Maud went into this game with three defeats behind them but knowing that in each of those games there were long periods when they dominated but failed to take advantage. Saturday’s game unfortunately proved to go the same way.
The home team started off brightly enough and won a corner almost from the kick off, it was played into the danger area but cleared out to Graeme Bain on the edge of the area but his low shot was wide of the mark.
Maud were then hit by conceding an early goal. On 11 minutes Banchory’s Close got possession on the edge of the Maud penalty area and wasn’t closed down quickly enough. His waist-high shot was well saved by debutant home keeper McCaffrey but came out wide to Presley who fired home from a narrow angle to put the visitors ahead.
Maud tried to respond straight away and a run down the left by Allan Hale saw him play the ball across the area but it was hacked clear for a corner that came to nothing.
A couple of minutes later Sean Bremner played a great ball over the defence to Hale whose snap-shot was saved at the foot of the post.
Maud were now playing plenty of passes and moves on the floor which the visitors were finding it difficult to compete with. This resulted in the equaliser on 23 minutes when a ball to Hale, causing all sorts of problems down the visitors right, played a ball into the area which was met by Andi Bremner who flicked the ball over keeper Irvine to level the scores.
It was all Maud now, playing some great football and forcing Banchory to defend for long periods.
On the half-hour, Hale again broke on the Maud left, he ran into the area and then cut the ball back to S. Bremner but his low shot was saved by Irvine forcing the ball wide but A. Bremner was perfectly placed eight yards out to fire into the goal but his shot cannoned off the post.
The ball still wasn’t cleared and two more shots on target were desperately cleared but Maud failed to take advantage.
The sustained pressure did finally pay off after 34 minutes when after winning another corner, the ball was swung into the danger area where Kevin Simpson rose unchallenged to power the ball home for Maud’s second goal.
The pace didn’t slow and just after the goal, Hale again crossed to the far post where A. Bremner returned the ball back into the goal area but Hale’s final shot was again saved.
Banchory then reminded Maud that they were still well in the game and only a double save from debutant keeper Kieran McCaffrey from Biskup prevented an equaliser.
The second half started and Maud continued to press, taking a shot corner that A. Bremner finally saw his shot go past the post.
With ten minutes of the second half gone, Maud’s dominance disappeared, a long high ball over the defence saw it land on the 18-yard line, the Maud defence letting it bounce allowing Pyper to collect and lob it over McCaffrey for the visitors’ simple equaliser.
That goal signalled a dramatic loss of confidence in the home team and only three minutes later they found themselves behind when Biskup collected a ball outside the area but ran through unchallenged to score an easy third.
Maud were now playing like total strangers, the Maud from the first half had gone and had been replaced with 11 palyers who didn’t seem to be able to pick themselves up.
They did have a chance on 61 minutes when the ball was clipped into the visitors six-yard box but Hale’s shot was saved.
The final 25 minutes of this game saw numerous Maud errors, resulting in two more Banchory goals, one to Biskup and one to McGregor and whenever Banchory went forward they looked like scoring.
So fragile was the home team that the end result was never in doubt once Banchory scored their third goal.
Maud really have to pick themselves up from this demoralising defeat, they have a big Cup final at the end of May and to be in with any sort of chance of winning they have to go back to playing the way they can do for more than short spells in the preceding games.
Maud travel to Banff tonight (Tuesday) to play Deveronside with a 7pm kick-off, followed by a home game against Dyce on Saturday.
MAUD: McCaffrey, Graham, Hall, Bain, Simpson, Ritchie, Robertson, S.Bremner, Duguid, Hale, A.Bremner Subs Rae, Erskine, Elrick, Alexander, Lynch