Aberdeenshire AFA

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Echt 0 – 3 Oban Saints

Scottish Cup Fifth Round Replay at Garthdee on Saturday 28th January

Report By Dave Strath

The early decision to switch this Scottish Amateur Cup 5th Rd Replay to the All Weather pitch at Kaimhill proved to be spot on with the overnight frost on Friday again decimating the local minor football programme.

Echt’s progress in this tie was badly hampered due to unavailability and late call offs. When their line up was announced it included only five players who had featured in the starting eleven in Oban the previous week.

The opening exchanges were fairly even with both sides probably adjusting to the all weather surface. Alan Douglas moved forward right side in the 8th minute and fed Marc Lawrence on the edge of the Oban box but the parting shot was easily gathered by visiting keeper Douglas.

Echt successfully defended an Oban 20 yard free kick in 15 minutes and likewise a throw hurled into their six yard box by big frontman Gemmill, a ploy that had been continually used in the 2-2 draw in Oban and again repeated throughout this match.

Alan Daun and Andy Davidson won Echt a left side flag kick in 18 minutes and with the visitors temporarily on the backfoot, a defender just won the aerial battle with Echt’s Douglas on an inviting Stuart Cooper cross two mins later.

The visitors started to settle on the ball and were gaining a good foothold in the game and the Echt rearguard were being asked serious questions.

Oban broke the deadlock in 23 minutes when the ball was worked across the Echt 18 yard box, right to left, Gemmill got to the bye line and lifted a great delivery across goal for the unmarked Millar at the far post to easily head past Paul Bennett.

Oban doubled their lead when Echt conceded a second in 26 minutes whilst defending against the long Gemmill throw in from the left they managed to get the ball clear as far as the right edge of the penalty box junction where McCauley gained possession, side stepped an attempted challenge, and rifled a great finish across Bennett into the far corner for 0-2.

Another major setback for Echt came just before the half hour mark, when big striker Greg Kane broke down, having just returned from injury, and had to be replaced by Jamie Gill.

The home side were pushing forward at every opportunity but real goal scoring opportunities never really materialised against a no-nonsense Oban defence and the visitors were ever dangerous on the break.

Half-time: 0 – 2

As at the start of the fixture the opening exchanges were fairly even, with of course the next goal going to be absolutely crucial.

Oban broke at pace in 55 minutes when D Campbell set up MacEwen who was unmarked in front of goal six yards out. With only Bennet to beat the striker squandered a glorious chance by failing to hit target.

Echt’s fate was sealed in 57 minutes when D Campbell in a central position, raced onto a through ball and clinically fired past Bennett for Oban’s third.

The closest Echt came to a consolation counter was in 62 minutes and again in 68 minutes with two well struck 40 yd efforts from Skipper Alan Douglas. The first his namesake in the Oban goal, at full length, pushed round his right hand post; the second his left hand post.

Newcomer Stuart Bennett replaced Martin McGillivray for the final 17 minutes and a decent Scott Aberdein effort flew over the Oban crossbar late on but the Echt Scottish Cup campaign unfortunately had been well and truly grounded.

The deserved victors Oban were left to lock horns with Cambusbarron Rovers in another away tie for them next week.

Full Time: 0 – 3

Echt: P Bennett, Graham, Cooper, A Davidson,Aberdein, G Milne, McGillivray, Douglas,Kane, Lawrence, Daun. Subs: Gill, S Bennett, L Milne, V Roger