MAUD came into this game having already qualified for the quarter-final stage and with at least six players unavailable new manager Ian Bruce had the unenviable task of putting a team together with just the bare bones of his squad.
Deveronside started the brighter when after three minutes a long ball over the Maud back four saw keeper Gatt attempt to clear the ball wide of his goal but the poor clearance fell to Deveronside and the effort back in was only just wide of the open goal.
A couple of minutes later Deveronside again pushed forward and the ball laid back to the edge of the Maud box saw their final shot pulled wide. Maud finally came to life a minute later when after winning a corner, Luke Barbour met the in-swinger at the far post but his header was just wide.
On 12 minutes Jake Leslie ran at the defence, paying the ball inside the box to Barbour but his shot was held by the keeper. On 20 minutes a deep free kick was taken by Bruce Davidson onto Ewan Clark’s head but again the keeper easily held the effort.
On 24 minutes Deveronside crossed the ball into the Maud penalty area where they saw their headed cannon off the crossbar and away for a corner off Gatt. A couple of minutes later it was Maud’s turn when Jason MacDonald put a great cross ball from deep into Leslie in the penalty area but his low shot was turned away for a corner by the keeper.
Just after the half-hour, Maud’s Clark, Barbour and Zander Davidson combined to finally see Barbour’s shot too weak to trouble the keeper. Five minutes before the break, Deveronside won a free kick wide left, it was swung into the middle and headed home but the referee had blown for offside so it didn’t stand. Half time came with neither side really imposing themselves so it was all to play for in the second half.
The first ten minutes of the half saw two Maud chances from Barbour and Clark but neither effort worried the keeper. Then on 12 minutes, one of Deveronside’s players was dismissed for a second yellow card and the complexion of the game changed.
Maud really struggled to make the extra man pay but Deveronside were chasing and harrying everything to try and keep their clean sheet. Maud were therefore restricted to two chances in the last five minutes which Leslie and Barbour failed to convert and when the final whistle went it was a result which seemed inevitable once Deveronside were reduced to ten men.
To be fair, both teams had played three midweek games in the last three weeks and fatigue was in evidence, especially in Maud’s youngsters but with the quarter-final place already established, a clean sheet with a depleted squad was a good result.
Maud’s next game is on Saturday in the Grill League Cup quarter-final against Nairn St Ninian, at home, with a 2.30pm kick-off.
MAUD: Gatt, B. Davidson, Reid, Arthur, K. Simpson, A. Davidson, Rae, Leslie, MacDonald, Clark, Barbour. Subs: J. Duiguid, S. Jamieson, M. Simpson, J. Willox.