Maud lose out at Banchory ahead of cup clash

Maud arrived at Banchory in upbeat mood with the good conditions adding to the hope that a good performance could follow. Unfortunately, the performance that followed made Maud look like a team of strangers.

Maud did push up from the kick off and, after two minutes, a free-kick 25 yards from the home goal was taken by Allan Hale to the far post, but no Maud players had gambled and the chance was gone.

Only a minute later Maud’s fragile confidence was hit when a simple low pass through the inside right channel saw Biskup outmuscle Kevin Simpson to the ball and cooly slot it past Joe Barbour in the Maud goal to easily open the scoring. A couple of minutes later, Sean Bremner laid a ball across to Hale but his first time shot was saved by Irvine.

Maud then struggled to put two passes together and Banchory’s commitment to get the three points showed as they slowly built up more pressure on the Maud goal.

On 33 minutes a header came off the Maud post to signal the inevitable second home goal, McGregor taking the ball on the right to easily beat the defence and put his shot past a despairing Barbour to double Banchory’s lead. Five minutes from half time a rare shot from Maud saw James Duguid shoot form 20 yards but it was well off target.

Just before half-time another effort by Hale was wide and so Maud went into half time not only two goals behind but looking a well beaten team already.

Maud did try to make amends for their poor first half performance and after two minutes of the second-half Hale did get a header in the box but it was wide.

As with the first half, Banchory’s tempo saw them ease into a three goal lead within four minutes of the restart when a long ball from deep saw the home team’s Biskup beat Russell McBride to the ball.

He duly rounded the the Maud defender and homed in on goal and, despite a valiant effort from Barbour in the visitors goal, Biskep scored his second goal of the game to put the home team well in command.

A couple of minutes later, Barbour had to make yet another goal denying save from Biskup as the home team were making the game look easy.

Their effort and pressing all throughout the game was commendable for a team bottom of the league and Maud simply had no answer for it.

On the hour mark, a couple of runs down Maud’s left by second-half substitute Dean Elrick saw well placed passes to another substitute, Luke Barbour, give more urgency to Maud’s play.

Barbours hold up play was allowing Hale to come more into the game and both he and Jonathan Garden could have reduced the deficit within a couple of minutes but the goals did not come. Banchory seemed to weather the initial flurry from Maud and when the home teams’ substitute, Whelan, scored their fourth with 15 minutes to go, it really was game over for Maud.

Everyone at Maud conceded this was one of Maud’s worst performances for a long while and it must also be said that, if Banchory continue to play with the belief they showed in this game, they will soon climb out of the relegation places.

Maud now have to lick their wounds to face Deveronside in the quarter-finals of the North Regional Cup at home next Saturday with a 2pm kick-off.