Stonehaven Youth under-14’s took the field against opponents having made the long trip from Turriff on a bright day with good conditions underfoot despite the recent appalling weather.
Stonehaven started brightly against higher-placed League opponents with Tinning and Edwards combining well down the left flank.
Skipper Groom had two long-range efforts that missed narrowly but he turned provider with a defence splitting pass to find Knowles who left the Turriff defence trailing in his wake and managed to fire the ball past their advancing keeper for Stonehaven to take advantage of a rare lead.
Slack marking from a Turriff throw, however, allowed their speedy wee winger to put in an excellent cross which was unfortunately deflected into his own goal by a Stonehaven defender tracking back.
Inglis, the Stonehaven keeper, then made a fine save, pushing a Turriff free-kick up on to the crossbar, but their forwards were first to react to make the score 2-1 to the visitors,
The same Groom/Knowles combination nearly earned a second for Stonehaven but their goalie saved well.
An injury to Summers saw Thom forced to move back from his new Holding Midfield role at which he was excelling and Elliott then entered the fray and duly tackled and competed well.
A Groom through-ball set Kennedy on his way who found the net, but he had strayed marginally offside so it was unfortunately chalked off.
The game was end to end and Turriff extended their lead with a goal resulting from a corner kick and Inglis made a fantastic save to thwart a Turriff forward who was clean through and had he scored, it would surely have put the game to bed.
Edwards, who was showing in a match situation the skills displayed in training, set up Knowles for his second of the game, and this seemed to rattle the visitors. Bunyan came on to the field and showed great energy and at this point Stonehaven were pressing hard for the equalizer. It came when Groom found Knowles who squared it to McNally who blasted it wide of the goalkeeper to make it 3-3 – probably the goal of the match.
Kennedy burst through but his shot agonisingly came back off the post. Groom was dominating the midfield but, somewhat against the run of play, Turriff took the lead. However, the Stonehaven lads galvanised themselves and Edwards and Knowles combined to set up McNally to score his second goal.
The Leslie twins then helped the Stonehaven defence see out the rest of the game and Knowles very nearly secured the win after another burst of pace but a draw was probably a fair result.
This was a much better and committed performance from the Stonehaven squad. It was difficult to choose the ITWORX Man of the Match Award but it was awarded to Aaron Edwards for a performance that had a lot of skill.
A harder game awaits against local rivals Newtonhill this weekend
Squad : Inglis, McKenzie, Summers, Gordon, Tinning, McNally, Thom, Groom, Knowles, Edwards, Kennedy, Elliott, Bunyan, R.Leslie, M.Leslie, Black