United fall to late winner from league ‘newboys’

A scramble in the Inverness City goalmouth as Ellon United press for the opener.
A scramble in the Inverness City goalmouth as Ellon United press for the opener.
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For the second home league game in succession, a late goal cost Ellon United, and the 1-0 defeat by Inverness City on Saturday meant more points were squandered.

The 92nd minute strike at the Meadows gave the Superleague newboys their first league win of the season.

To be fair to the visitors, however, they had the better of the play in the second half and it was no real surprise that they finally managed to get on the scoresheet.

With Callum Steer still on holiday, United had Scott McDonald to cover in goal and the young keeper certainly did not let the side down with several good stops in the second half when United had all but disappeared from the contest.

The only other plus for the home side was the debut of Ally Vannet, who came on during the second half.

United opened positively and in the fourth minute Aaron Scully slipped the ball to Andy Anderson who brought out a fine diving save from Beattie.

Instead of building on their promising start, Ellon retreated into their shell. They lost their drive with their midfield in particular beginning to lie too deep, leaving the front men isolated, which took the pressure off the visitors.

Inverness were able to make their presence tell as they began to see more and more of the ball.

United lack the physical presence of Inverness, coming off second best on far too many occasions and giving away possession too easily, which put unnecessary pressure on the home defenders.

Grant Thomson moved on to a loose ball in the 19th minute but was well off target with his shot.

Two minutes later McDonald saw his first action and got a nasty knock in blocking from Kerr with the striker a bit fortunate in not being punished for his challenge.

Ellon failed to break out of their lethargy after the interval allowing Inverness to hold the upper hand.

Jonathon Millsom made an excellent block to deny the visitors a clear strike on goal, then the home side had a remarkable escape only a minute later.

The referee inexplicably allowed play to go on after Millsom was blatantly fouled as he went clear in the box, but the visitors failed to take advantage, rolling the ball wide of the far post with the goal gaping.

Ellon had a penalty claimed dismissed when Anderson was wrestled from the ball, but the referee was not interested.

Inverness moved straight into the attack only to be denied by a fine save from McDonald.

United made a change in the 65th minute, introducing Vannet for Callum Tremaine.

Despite keeper Beattie’s lack of activity it was Ellon who came close to opening the scoring in the 75th minute. Anderson pressed forward on the left and cut the ball inside to Vannet whose low shot beat the keeper only to come back off the post.

United made a second change three minutes later with Jack Sim replacing Calum Annand in midfield with Scott McLeod coming on for Lenny Johnson five minutes later.

Ellon looked as though they were going to get away with a point as the game moved into stoppage time, but they were caught napping again. With Scott McLeod ushering the ball out on the touchline midway into the Inverness half, the ball was knocked out of play.

The referee overruled his assistant, who had given the throw to United. They lost concentration and Inverness took the throw quickly, catching the home side on their heels and broke early to finally find Corbett, who drilled home the winner.

Teams:

Ellon United: McDonald, Scully, Craib, Thomson, Allsop, Millsom, Johnson (McLeod), Annand (Sim), Anderson, Tremaine (Vannet), Robertson, Greig, Kennedy-Colbert.

Inverness City: Beattie, Macgregor, K Mackenzie, Macdonald, Mason, Duncan, Corbett, Fuller, Kerr, Stewart, Urquhart, M Mackenzie, Jones, Mackay, Maclennan, Murdoch.

United travel to New Elgin for a league game on Saturday. They will have to show a big improvement on Saturday’s overall display to make it a successful trip. Kick-off is 2pm.