Huntly 2 v Keith 1
MAROONS LOSE OUT IN DERBY CLASH
I'm all for bearing gifts to herald in the New Year, but Keith took it a bit far when they went first footing to Christie Park for the festive Derby tussle with neighbours Huntly. A suicidal piece of defending after only three minutes saw the Black and Golds capitalise, leaving the Maroons on the back foot early on.
However, Dean Donaldson's men then did everything bar score more goals than their hosts, and despite a late consolation, the homesters hung on to win the 168th league clash between the sides.
Three minutes after the first peep of the referee's whistle, a Stewart Hutcheon pass back put goalie Greg Simpson in a right fankle on the edge of his 6 yard box, and Nicholas Gray gleefully punished the mistake by prodding the ball over the line.
The Maroons tried to hit back right away, and Cammy Keith twice had the ball in the back of the net, but the offside flag was up on each occassion. As the visitors kept taking the game to their hosts, midway through the half a Marc Young 20 yarder flew inches over the bar. A couple of minutes later a rasping Max Berton 20 yard crashed back off the crossbar. Then Cammy Keith couldn't quite slot past the 'keeper from six yards a minute later.
Keith gaffer Donaldson showed his intent right at the start of the second half piling on three substitutes at one go, with Scott Begg, Ryan Spink and Jamie McAllister all entering the fray. The Maroons continued to dictate and Cammy Keith racing in on target saw his shot deflected for an early second half corner.
Huge sighs of woe emanated from the Keith faithful with 63 minutes on the clock, Cammy Keith cutting the ball back into the six yard box for a sure fire equaliser, only for Mcallister to swipe at fresh air. Right away at the other end Simpson had to look lively to hoof out a Gary McGowan shot as the match was beginning to reach fever pitch.
Surely an equaliser would come thought the Maroon scarved brigade, as a Craig Macaskill rocket inside the box was blocked, then Cammy Keith volleyed just over the bar.
Then, with three minutes remaining came a right sickener for the visitors who had put so much into the game when Huntly broke up the left flank and ex-Keith loanee Kai Ross slammed a low angled drive into the far corner of the net.
All credit to Deano's Dynamos though, they kept plugging at it and in the dying seconds a Cammy Keith effort was blocked in the crowded penalty area and James Brownie pounced to slot home his 3rd goal of the season.
Sadly, not enough to gain a share of the spoils which nobody would have begrudged the visitors, but as in the Buckie match the previous Saturday, the goals failed to flow despite playing plenty of good of football.
KEITH - Simpson, Hutcheon(Spink 46), Smith(Begg 46), Rae, Robertson, Young, Macaskill, Brownie, Keith, Berton(McAllister 46), Selfridge. Subs unused - Barron, Gray, Manson, Stewart.
Referee - Mr M Northcroft
Saturday 5th January 2019, KO 3pm
Report by Charlie Simpson