With a few good results behind them, Maud approached this game with steely determination to see them get to their first Cup final under the new management team.
There were a few changes to last week’s line up, the main one being the inclusion of Ricky Horne in goal for his Maud debut. This was to prove a match-winning decision.
The game kicked off in brilliant conditions but both teams looked edgy and for the first ten minutes Dyce seemed more confident to push forward but just after the ten minute mark Greg Alexander started to exert his presence on the left hand side when Luke Barbour, winning the ball in the middle, played it out wide to him and he whipped in a ball into the Dyce area but it was inches over the bar.
Alexander was finding a lot of possession out wide and after 19 minutes he received the ball from deep but instead of crossing, waltzed past a couple of defenders and then laid it off to Barbour who went around the defenders but was taken down as he was about to score.
Unfortunately, from Maud’s point of view, the normally dependable Mike Rae put the spot kick just past the left hand post and the chance of an early lead was lost.
However Maud continued to push forward, gaining confidence as the game progressed.
On 32 minutes the continued pressure finally paid off when Barbour broke up play in the middle winning a vital tackle and then running into the penalty area before sliding the ball along to Neil Erskine to score from close range to give the home side a deserved lead. Just on half time, Dyce almost equalised when a free kick was conceded by Maud. Horne made a miraculous diving save to keep the lead intact for Maud.
With 13 minutes to go in the game there were two gilt-edged chances for Maud to again seal the match when a corner from the right was met by Graeme Bain at the far post have a clear header at goal but he miscued his header and the ball went across the goal where Shaun Robertson collected and clipped it back across again to Bain but for the second time his header went across the goal and was finally hacked clear by the defence.
The defining moment in this game though was in the second minute of injury time when Dyce won a corner and had the chance to push everyone forward including goalkeeer Burr into the Maud area.
The ball came in and with nobody really taking command, the opposition goalkeeper got the the ball and it seemed destined for the goal when Horne again made an outstanding one-handed save to not only keep the ball out but to also push it wide and then the final whistle went.
Both teams were well matched in this and it took two fantastic saves at the end of the first and second halves to ensure Maud progressed through to the final of the North Regional Cup against Stonehaven.
Maud have two games this week against Ellon at The Meadows on Tuesday with a 6.30pm kick-off, then their second semi-final in a week against FC Stoneywood in the McLemon Cup on Saturday with a 2pm kick-off.
MAUD: Horne, Graham, Robertson, Bain, Elrick, Anderson, Rae, Hale, Erskine, Alexander, Barbour Subs Hall, Stott, Duguid, A.Bremner, S.Bremner.