Aberdeenshire AFA

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Nicolls Goalkeeper Calls For Players To Raise Performances

Nicolls 2-1 Echt

Report by Andy McLaren

Nicolls goalkeeper Martin MacPhee today challenged his side’s fringe players to grab their chance by hauling the club through an injury crisis.

The stopper was man of the match in his sides recent 2-1 win over Echt after pulling off a string of good saves to deny the former Amateur champions.

Nicolls, founded in 1953, are one of the oldest clubs in Amateur football.

But the Denmore Park outfit have had a slow start to the campaign and currently have nine players out injured.

Martin, who signed from Sunnybank in January, believes their recent result shows his side can win their first piece of silverware since 2011.

He said: “I moved to Aberdeen from the Isle of Lewis in June last year and I have loved every second of playing football in Aberdeen.

“The set-up at Nicolls is as good as any Junior team in the area so there is no reason why we shouldn’t be winning something.

“We had a very shaky start after losing our opening six matches but we now finding some consistent form.

“Nicolls made me feel like I was playing back in Lewis which is why I love being at the club so much.

“We have a lot of injuries so it is very hard to get an idea of where we will finish at the end of the season.

“Our squad have the ability to challenge so I expect the club to be in the right half of the table.”

Echt, who were relegated from the Premier Division last term, started the stronger of the two sides and MacPhee had to be alert to palm away several shots in the opening 20 minutes.

Half-time: 0 – 0

Nicolls opened the scoring on 48 minutes when David Skene’s low cross was met by Reece Ward who blasted the ball home to make it 1-0.

The match was evenly contested but Echt scored an equaliser 10 minutes later when Gordon Forbes reacted sharply to scramble the ball into the net.

Nicolls then began to pressure the Echt backline and scored on 75 minutes when Mark Smith rose unmarked to bullet the ball home to make it 2-1.

Echt continued to push for a goal but MacPhee showed good reactions to tip away Christopher Turbine’s last minute free-kick to ensure his side went through to the 4th round of the Association Trophy.

Nicolls: MacPhee, Rae, O’Donnell, Milton, Armstrong, Reid, Ward, Yeats, Brown, Smith, Skene.
Subs: Young, Robertson, Rainnie, Johnston, Ord.

Echt: Troup, MacLeod, Daun, Calderwood, Forbes, Cooper, Lawrence, Symon, Turbine, Chen, Clews.
Subs: Lloyd, Rankin, D Stewart, J Stewart.