Aberdeenshire AFA

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AC Mill Inn 2 – 1 Ellon Thistle

Colin’s Tyres Dickie Trophy First Round at Stonehaven on Saturday 18th August

By Scott Mcpherson

The first round of the Colin’s Tyres Dickie Trophy saw Division Two (East) rivals, AC Mill Inn and Ellon Thistle, face off at Mineralwell Park.

The game got off to a sluggish start and it wasn’t until 10 minutes in before either goalkeeper was worked. All game-long Mill Inn were determined to play the ball on the ground and a neat move resulted in right winger Stuart Scott warming the hands of Ellon ‘keeper Daniel Adamson.

From the resulting corner the home side had a shot cleared off the line. David Glass’ short corner to left winger Paul Nicol saw him drill a shot from the edge of the box which was destined for the bottom corner, until an intervention by Thistle’s defence.

Both teams number 10’s then went close with headers from corners. Firstly, a corner from Mill Inn was cleared up field rather than out by Ellon which allowed Derek Allan to get his head to the ball but he could only nod over from six yards.

Minutes later the away side rattled the crossbar. Gary Gillan’s corner was aggressively attacked by the outstanding William Dailly who was only an inch away from opening the scoring.

The hosts could have nicked in front just before the interval. Good work from strike-partner Lee Dunn presented Ross Donald with a sight of goal but he scuffed his effort straight into the ‘keeper with only him left to beat.

Half-time: 0 – 0

Five minutes into the second-half AC Mill Inn took the lead. Paul Nicol’s corner was played out to David Glass who struck a low hard shot from 25 yards which seemed to go through goalkeeper Adamson and into the net.

Shortly after Mill Inn will feel they should have been two up. The ball was flicked behind the defence to Ross Donald who slotted the ball in from 8 yards before referee Eric Taylor blew for offside, despite Donald appearing to be level with the last defender.

It was so nearly two almost immediately after has Mill Inn continued to raise their game and get on top. Derek Allan’s superb reverse ball played striker Lee Dunn in who was smothered by the goalkeeper, Dunn reacted first to prod the ball across the goal line but strike-partner Donald was shrugged off by a defender.

Unsurprisingly Ellon Thistle went two down with twenty minutes to go, although it was almost unavoidable. The ball was squared to Paul Nicol 25 yards from goal and he arrowed the ball into the top left hand corner, giving Adamson in the goal no chance.

The Stonehaven club threatened to run riot as they again came close to scoring. Influential midfielder Michael Adam rolled the ball into Derek Allan who, with back to goal, swivelled before flashing a shot across the ‘keeper, but past the post.

Against the run of play, Thistle pulled a goal back. A long throw-in bounced in the penalty area before hitting the hand of defender Chas Malcolm. It was one of those incidents where 50% of referees would give it, and 50% wouldn’t. The best player on the pitch, William Dailly , stepped up to slot the ball past Andrew Scott to give Ellon a chance of forcing extra-time.

However, Mill Inn continued to force them back and should have made it three almost straight from kick off. David Glass’ drilled free-kick was saved with the knee of the goalkeeper and was met by both strikers, Donald eventually being denied by Adamson who made himself big after his initial error.

AC Mill Inn saw off their opponents to reach the second round. Mill Inn’s ability to go up the gears in the second-half was enough to earn victory. Ellon, who currently sit bottom of Division Two (East), will be desperate to get more points on the board, even at this early stage.

Full Time: 2 – 1