Aberdeenshire AFA

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Rattrays XI 1 – 7 Tarves

Division One (North) at Heathryfold on Saturday 11th February

Report by Scott McPherson

Tarves further strengthened their grip at the top of the Division One North table after a thumping win against challengers Rattrays.

The leaders took an early lead through the penalty spot. Tarves pacey striker Blair Davidson looked offside before latching onto the ball in front of goal only for defender Alex Lumsden to take the player rather than ball.

Davidson may have been offside, but without a linesman it was impossible for the referee to make the correct decision. Davidson himself stepped up to trickle the ball to the right of the ‘keeper and in off the post.

After the first goal setback the hosts never got out the traps as Tarves went on to dominate the remainder of the half. They scored again shortly after through Davidson again. The striker wriggled through half-hearted defending to snatch possession and poke the ball past stopper Cameron.

Two quickly became three through Kris Dear’s free kick which was met by the head of Kevin Patterson which deflected into the net off a defender and past the stranded goalkeeper.

Rattrays had an opportunity to get into the game when they were awarded a penalty of their own after Martin Hughes cross was deemed to hit the hand of a defender. Hughes was given the responsibility but could only smash that ball off the bar and away from danger.

Rattrays were quickly punished for that miss as winger James Moir had the freedom of the 18 yard box as he strolled in to glance a swinging cross from the left into the corner of the goal.

Half-time: 0 – 4

After an inquest at half-time Rattrays came out for the second half with a little more desire. So it was against the run of play when Tarves added to their misery.

It was the same partnership that heralded the third goal as Dear’s free kick was side footed in from 6 yards by Patterson as both strikers were waiting at the far post in case it slipped wide.

Another free kick made it 6. The cross wasn’t cleared and the ball fell to Bryce Davidson who smashed the ball past the ‘keeper as the Rattrays defence was posted missing.

As the home side pressed forward to regain some dignity to the score line they were caught at the back again as Tarves countered which resulted in midfielder Ewan Barrack curling the ball past ‘keeper Cameron.

To the frustration of Tarves number 1 Stephen Boddie, the league leaders conceded a late consolation.

One of the rare highlights of the Rattrays performance was the directness of striker Martin Hughes and he was the creator of Rattrays sole goal. He picked the ball up on the half way line and dribbled past a couple of defenders before squaring the ball to substitute Shane O’Brian who tapped the ball in from 4 yards.

Full Time: 1 – 7

After an 8-1 defeat in the reverse fixture, you would of expected Rattrays to be more determined in their performance but it never materialised. Rattrays will be hurting from this crushing defeat as they are not as bad as the score line suggests.