STONEY GIRLS.................... 4
BUCHAN QUINES................ 1
Stonehaven girls faced a tough challenge against a physically robust Buchan side in the glorious sunshine at Mineralwell and they were more than equal to it.
An explosive start saw early Buchan pressure result in a fast Stoney break with Porter flicking the ball on to strike partner Kennedy who breezed through a static defence to slide a whirlwind opener.
Spurred on by this Stoney sought to add to this with Grundy and Veitch showing pace and directness on both flanks.
With Buchan’s experience and physical strength they were always going to pose a threat.
Stand-in keeper Christie showed that Stoney have more than one excellent goalie on their books with a couple of excellent stops which she nonchalantly made with ease.
Just when Stoney’s defence of Mainland, Kelly, Johnston and Smith seemed to be watertight Buchan broke and scrambled an equaliser.
As the play went from end to end Grundy’s mazy dribble forced a corner which led to a foul on the livewire Kennedy on the left edge of the box. Grundy stepped up and ‘bent it like Beckham’ into the postage stamp corner.
Half -time 2-1
If the first half was even in terms of possession and chances, Stoney started the second carving out chance after chance.
Townsend’s athleticism and vision and Laing’s non-stop energy and ball skills in the centre of midfield started to find speedsters Kennedy and Porter with increasing regularity .
Townsend slipped Porter through on the keeper who brought out a great save.
It was only delaying the inevitable and with the Buchan back four naively playing a high line Laing and then Townsend slid Kennedy in for two expertly taken goals and a hat-trick.
She then raced through to miss the easiest of all her chances.
Geddes had come on to add some experience and organisation for Stoney and, as they looked to close out the game, the expert defensive positional sense of Brawley replaced the more attacking Veitch.
Two excellent Kennedy corners led to Stoney being denied two stonewall penalties for pushes on Townsend by a ref who was otherwise excellent.
The last 15 minutes saw Buchan have a lot of possession but they rarely got a sight of Christie’s goal.
Captain Kelly led by example and Mainland, Johnston and Smith were strong in the tackle and supreme in the air.
Stoney thoroughly deserved the win, with a young inexperienced side whose performances including those of the missing squad members have been improving with each game.
Squad Erin Christie, Amber Mainland, Daisy Smith, Kirsten Johnston, Sarah Kelly (cpt), Katy Townsend, Ann Laing, Georgia Veitch, Emily Grundy, Lisa Porter, Aria Kennedy, Stephanie Geddes, Shannon Brawley.