Aberdeenshire AFA

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Scotstown Rovers 0 – 3 Hazlehead United

Dickie Trophy Semi-Final at Balgownie on Saturday 18th February

Report by Andy McLaren

Hazlehead United will play St Laurence in the final of the Colin’s Tyres Dickie Trophy after a comfortable 3-0 win over league rivals Scotstown Rovers at Balgownie, Bridge of Don.

The intense rivalry between the teams was not mirrored on the pitch as the match was played in a good spirit.

The game started in windy conditions which later turned to snow forcing both sides to opt for a defensive approach throughout the first half.

Hazlehead grabbed a quick goal on 10 minutes. Nicky Emslie showed good strength and skill to hold off two defenders before turning to rifle a fierce shot past David Littlejohn in the Scotstown goal.

A strong back pass from Hazlehead’s Grant Cheyne caused difficulty for goalkeeper Steven Fraser, who almost gifted Scott Robb with an opportunity to level the score at 1-1.

Scotstown midfielder Stuart Cree began to influence any attacks from the Division Two side after he picked out target men Scott Robb and Graham Skene with a number of well worked moves without threatening Hazlehead Goalkeeper Steven Fraser.

The height and strength throughout the Hazlehead United squad caused problems for Scotstown, particularly at set pieces.

A long free kick from Halehead’s Neil Humphries presented Jamie Reid with an opportunity to make it 2-0 but he could not convert his header on target.

Chances for both sides towards the end of the first half were minimal.

Scotstown’s best chance came on 35 minutes. Steven McDonald picked out centre forward Scott Robb who was left with a one on one opportunity. McDonald could only strike the ball straight at goalkeeper Steven Fraser whose shot rebounded to Donald Pearson, only for his effort to be cleared off the line by Hazlehead’s Brough Colvin.

Hazlehead started to adapt to the wintery conditions by playing fast flowing football on the ground, rather than resorting to high balls to their centre forwards.

The last chance before half time fell to Hazlehead’s Jamie Reid who linked up well with team mates David Macklin and Nicky Emslie before unleashing a powerful shot which hit the post.

Half-time: 0 – 1

The second half started in a similar fashion to the end of the first as Hazlehead continued to pressure the Scotstown defence.

The second goal of the match came on 65 minutes. A great run by Hazlehead’s Jamie Reid gave him time to square the ball to David Macklin who made no mistake in calmly side footing the ball past the goalkeeper to send the Hazlehead touchline into jubilant celebrations.

Reid was again involved in his side’s next opportunity. The Hazlehead forward showed good pace to beat three defenders before unleashing a fierce drive which was cleared off the line by Scotstown’s Ryan Petrie.

A third goal for Hazlehead United came on 80 minutes. A curling corner kick from David Macklin caused panic in the Scotstown defence as Stuart Cree accidently headed past his own goalkeeper to add to the two goals scored by Hazlehead.

As the game came to an end, the Hazlehead defence remained organised and focused to keep a clean sheet forcing Scotstown’s best efforts to be long range shots which did not trouble Steven Fraser in the Hazlehead goal.

Full Time: 0 – 3

Hazlehead United manager Duncan Stewart said it was a “terrific” performance from his squad who are in “good spirits” to go on and clinch promotion to Division One and to win the Dickie Trophy.

He added: “We are a young, upcoming team made up from mainly former Hazlehead Academy pupils. The performances this season have been excellent from the lads.”