Aberdeenshire AFA

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Stonehaven Athletic 0 – 6 AC Mill Inn

1st Touch Football Division One (East) at Mineralwell Park, Stonehaven on Saturday 21st April

Report by Scott McPherson

With AC Mill Inn and Stonehaven Athletic meeting in a local derby with only four points separating them in the table a close and well-fought match seemed to be on the cards. However, Mill Inn produced a performance well above their league position to sweep aside their rivals.

Mill Inn started the game much the livelier of the two sides and had the lead after 5 minutes of the game and, as is so often the case, a set-piece broke the deadlock.

A floated free kick half way into the Stonehaven half was met by Ian Morrice who bundled the ball towards Lee Dunn who volleyed the ball over the head of ‘keeper Stephen Taylor, the ball was past him before he could even react.

Athletic nearly equalised immediately direct from a corner. Ross McKenzie’s inswinging corner had to be tipped onto the bar by Mill Inn number 1 Barry Park.

The next goal did come from a corner but it was a Mill Inn one. David Adam’s driven corner found the tallest player on the park, Derek Allan, who was wide open right in front of goal only 6 yards out and could barely miss.

AC scored their third goal from a set-piece just shortly after. Sean Adams curled free kick from the left was diverted in from a diving header by Ian Morrice with yet again, apparently no one marking him.

The Mill Inn manager was calling for a short free kick to be played but on this occasion he will be pleased that his player ignored his instructions.

Again Stonehaven’s response was through a Ross McKenzie corner. His pinpoint delivery picked out Ian Macleod who could only scoop his header over whilst off balance.

If Mill Inn’s first three goals were set-pieces, their fourth was an exquisite goal with the ball on the ground.

The efficient Ross Burnett curled the ball around the defender into the feet of target man Derek Allan who, with his back to goal and under pressure, back-heeled the ball through the defence into the path of strike partner Lee Dunn who struck the ball low into the corner with time and space on his side.

Just before half-time Athletic managed to warm the hands of Barry Park with a McKenzie shot from a 30 yard free kick, his effort deflected off a couple of defenders before falling to Macleod who’s snap shot was heading for the top left hand corner before being tipped behind for a corner by Park.

Half-time: 0 – 4

The second half started a much more even contest although it was Mill Inn who continued to carve out the goal scoring chances with Allan, Burnett and Pearson all going close.

However, it was AC Mill Inn’s ‘keeper Barry Park that had to make the first real save after the interval. Substitute Brian Nicol played a one two up the left wing and sweeped a ball into the box which was met by an acrobatic header from fellow substitute Stuart Elliot which was tipped over by Park on the stretch.

While Stonehaven were looking to ruin Park’s clean sheet, it was Mill Inn that scored again. Michael Adam feigned to cross before getting to the goal-line and pulling the ball back to striker Dunn, the ball was marginally behind him so the confident striker flicked it up before scissor kicking the ball into the net from 6 yards. The ‘keeper got a hand to it but the sheer surprise of the finish probably caught him off guard.

As the game neared to a close Mill Inn put more gloss on the victory scoring a sixth. A mix up between defence and goalkeeper led to David Adam nipping in before squaring the ball to Dunn again who had a simple finish with the goal at his mercy.

This crushing defeat won’t affect where Athletic finish in the league table this season but it would have certainly hurt them knowing that they are in no shape or form 6 goals worse off than Mill Inn, as the table will tell you. Mill Inn on the other hand, will remember this game for a long time and gives hope of survival and gives them good signs for next season.

Full Time: 0 – 6