Signs good for Maud’s Superleague survival

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runaway Superleague leaders Hermes came to Maud looking to consolidate their grip on the title on Saturday.

But Maud put up a spirited performance and with some better luck might have seen a share of the spoils.

The game started off at a good pace and as early as the first minute a header flashed across the Maud goal, but then the game settled down and the two teams were giving as good as the other and no real chances presented themselves as they cancelled each other out.

After 30 minutes however, Hermes’ Wyness received the ball in the Maud penalty area with more space than he had up to now, he turned and shot from 12 yards but the ball went past the far post.

Hermes were building more pressure on the Maud goal and on 38 minutes they won a corner of the right. It was swung into the danger area where Freeland found himself unmarked and easily headed home for the opening goal.

Just before half time a rash challenge from Murray Reid on the edge of his own area saw Smith step up and hit the free kick low past the wall but Gatt made a fine diving save for a corner that came to nothing.

Four minutes after the restart, Maud were pushing forward, Luke Barbour collected a long ball down the right from John Willow and the ball into the middle was half cleared only to Mike Rae 20 yards out but his powerful shot was eventually cleared.

Maud’s best chance to equalise came just before the hour when a high ball into the Hermes area saw keeper Sweeney misjudge the bounce and got caught up with a defender trying to clear the danger, leaving Ewan Clark to get between them and managed to head it down but it was just beyond his foot as he tried to steer it home from 3 yards - a defender’s toe enough to clear.

After massive pressure, Hermes did finally score the second goal after 82 minutes to kill the match when Wyness finished off. So a defeat that still leaves work to do to secure Superleague status next season, but again it was a much improver performance and if that level is kept up in the final seven games of the season they should be safe enough.

Next week Maud have a vital Superleague game against Hall Russell Utd, away with a 2pm kick off.

MAUD Gatt, Massie, Hall, Gray, Simpson, Rae, Reid, Walker, Barbour, Clark, Willox Subs; Leslie, Noble, Fraser, A.Davidson, B.Davidson, Hendry