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Halliburton 5 – 1 Old Aberdonians

Division One (East) at Lawsondale on Saturday 26th May

Report by Andy McLaren

Halliburton player-manager Stuart Marlow reckons his 35 year playing career has been “magical”, after his side comfortably beat Old Aberdonians 5-1 in what was his last game for the club.

The 54 year old joined the Westhill outfit in September 1977, playing over 1,000 games for the Division One side.

Marlow said his decision to hang up his boots will give him “more time” to focus on his managerial role at the club, in what is an “exciting period” in their history.

He said: “I haven’t played much this year and I thought 35 would be a good number to finish on.

“Halliburton is a great club and to play consistently for so long has given me some magnificent and priceless memories.

“To finish in our highest ever league position for 30 years this season has been sensational and I now want to focus on bringing more success to Halliburton”.

Marlow took over the reins at the club in 1992, leading them to two cup triumphs, most notably their dramatic 1-0 win against RGU in the final of this season’s White Cup.

His nephew, Scott Marlow added his uncle has given him and his team mates “countless support” over the years.

He said: “It was a fitting moment to pay tribute to Stuart’s long term service to the club.

“He has helped new faces to settle in and always provides fun training routines.

We will miss not seeing him play but he can now concentrate on progressing the team after what has been a terrific season.”

On a warm day in Westhill, with temperatures reaching 25C, clear-cut chances were few and far between. Both sets of players were taking the opportunity to get drinks at any break in play.

Scott Marlow had to react well to tip a looping Euan Wilson shot over the bar and Brian Creegan had to act bravely to dive low at the feet of Stuart Jaques to keep the score line all square.

Old Aberdonians’ Colin Marshall had been dictating the majority of play in the opening 20 minutes and Scott Gauci neatly side footed the ball past Marlow from his sweeping cross-field pass.

Haliburton equalised two minutes later when Chris Wilson played a one-two with Stuart Jaques around the edge of the box and expertly lobbed Brian Creegan to make it 1-1.

Old Aberdonians had several pivotal moments towards the end of the half as Craig McDonald had to sharply react to clear Innes Macarthur’s powerful header off the line and Stewart Fraser could only thrash at a glorious one on one opportunity.

Half-time: 1 – 1

Seconds after the break, Halliburton grabbed a second goal when Greg Young reacted first to thump the ball past Creegan after it bobbled to his feet from a goal mouth scramble.

Chris Wilson then played in Andrew Lane who took advantage of some very flat footed defending to poke the ball into the far corner of the net to make it 3-1 to the hosts.

The Westhill side continued to press for more goals and the best moment of the game came on 70 minutes when Derrick Simpson struck an unstoppable half-volley on the edge of the box to wheel away to jubilant celebrations.

Old Aberdonians failure to retain possession inevitably encouraged more Halliburton pressure and they made it 5-1 just before the full-time whistle.

The match capped off a memorable send off for a true Halliburton legend, who will now be looking to climb the table in next season’s Division One.

Full Time: 5 – 1