Ellon United got back to winning ways in some style with a convincing 6–2 win over Bridge of Don Thistle at the Meadows on Saturday.
Four goals from Jason Coyle lead the way with singles from James Wilson and Dean McDonald ably supported by all their team-mates, although the visitors certainly did themselves no favours when they were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time.
This can only be a good thing for the squadChris Allsop Ellon Utd Co-manager
With Martin Crisp injured and Fraser Tait out ill, Chris Allsop included himself on the bench as cover with David Coutts and Matthew Tewnion providing the central defensive pairing.
The early exchanges were fairly even with neither keeper really tested but it was United who made the breakthrough midway through the first half.
Former United keeper, Callum Steer, could only parry the initial shot with Coyle reacting quickest to fire past the helpless keeper.
Ellon were unable to build on their lead but never looked in trouble until just before half-time when Tito Silva was adjudged to have pushed his opponent in the box and Bridge of Don were awarded a penalty which Mark Galashan dispatched with ease.
Things then started to go downhill for the visitors when Gray was red-carded for a second caution.
Thistle came out fired up for the second half and United might have been caught cold but for a good save from Warren Robertson and a vital defensive block. Ellon gradually began to assert themselves although they had a tendency in spells to overdo their work on the ball instead of taking advantage of their numerical superiority which let them down on occasions.
United struck again in the 65th minute. Craig Marshall laid a free kick off short into the path of Wilson whose drive flew into the postage stamp corner. Minutes later United freshened up their midfield with Steven Benzie replacing Craig Marshall. Then in the 75th minute co-boss Allsop made his return to competitive action in place of David Coutts to add his experience to the defence. Two minutes later and Ellon increased their lead. Benzie was felled out wide forcing a free kick with Coyle’s head flick from Aidan Greig’s cross finding the far corner.
United’s penalty claims were waived aside after Silva appeared to have been brought down in the box.
Ellon made their final change with Scott McLeod coming on for Silva. A dramatic finale saw a fine United move finished off by Coyle’s drive to bring up his hat-trick only for the visitors to be awarded a second penalty which also appeared harsh.
Galashan did the business again but Coyle struck straight back immediately for United with an acrobatic overhead effort to add his fourth goal of the day. Dean McDonald stroked home from the spot to finish off the scoring after United were awarded a rather harsh looking penalty.
Co-manager Chris Allsop praised his side for a much improved performance.
He said; “For 80 minutes we were switched on and controlled the game. If we can concentrate for a whole 90 minutes then this group of players are a match for any team in the league.
“We switched off for the first 10 minutes of the second half which very nearly cost us as Bridge of Don could have very easily gone ahead- this is something we really need to remove from our game.
“There is real competition for places at the club now which is pushing boys on to improve and develop. This can only be a good thing for the squad.”
Ellon United: Robertson, Tremaine, Marshall (Steven Benzie), Craib, Tewnion, Coutts (Allsop), Wilson, Silva (McLeod), Coyle, McDonald, Greig, Blair, Erskine.
Bridge of Don Thistle: Steer, Holt, Clark, Galashan, Gray, Cooper, Lawrence, Deans, Muirhead, Burnett, Cameron, Gordon, Kelly, Kidd, Kearrie, Milne.
United’s scheduled trip to play Stonehaven on Saturday will have to be rearranged as the Glenury side’s Scottish Cup tie was postponed again yesterday and takes precedence over the local fixtures.
Meanwhile, the winning numbers in United’s weekly Lucky Six Draw were 3, 4, 9, 12, 13 and 14 and with no one picking the full set the jackpot for next week’s draw will be £1600 with the selection 6 from 14.
The consolation prize-winner was B Will.