MAUD went into this game with only 11 first team players available so any injuries during the match would have been a problem.
Stonehaven started off the game the brighter as Maud tried to come to terms with players in different positions but it was the visitors who had the first real chance after eight minutes when Kevin Simpson launched a high ball into Hive’s penalty area where Shaun Jamieson brought the ball down, played it to Derek McKechnie who then found John Willox but his shot was over the bar.
Maud’s dominance finally paid off when Stott laid in a low ball from the corner to Willox who was in the thick of the action who laid it off first time to Gavin Middleton in the middle of the goal and he couldn’t miss from six yards out to put Maud ahead.
On 20 minutes Willox almost scored when he received the ball from a throw-in at his feet, his trademark turn left the defender as before but this time his low hard shot was only just saved by Hove’s keeper with his legs for another corner.
On 23 minutes his persistence paid off when Stott and Jamieson combined in the middle of the park and then the ball was put over the top of Hive’s defence which Willox ran onto and lobbed the keeper from 18 yards to put Maud 2-0 up.
On 32 minutes Maud increased their lead when the ball was played in from their left to McKechnie on the D of the penalty area. He side-stepped the defenders’ challenge and clipped a great ball with his left foot past the keeper and into the net.
At this point Maud were playing some impressive football and it was hard to see how Stonehaven could come back into this one-sided match.
That did happen though three minutes later when a ball into the Maud penalty area saw Ross Walker foul the forward and give away a penalty for which he also received a yellow card for some sillyness after.
Hive’s No. 8 smashed the ball past Simpson to put the jitters into Maud.
For the next 15 minutes Stonehaven could see Maud standing back and losing their shape but Willox had another chance before the half-time whistle that was saved and Hive’s No 8 tried his luck from 35 yards but the ball was narrowly over the bar.
Half time came with only the last ten minutes being contested as Maud’s two-goal cushion was a reflection of their dominance.
On 61 minutes Stonehaven should have scored their second when a cross ball to their centre forward saw a classic header fired towards goal but somehow Mark Simpson made an outstanding save.
Most of the second half saw Maud consolidating their position with Stonehaven not making any impression until the 78th minute when they won a corner which was played in perfectly to Hive’s right back who placed his unmarked header towards goal but once again Mark Simpson made a fantastic diving save to keep it out.
Nine minutes from the end of the game Maud secured the three points when they won a free kick 25 yards from Hive’s goal, Middleton took the free kick, curling the ball around the wall and into the back of the net to complete the scoring with his second goal of the afternoon.
Although Maud went into this game with such a small squad available, every one of the 11 who played did an outstanding job with their best league win of the season.
Maud’s next match is on Saturday, away against Banchory in the Superleague with a 2.30pm kick-off.
MAUD: M. Simpson, B. Davidson, Reid, Arthur, K. Simpson, Middleton, Stott, Walker, Jamieson, Willox, McKechnie. Subs: J. Duthie, G. Robertson.