DCSIMG

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Stonehaven travelled to Kinker to face their league rivals Torphins in the second round of the North of Scotland Cup.

The sides have met twice already this season, with a draw on the opening game of the season and a win for Stoney in the league cup after extra time.

A defence shortage for the Phins meant there were a couple of changes in the line up.

Michie and Johnstone were put in the heart of defence with Kellas remaining at right back but, with no-one at left back, Brebner slotted in.

Mitchell, after scoring last week, was given a start on the wing and the Meinen-Meaden partnership continued up top.

Torphins began the brightest with Mitchell looking lively down the wing, delivering some dangerous crosses that were not capitalised on.

Meinen and Meaden continued to link up well together and the first real opportunity for the home side came on the 15-minute mark.

Meinen played a ball through and the race was on between Meaden and the goalkeeper. The striker slid in at the ‘keeper’s feet and won the first corner of the game that Travers headed wide.

As the game processed, it was turning out to be very even but the goalkeepers were kept very quiet with both sides proving to be cancelling each other out with solid defending.

However, on the half hour mark, the dead lock was broken. Mackenzie came surging down the flank and a cross found Travers racing into the box to coolly side-foot the ball past the Stoney goalkeeper.

The slender lead was not long lived as Stoney punished some slack defending. A corner was cleared by Michie but, as the ball was smashed back, the Torphins players’ failed to follow their men.

A Stoney attacker pounced on the loose ball and fired it across the goal line before ricocheting off a midfielder’s knee and into the net.

Stoney were unlucky not to take the lead shortly after. A break, down the left, was looking dangerous and, when a cross found an unmarked attacker in the box, it looked certain to be a goal but a bad first touch gave Johnstone time to get back and block the shot.

CHALLENGE

This evenly-contested game continued in the second half with both teams struggling to do any damage to the other defensive line.

Stonehaven looked down the wings to penetrate the Phins but Kellas and Brebner were up for the challenge.

On the 60th minute, Johnstone made a change, replacing the Meinen-Meaden partnership with the old Bruce and Brown. The fresh legs had the Stoney defence on their toes as the forwards were full of running.

With just 20 minutes remaining, it was the away side who took the lead.

A counter-attack down the left looked promising and, as an attacker broke into the box, a goal looked certain. However, Cooper was on his toes and a brilliant diving save kept the ball out. Unluckily for the stopper, his defence’s reactions were not as sharp and a Stoney midfielder rifled the ball into the far top corner.

Torphins’ heads did not drop and, within 10 minutes, the game was again in a stalemate.

Travers broke away with the ball after a sliding tackle in the centre circle. Brown peeled away from his marker and Travers found him with a delicate ball over the top.

Brown hit the byline, drilled a ball across the goalmouth and Kellas was there to calmly slot it past the the near post for his first goal for the club.

Bruce had a left-foot shot that whizzed by the post and the ever determined Travers came through a string of tackles with the ball before shaving the top side of the cross bar with a 20-yard effort.

On the 85th minute, Torphins took the lead. Cruickshank put Bruce on his way down the right and the attacker fired the ball across, it bounced between the defender and the goalkeeper and Brown’s unorthodox diving header at the back post, found the back of the net.

Brown had another great opportunity just moments after.

Bruce again was strong, holding off his defender and turned, creating space to shoot.

The Keeper parried well but the ball fell to Brown, whose volley was superbly pushed onto the post by an acrobatic save by the Stoney ‘keeper.

 

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