shot was weak and didn’t trouble Fyffe.

However a minute later he found himself in a similar position but this time his chest-high ball into the goal area was met by Willox who put it past Fyffe before he could react for Maud’s third goal.

By now Maud were on top but on 74 minutes Lewis won a free kick just outside the Maud penalty area, the ball was laid wide where it was hammered into the goal area where it took a deflection and wrong-footed Gatt in Maud’s goal for Lewis’s goal.

With the three-goal advantage gone Maud pushed forward again to try an restore and a couple of minute later good work by Willox and Jake Leslie, who had come on as a sub for the Injured Ritchie, saw the ball some back inside to Walker but his low shot was dragged wide.

Just after it was Willox’s turn when he found himself in spec on the left of the Lewis goal but his goal bound shot was deflected wide by Lewis’s Duncan for a corner which came to nothing.

With seven minutes to go, Bruce Davidson ventured forward and laid the ball to Leslie, in turn he crossed to Luke Barbour but his header was over the bar.

With three minutes to go, Hall took a bad knock in the face and was treated for a bloody nose. Not long after as Lewis seemed preoccupied by events off field relating to Halls’ injury.

Gatt launched a ball upfield, as it fell 25 yards from the Lewis goal Fyffe seemed distracted by a run by Willox and could only watch in horror as the ball bounced over his head and into the back of the net for Maud’s fourth goal of the day.

It’s not often a goalkeeper scores direct from a goal clearance but it settled Maud down.

This was emphasised when Hall got the ball from a throw 30 yards from the Lewis goal line, he played a neat ball into the penalty are where Barbour did well to connect and put it past Fyffe again for the fifth goal.

This win will give Maud much-needed confidence not only from the goals scored but also for the way they kept pushing forward and putting Lewis under pressure, something missing from the last few games and it paid dividends.

This weekend Maud have a SuperLeague game at home to Banks’o’Dee with a 1.30pm kick-off.

MAUD: Gatt, Davidson, Reid, Massie, K.Simpson, Walker, Rae, Hall, Ritchie, Willox, Barbour. Subs: Leslie, Arthur, M.Simpson, Trialist.