St Laurence travelled to Stonehaven on Sunday to play in the Barclay Cook Cup final, their first cup final in the amateur ranks. Saints’ opponents were a very talented Hazelhead side who sit top of the Saints’ league.
Saints started the game with purpose and went straight after their opponents from the off and deservedly took the lead in 16 minutes when good link up play from Myles and Blair McCombie split the Hazelhead defence and McCombie calmly chipped the ball over the advancing goalkeeper.
The Saints were dominating the game with Harley and Bruce keeping their prolific strike force at bay.
The Saints deservedly doubled their lead in 25 minutes. Some good passing in the middle of the park between Neil Arthur and Ryan Arthur released Jamie Borland down the right wing who played in Jordan Myles who turned his man and fired a low drive past the keeper.
Hazelhead started to come into the game after that and pegged the Saints back in their own half. There pressure was rewarded when a long ball over the top of the Saints defence was volleyed in by the Hazelhead striker.
With Hazelhead pushing forward the Saints had a couple of half chances with the pace of Myles and McCombie causing problems but right on the stroke of half-time Hazelhead got the equaliser. A corner to the near post wasn’t defended properly and the striker nipped in to score.
The Saints started the second half like the first and were dominating and thought they had taken the lead after a good play from Neil Reid played in Blair McCombie who took an excellent first touch and calmly slotted past the keeper but a late flag from the linesman kept the score level.
That seemed to rattle the Saints and for the next 20 minutes they couldn’t get hold of the ball and that was punished on 73 minutes when a deflected looping cross was poked home at the back post by the Hazelhead attacker.
Again the Saints rolled up their sleeves and went at Hazelhead and were rewarded when Ryan Arthur played in Gareth Reid who found Myles unmarked in the box and he fired a shot high into the net making the score 3-3.
When the Saints went looking for the winner they were undone by a corner for Hazelhead. Again poor defending from St Laurence allowed a free header leaving Hadden with no chance.
The Saints pushed forward in the last five minutes but never created a goal scoring chance.
Overall it was a good performance from both teams with Hazelhead edging the game, and disappoint the large St Laurence support. Match Ball sponsor was the Royal Hotel.