Aberdeenshire AFA

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Burghmuir 1 – 0 Stonehaven Athletic

1st Touch Football Division One (North) Promotion Play-off at Balgownie on Saturday 1st June

Report by Scott Mcpherson

Burghmuir have been promoted to Division One (North) after a 1-0 victory over Stonehaven Athletic.

The two teams met in a promotion play-off after they both finished fourth in their respected Division Two.

Burghmuir will fill the space in Division One (North) vacated by Mearns who withdrew from the Association before the current season begun.

Both sides were relegated from Division One last season and it is Burghmuir who have bounced back up at the first time of asking.

Stonehaven Athletic midfielder Ross Mckenzie admitted that his side only had themselves to blame for their failure to get promoted.

He said: “We played really well today and should have won the match.

“But we missed a number of great chances and that has been a regular occurrence this season.

“I think that’s one of the reasons we never went up automatically.

“The Burghmuir ‘keeper has had a great game but we’ve had enough chances to win a couple of matches. We’ve had a few games like today this season.”

The midfielder, who’s missed the last four months of the season with a broken ankle, says losing out after being given a second chance is hard to take.

“We thought our season was over, we’ve even had our trophy night already.

“We found out about this match on Monday and were determined to make the most of this second chance at promotion.

“But it obviously just wasn’t our day.”

The match itself was a tight affair but Stonehaven Athletic nearly took an early lead in fortunate circumstances. Fraser Ross’ hopeful cross from the right turned into a shot which hit the inside of the crossbar and bounced out.

Athletic then worked Burghmuir goalkeeper Scott Sinclair for the first time. Good play from Mark Neish and Scott Reid resulted in Reid’s shot being saved and when Neish was there to follow up Burghmuir’s John Black was well placed to head off his own goal line.

Burghmuir responded immediately when striker Steven Sinclair broke the offside trap but he could only shoot wide from 18 yards.

Half-time: 0 – 0

After the interval Stonehaven striker Mark Neish’s powerful shot (so powerful it knocked the ‘keeper over) from inside the box was well saved by goalkeeper Sinclair.

Neish then wasted a good opportunity to score the opening goal of the game. He scooped the ball over the ‘bar from six yards after good work by Scott Reid.

Stonehaven’s other striker Thomas King missed his best chance of the game minutes before he was substituted. He controlled Stuart Irvine’s cross and from six yards was thwarted by the closed legs of Sinclair in the Burghmuir goal.

The Division Two (North) side were given a scare when Burghmuir came close on the counter. Jon Ogg, who was lively all afternoon, dragged a half-volley marginally wide.

Against the run of play, Burghmuir took the lead in the 70th minute.

Stephen McKimmie’s corner was headed past Athletic goalkeeper Roy Middleton by striker John Black at the near post. Black’s jubilation was clear to see as he threw his top off and slid to his knees.

Burghmuir had 20 minutes to hold on to their lead while Stonehaven had 20 minutes to ensure they wouldn’t live to rue those missed chances.

Stonehaven had their best chance to equalise with the last kick of the game. Neish chested down for emergency striker Ian MacLeod but his volley rolled harmlessly into the grateful hands of Sinclair.

When the ball reached Sinclair’s gloves referee Keith Fordyce blew the full-time whistle confirming the Inverurie side’s victory and subsequent promotion.

Full Time: 1 – 0