Northern United 2 – 1 Ferryhill
Aberdeen Trophy Centre Castle Rovers Cup First Round at Inverdee on Saturday 11th August
Report by Andy McLaren
Northern United player-manager Grant Keir praised his side’s unbeaten start to the season after beating Ferryhill 2-1 in the first round of the Castle Rovers Cup.
The 27 year old admits the squad is still “short in depth” despite their positive start.
He said: “The fight we have shown against bigger teams has been excellent.
“Normally at clubs, some players may not speak to other team mates but we have built such a strong bond over the years.
Northern United were formed in 2009 by a small group of friends and played their first season in the Sunday Welfare League before moving on to the amateur ranks.
Keir added: “We expect to have more players as the season progresses but who needs a larger squad if the lads are grinding out results.
“Fingers crossed the team can keep up these terrific performances which will keep us at the top of the league and give the guys a good cup run”.
Northern were lucky not to go behind after Daryl Leslie unleashed a ferocious shot that skimmed past the post.
It was then the turn of United’s goalkeeper, Mark Mackay, to produce some heroics as he twice denied Ferryhill. The goalkeeper somehow blocked the ball from Robert Valentine’s close range tap in and then had the agility to get up and tip the ball away after a speculative follow up from Callum Brunton.
Referee Gary Thomson waved away the visitors claim for a penalty after the ball cannoned against Steven Munro’s arm in the box.
Man of the match Ross Moncrief then went close for Northern as his audacious 30 yard effort almost surprised Philip Brunton as it crept past his post.
Ferryhill’s frustration was almost compounded as Moncrief sliced his one-on-one opportunity wide of goal.
Half-time: 0 – 0
The hosts continued to surge forward and got their reward on 55 minutes when Matthew McKenzie had all the time he needed to control the ball and place it low past Brunton.
Ferryhill target man Chris Turbine instantly made the score level again after skilfully turning Steven Munro to bullet his shot past Mark Mackay.
Tiredness began to show in the Ferryhill side and poor marking almost gifted Northern the lead after Munro’s header went inches over the crossbar.
And United made the breakthrough on 85 minutes when substitute Scott Henderson picked up the ball 35 yards out and arrowed an unstoppable drive into the net to secure his side’s place in the second round of the cup.
Full Time: 2 – 1