Penalty shootout drama in Buchan derby

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MAUD progressed to the semi finals of the McLeman Cup in a nail-biting derby match against Longside on Saturday.

The match only went ahead following a brilliant effort throughout the week by groundsman Les Fraser along with the committee, management and players to clear the snow from the pitch at Maud.

With no games for three weeks, Maud were determined not to let the enforced break affect them and straight from the kick off they showed their intent.

Maud immediately pressured the visitors’ defence, forcing Longside to pack their own penalty area.

But it didn’t stop Sean Bremner making a darting run into the box and Luke Barbour’s shot cannoned back off the post.

The pressure continued with more runs by Bremner and Allan Hale on the opposite flank causing all sorts of problems with last-minute blocks and clearances out of the penalty area.

After 12 minutes a cross by Ally Graham from the left found Jack Stott’s head in the area but his header was narrowly off target.

Although Maud were just about camped in Longside’s half, there was always the danger that by not scoring when they were so dominant they were open to breaks.

On cue, after 23 minutes they were reminded how dangerous Longside can be when they broke onto a long ball into the home penalty area and only a magnificent save by keeper Joe Barbour at his feet prevented Longside taking a shock lead.

However, Maud’s sustained pressure finally paid off when Luke barbour was felled in the box and Maud skipper Mikey Rae dispatched the penalty with ease to put the home side in front.

Although Maud had been so dominant in the first half, they were fully aware of the slender lead they had.

They did try to keep the tempo up and after 51 minutes a ball into the visitors’ area found Jonathan Garden who laid it across to Hale but his shot was off target.

Four minutes later debutant Ross Anderson took the ball out of defence and sent a great long ball to Bremner who immediately crossed into the area but it was once again hacked clear with Donaldson almost scoring an own goal in his desperation to clear his lines.

With 15 minutes to go Hale again caused problems for the visitors with a run from the right but his shot was well saved by Pennent for a corner that came to nothing.

With the game approaching the last 10 minutes, Longside equalised with a typical run from ex-Maud player Zander Davidson down the left after the ball was not cleared in the middle of the park by Maud, Davidson took it on and ran into the area before slotting it under Joe Barbour to level the game.

Maud should really have had this game put to bed well before this goal but the missed chances meant that the game went straight to penalties.

The home side took the first one and Rae hammered the ball into the net, only for Campbell to score Longside’s first to level.

James Duguid was the next Maud player to score, followed by Longside’s Little to again level the score. Maud’s third penalty was scored by Garden and again Longside levelled when S. Davidson scored.

Maud’s 4th was scored by Anderson but then the decisive save from Longside’s Duncan by Joe Barbour proved to be the turning point.

The match -winning penalty for Maud was decisively dispatched by Stott to send Maud into the semi final - their third semi of the season.

Next week Maud play Hall Russell Utd at home in the North Superleague with a 2pm kick off and they will want to keep this momentum up to push up their league position which has suffered recently due to the amount of games postponed because of the weather.

Longside have no game this Saturday.

Maud: J.Barbour, Stott, Graham, Anderson, Elrick, Ritchie, Rae, Bremner, Garden, Hale, L.Barbour. Subs Hall, Bain, Duguid, Erskine, Robertson

Longside: Pennet, Norris, S.Davidson, Donaldson, Panton, Marchi, Whyte, Cardno, Duncan, Campbell and A.Davidson. Subs: Beddie, Little, N.Davidson, Porter and Weir