Ellon United’s first match since December 12 saw their return to action against Bridge of Don Thistle on Saturday a miserable one.
The game at Newburgh was played in gale-force conditions conditions which might well have seen the match abandoned and it was the home side who adapted much better.
All positions are up for grabs and competition brings the best out of playersChris Allsop Ellon Utd Co-Manager
They pressed their visitors at every opportunity and forced them into far too many mistakes as United, apart from some rare flashes, failed to cope and a disjointed overall display, obviously not helped by their lack of games, saw them finally go down 4–0.
United had the fierce wind behind them in the first half but were unable to harness it to their advantage and it cost them in the ninth minute when a home free kick for offside
held up in the wind with Muirhead nipping in to cash in, a scoreline which remained to the interval.
The visitors found themselves two behind right at the start of the second half and again it was Muirhead who took full advantage of the conditions.
United made their first change in the 57th minute with Kris Benzie returning from injury to replace Lenny Johnson.
The home side continued to adapt to the conditions better and it paid off again in the 65th minute when they won a penalty which Muirhead converted for his hat-trick.
Ellon made their final changes with Matty Tewnion and Craig Marshall coming on for Jason Coyle and Dean McDonald.
United were at last beginning to show some better signs of control in their play but were caught out in the 87th minute when the ball stayed in play and Bridge of Don broke quickly for substitute Gordon to complete the scoring.
Ellon United: Robertson, Tremaine, Greig, Craib, Milne, Crisp, Wilson, Johnson (K Benzie), Coyle (Tewnion), McDonald (Marshall), S Benzie, Silva, Coutts.
Bridge of Don Thistle: Clark, D Black, J Clark, Galashan, Gray, Cooper, Burnett, Holt, Muirhead, Christie, Deans, Milne, Gordon, Cameron, Lawrence, Kidd.
Ellon co-manager Chris Allsop admitted it was a disappointing result after their long lay-off.
He said: “There was a strong wind running up and down the pitch which spoiled the game really, but credit to Bridge of Don – they outshone us in every department and played to the conditions they were faced with.
“They were up for the fight and showed intelligence in how they used the extreme weather conditions to their advantage.
“The introduction of Matthew Tewnion, Kris Benzie and Craig Marshall lifted us. We were better organised, more aggressive and begun to look more dangerous up top with Callum Tremaine returning to his familiar striker role.
“It’s a credit to the youngsters that they could come off the bench at 3-0 down on a bitterly cold day where nothing was going right for us and make a difference.
“Saturday certainly gave myself and Mike lots to think about through the week in preparation for next weekend.
“We could start a completely different eleven next weekend with the squad we currently have, there was plenty of talent on the Ellon bench as well, not involved on Saturday.
“The players all have an opportunity now to stake a claim and give us a reaction- all positions are up for grabs and competition brings the best out of players.”
Ellon United must put Saturday`s performance well and truly behind them as the prepare to meet Dyce at The Meadows on Saturday. The match kicks off at the later time of 2pm. United introduced new signing Dan Milne against Bridge of Don which proved unfortunate for the central defender considering the conditions. They have made another new signing with former player Jonathon Millsom returning to the club following his spell at Banks o’ Dee.
Meanwhile, the numbers in United’s weekly Lucky Six Draw were 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 and 11 with Aileen Anderson the only one to pick the full set to collect the jackpot of £1900.
The jackpot for next week’s draw will be £1000 with the selection 6 from 20.
The consolation prize winner was J Welsh.