Much improved performance but still no points for Maud

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This was Maud’s first foray on the plastic pitch at Spain Park and although having trained on similar pitches, this was going to as big a test as Banks O’ Dee would provide.

Maud settled very well right from the kick off but after eight minutes Stuart Gray misplaced a defensive header that fell just right for ‘Dee’s Stewart but his weak shot didn’t trouble Gatt in the Maud goal.

On 13 minutes after some neat play outside the Dee penalty area, Luke Barbour got past the defenders but the ball was cleared, only to Mike Rae who lofted in a high ball that saw Zander Davidson challenge Dee keeper Stark, who dropped the ball but the following shot was blocked and cleared.

On 23 minutes it was Brice Davidson’s turn to make a foray into the Dee area with some good link up play but again the ball was cleared.

Five minutes later another ball over the top, this time to Zander Davidson, saw him in on goal but his hurried shot was well over the bar.

On 30 minutes Dee won a free kick in a dangerous area and only a great save by Gatt at the post prevented a goal. Maud were closing down very well but despite their possession on the new pitch, few real goal chances resulted.

The second half started with a defensive lapse that again saw Maud fall behind, the ball was played into the area but was not cleared when the chance presented itself and Ryan Stewart hammered the ball past Gatt for the opening goal.

Maud were rocked by the goal and it was another 12 minutes before they got the chance to equalise when a great ball in from Barbour on the right saw Zander Davidson rise to head home but John Willox was in front of him and took the ball off his head and away instead of equalising.

The rest of the half didn’t see any Maud chances and instead of playing the ball to feet on the great surface as they did in the first half, they resorted to lumping high balls at the first opportunity and Dee handled that with no problem.

Dee did score again with 15 minutes to go when another rasping shot, this time from Scaife saw the points settled.

It was a disappointing end to a game that promised so much in the first half. Maud’s scoring difficulties are proving costly and with the League so tight at the bottom they really need to do something about it, and soon.

This week Maud have a McLemon Cup game against Culter at home with a 2pm kick off.

MAUD: Gatt, B. Davidson, Arthur, Gray, Simpson, Reid, Rae, A. Davidson, L.Barbour, Willox, Duguid. Subs Leslie, Noble, Hall, Clark.