BUCHANHAVEN Hearts kicked off the Grill Cup match on a perfect day for football on Saturday (August 20), and immediately looked to take the game to their hosts Colony Park.
Colony Park worked their way into the match as the tempo settled and both sides looked to play the game on the ground. Just as Colony were starting to feel they could match their First Division opponents, Buchanhaven opened the scoring on 12 minutes. The lively Geddes worked his way cleverly into the box and squared the ball for Duncan to slot home a simple finish from six yards.
Colony refused to let the early set-back put them off their stride and immediately pushed up the park from the re-start, forcing two successive corners which were dealt with comfortably by the Hearts defence.
On 15 minutes only a mix-up between Pugh and Bonarius in the visitors box prevented Colony having their first shot on goal, when the ball broke to Donald his 20 yard shot was charged down and cleared.
Buchanhaven started to take control of the game with a ten minute spell of assertive possession, without really troubling an assured Colony defence.
Good work on the wing by Peden saw his low cross driven across goal, all it lacked was someone to apply the finish.
Good work by Peden and Bonarius set up a long range effort by Smith, but it was too straight and into the keeper’s hands. While Colony pressed forward looking for an equalizer before half time they were almost caught out when Geddes broke free from an offside trap to shoot but it was well saved by Ross.
If this was a warning to Colony to stay alert, it was one they didn’t heed, as two minutes later it was two-nil to Hearts. The defence backed off Geddes, who cut onto his right foot and unleashed a 20-yard rocket into the top right hand corner.
Colony heads went down, to be fair they didn’t deserve to be on the end of a two goal deficit, but worse was to come when Buchanhaven extended their lead with their second goal in as many minutes. A long throw caught the defence napping and Cuningham’s cross got the simple finish it needed from two yards by Stainton.
Colony looked to change things at half time and replaced the energetic Robertson with Cooper. Cooper was moved up front to support Pugh and a three man defence was charged with plugging the gaps which had leaked three first half goals.
With a five man midfield now in operation Colony certainly started the second half the livelier of the two, determined to make a contest of the game again.
Colony’s pressing paid off after 50 minutes when Smith finished from close range after Buchanhaven failed to clear Peden’s cross from the right.
With their tails up Colony pressed forward and Steven Craib was reveling in the five-man midfield and used his passing ability to twice breach the Hearts backline. Peden was the target on both occasions, using his pace to win a corner from which McGuinness bulletted a header straight down the Hearts keepers throat.
Pugh’s energy and running was a problem for the Hearts’ defence but he should have done better with time and space, hitting wide from 20 yards.
Colony were working hard and their three man defence seemed to be coping well. Ross had to be alert on the hour mark to snatch Duncan’s cross which was aimed at the head of Geddes.
Colony replaced Smith with Tennent on the left side of midfield with 25 minutes left.
A rare Buchanhaven break came from a Colony Park corner. Geddes used his pace to run free of the offside trap but, with options either side, hit the ball straight at Ross.
The Referee continued to ignore Colony calls for offside and they were almost undone again when Duncan hit high and wide from a good position.
Buchanhaven were starting to take authority again and a tired looking Colony conceded another corner. There was enough fuel in Donald’s tank however as he took control of the loose corner and broke free, his pass set up Bonarius who should have done better with his shot, the ball fell kindly to Cooper who slotted home a lifeline goal.
There was not enough time to complete the comeback but there were plenty positives to see in a game which could have been different if another five minutes had been left on the clock.
Colony Park: D Ross; C Brown; J Robertson; Stuart Craib; D McGuinness; Steven Craib; B Peden; L Donald; M Pugh; K Benarius; C Smith.
Subs: Tennent; Cooper; Gardiner; Ewan; Douglas; Garden.
Buchanhaven Hearts: Forbes; Donald; Brown; Sime; Clark; Findlay; S. Cunningham; Keith; Duncan; Geddes; Stainton
Subs: Abolehassam; Ritchie; McLean; Hart; Pirie; Cunningham.