Aberdeenshire AFA

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Beacon Rangers 4 – 3 Stoneywood Amateurs

Division One (North) at Strathburn Park, Inverurie on Saturday 17th March

Report by Andy McLaren

Beacon Rangers secured a crucial victory over fellow promotion chasers Stoneywood Amateurs after holding off a spirited comeback to win 4-3 at Strathburn Park, Inverurie.

The Division One match started in a very fast and frantic manner as both sides competed to gain a vital three points. Beacon’s Kyle Taylor enjoyed the bulk of his side’s possession as he controlled the centre of midfield.

The game’s pulsating tone was set in the first minute after Stoneywood goalkeeper Nicholas Slater was forced into making a smart save as he got down low to parry away David Scott’s fizzing effort.

The home side’s artistic attacking unit of David Scott and Gavin Walker proved to be vital throughout the match and it was Walker who rattled the crossbar from a long throw in from Beacons Michael Scott.

Beacon broke Stoneywood’s stubborn resistance on 20 minutes with a tap in from David Scott after a mix up between Slater and his defence.

Stoneywood, whose claims for an offside were refused, found themselves 2-0 down after another neat and composed finish from Scott.

Beacon’s Gavin Walker almost got on the end of a right-wing Ryan Crombie cross and Walker saw a beautifully struck 20-yard effort hit Colin Smith and go just wide.

Stoneywood’s frustration started to show as referee, John Barrowman, did extremely well to calm both sets of players down after a series of competitive challenges.

David Scott completed an excellent hat-trick on 40 minutes as he showed tremendous composure to rifle home a 30 yard strike leaving Slater in the Stoneywood goal with no chance.

It was his team mate, Gavin Walker who rounded off an impressive first- half by rising to meet a Ryan Crombie corner and to bullet a header into the net to leave the Stoneywood sidelines in shock and disappointment.

Half-time: 4 – 0

Stoneywood emerged after half-time with more purpose and pulled an excellent goal back in the opening minute from Mark Robb after he chipped Peter McDougal in the Beacon goal.

Stoneywood were then given a lifeline and a real sense of hope of a comeback when the ball was bundled into the net for their second goal after a congested corner, despite appeals from Beacon and their sidelines for hand ball.

Great tenacity from the impressive Robb gave Beacon’s Andrew Robb the chance to grab a third for the Aberdeen team after he rounded the goalkeeper but could only drag his shot wide to the disappointment of his teammates.

Having survived that scare, Beacon were forced to concede a third goal as clever play from Andrew Allan forced McDougal to tip the ball onto the post, but the rebound fell to Stuart Masson who made no mistake from 10 yards.

Stoneywood’s domination of the second half continued as further chances fell to Mark Robb after the Aberdeen side poured forward at every opportunity in increasing numbers.

While there was only a goal between the two sides, it was far from comfortable for Beacon but their fraying nerves held together and they continue their quest to push for promotion into the Premier Division.

Full Time: 4 – 3