Five-star showing from determined Maud

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Maud returned for a match at home for the first time since they drew with Saturday’s opponents in the league way back in December - and with a point to prove following last week’s display.

The Buchan side immediately went on the offensive in this North Regional Cup quarter final match and within two minutes had pressurised the visitor goal when Shaun Robertson laid a ball into the penalty area but it was hacked clear for a corner that came to nothing.

Maud continued to press, not giving the visitors any time on the ball, and on 14 minutes a break by Allan Hale saw him lay the ball into James Duguid who played it back to Hale but his well hit shot was deflected off a defender.

A couple of minutes later, from yet another corner from the left found Russell McBride at the far post but his volley was saved at the post by ‘side keeper McIntosh and eventually cleared.

McIntosh had to be alert a couple of minutes later when a long high ball from McBride saw a looping header from 12 yards almost catch the keeper out, he did manage to save above his head but dropped the ball on the line where the defenders did manage to clear the danger.

The pressure was unrelenting and on 26 minutes a snapshot from Jonathan Garden from 25 yards was well saved by McIntosh. However all the pressure finally paid off after the half hour when more Maud pressure on the visitors goal saw the ball cleared back out in the middle of the goal but the Maud skipper collected the ball 25 yards out and hit a low shot well wide of the keeper and into the net for a deserved opener.

Three minutes later Maud almost doubled their lead when a header from Hale over the visitors’ defence saw Duguid run onto the ball in the penalty area and beat McIntosh but his shot hit the foot of the post and bounced away.

Deveronside were struggling to stop the Maud tide and another shot from Hale almost found the net on 32 minutes but five minutes from the break.

Maud’s continued pressure saw a free kick given to them just outside the penalty area and it was an invitation to Hale to show his usual deadly effort from this range to leave McIntosh no chance as the ball whistled past him.

Unfortunately within a minute the lead was halved when a long punt into the Maud area found Davidson turn the Maud defence and laid the ball into the middle where McLeay poked home from two yards.

Despite this setback Maud went into the break well pleased with the effort and workrate shown.

Even with that excellent first half behind them, Maud were reminded of their visitors dangerous side when Joe Barbour was called upon within five minutes of the restart to make a crucial save.

However Maud’s dominance was emphasised on 51 minutes when some great interplay by McBride, Duguid and Hale, who turned in the visitors box to lay it off for debutant Neil Erskine to hit a low shot for Maud’s third goal. Within a couple of minutes more pressure on the visitors goal saw Shaun Robertson’s shot go narrowly wide.

On 65 minutes the game was effectively over when more good play between Erskine and sub Greg Alexander saw the latter lay the ball into the danger are where Hale scored his second of the game. At this point Maud were on cruise control with the visitors restricted to long balls that Maud were dealing with comfortably.

On 70 minutes yet more inter passing, this time between the second Maud sub Luke Barbour and Alexander saw Greg’s shot saved by McIntosh.

However with 10 minutes to go Maud put a realistic look on the score that their dominance deserved when Luke Barbour won the ball on the right and crossed to Alexander who scored their fifth from six yards.

Even though the game was won Maud could have added more goals when Alexander and then Erskine almost increased their own tally’s but finally the referee blow the whistle to see Maud progress to the Semi Finals.

Maud: J.Barbour, Elrick, Robertson, McBride, Simpson, Garden, Rae, Duguid, Erskine, Hale, Lynch Subs Hall, Mair, Bremner, Alexander, L.Barbour