After another extended break, Link Up resumed their season with a challenging game against a Culter side who were tidy in possession and full of running.
The opening stages brought two chances for Simpson, created by penetrating through passes from midfield, but on both occasions the keeper was alive to the danger, left his line quickly and saved well.
Link Up went ahead 10 minutes in with a well worked and well taken goal which started from keeper Smith when he rolled it out to right back Mair. He exchanged passes with Mowat, creating the space and time to pick out Simpson. Bailey unselfishly set up DYKA, who had ghosted into a pocket of space near the D, and Evan wasted no time in curling a beauty into the postage stamp corner.
This settled the brochers and they continued to string passing moves together for the rest of the first half.
Firstly, when Smith again rolled the ball out to Mair who lofted it forwards to McCrory. Kane slipped it wide to Watt wide right and made ground into the box to meet Marc’s low cross and smack a low drive across the keeper only to see it thump off the post and rebound clear.
McCrory featured again when he turned a defender to set off on a strong, determined run down the right. After eluding a couple of challenges he cut inside and fired a dipping shot just under the bar only to be denied again, this time by the keeper leaping to tip the ball over.
Masson then weighed in, cleverly sidestepping across the edge of the box before firing just wide.
Ironically, Link Up doubled their lead after Culter had fought back with a brief spell of pressure.
Masson executed a slick turn as he took possession on the edge of his own box allowing him to ping a great ball to SIMPSON. He drove into the left of the box and held off a challenge as he slid a cool finish into the opposite corner past the advancing keeper.
3-0 followed, early in the second half when MASSON kept his composure to lob the Culter goalie from 15 yards.
To their credit, Culter refused to throw in the towel and reduced the deficit to 3-1 with a well taken penalty.
Link Up finished the game in the ascendancy, however. As shown when Mair & Watt linked well down the right flank and Marc threaded a pass through as Simpson burst into the area. Despite being forced wide Bailey still managed to fire a shot across the keeper which only missed the target by a whisker.
Mair again played Watt in wide right and he slipped a great reverse pass to Cameron at the edge of the box. Liam’s dipping shot had the keeper beaten all ends up but, unfortunately, dipped just a shade too late and was inches over.
The plus points from this game were that three points were gained, the team is back in the saddle after a competitive encounter which will help to rid them of any rustiness from another spell of inactivity and the defence looked solid and well organised, with new signing Jordan Mowat settling in well at centre half and immediately forming a composed and commanding partnership with Scott Roger. Another factor which helped the defence no end was the readiness of the wide midfield players to drop back and cover whenever the fullbacks broke forwards.
The lads will need to display all these qualities and then some during the next week if they are to convert a promising season into a successful one. They face two tough away fixtures at Paul Lawrie Foundation in the league then at Albion BC in the third round of the Eddie Mannall Trophy.