Clinical finishing makes all the difference at Maud

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Maud 2 - 4 Stonehaven

On the back of a good performance last week, Maud’s confidence was high that a result could be achieved against second place Stonehaven, but a disappointing second half to the game proved to be their downfall.

The first half stated off with Maud pushing forward quickly. A long ball from Maud keeper Gatt found John WIllox free in the penalty area but his shot was blocked.

After the initial push, the game settled into a midfield battle but on 16 minutes a good ball to Zander Davidson wide left saw him cut into the box and hit his shot past Stonehaven keeper Smith into the net for the first goal of the day.

Stonehaven were finding the going tough against a hard-working Maud team but they failed to find the target except for a shot on the turn five minutes from half time by Murray which Gatt did well to save.

During the first half neither team really created many chances and when the half time whistle went Maud were pleased to have their noses in front.

Stonehaven came out for the second half fired up and immediately took the game to Maud. Their first chance came on 52 minutes when a high ball into the Maud box was punched by Gatt high to the edge of the box but Stonehaven’s Murray was there first and hit a low ball past the Maud keeper for the equaliser.

Like so many Maud games this season, they conceded again almost immediately when another high ball was not cleared and again it was a low shot from the edge of the box that put Stonehaven in front.

Maud tried to push back and on 61 minutes Davidson collected the ball on the halfway line on the left, ran at the Stonehaven defence, passing four defenders and hit a high curling shot past Smith in the Stonehaven goal and into the next for the equaliser.

On 70 minutes Maud should have taken the lead when a Jason MacDonald corner from the left found Luke Barbour in the box but his header was off the bar.

However with 15 minutes to go Stonehaven got the breakthrough and it was a lucky one as the ball was on the edge of the Maud area when a speculative shot by Murray hit Maud’s MacDonald on the leg and looped over Gatt and just under the bar for a fortunate third.

As earlier in the game, Maud conceded another almost immediately when the ball was fed into the area and before Maud could clear it was hit across Gatt and into the net for the decisive fourth goal.

Maud’s final chance came seven minutes from the end when Luke Barbour took the ball past three defenders in the Stonehaven area but couldn’t get a shot away and the chance was lost.

So another defeat and the difference between Maud’s first half performance and the second was like night and day.

In the first half they coped well with any threats but in the second half there were too many misplaced passes and as the game wore on they retreated further and further back inviting Stonhaven onto them, which eventually saw them concede four second half goals.

This week Maud have a tough Superleague game away to league leaders Hermes with a 2pm kick off.

MAUD: Gatt, Arthur, Simpson, Gray, Rae, MacDonald, Walker, Davidson, Willox, L.Barbour, Duguid. Subs: Leslie, Reid, Massie, Fraser, Hall, J.Barbour.