FOLLOWING the postponement of this Division One fixture in the Aberdeenshire AFA from last week due to bad weather, Johnshaven were surprised to be making the long trip to Mintlaw in the rain. They arrived to find the car park full of puddles but after the inspection of the pitch by the referee the game went ahead.
After the game their red strip could at best be described as mud-coloured and the players did well not to suffer from hypothermia on what proved to be a very wet, windy and cold day.
In the opening minutes Mintlaw had two corners in quick succession. The first was played into the 18-yard box but it was sliced past the post. The Johnshaven defence cleared the second.
In the 19th minute Philip regained the ball for Johnshaven and went up the left before crossing to the back post from where Brown’s header went past.
A couple of minutes later Brown found Stuart Beedie who skinned his man before putting in a cross which a Mintlaw defender cleared. The resulting corner by Stuart was played into the six-yard box but the Mintlaw trialist ‘keeper could only partially clear. The ball fell to R. Blease whose first-time shot flew past the post.
Philip put in a low cross in 27 minutes, forcing the Mintlaw ‘keeper to dive, but he spilled the ball. Dundas reacted quickly for a shot which a Mintlaw defender blocked. The resulting high corner by Philip was swept over the bar by the wind.
A couple of minutes later Milne played the ball up to Dundas who knocked it back to Philip. He tried to take advantage of the home ‘keeper being off his line but he chipped the ball over the bar.
Johnshaven came close to opening the scoring in 33 minutes when some good play between Stuart Beedie and Dundas resulted in a shot from Stuart which the Mintlaw ‘keeper saved with one hand.
Just after this at the other end a Mintlaw shot flew past the post.
In the 36th minute Stephen worked the ball up from the back to Scott Beedie. He laid it on to Leon Dundas who chipped the advancing goalkeeper to put Johnshaven in the lead.
Right after this R. Blease was forced to block a Mintlaw goalbound shot on the edge of the six-yard box. The resulting corner was played across the face of the Johnshaven goal and Brown cleared it. This corner was played to the near post and headed out by Stuart Beedie. The ball was then whipped up the park and a shot by Dundas went just past the post.
In the 42nd minute a Mintlaw corner was played to the back post where the home ‘keeper pushed it round the post. The resulting corner was played into the penalty spot from where a shot was cleared off the line by Brown. Unfortunately it rebounded to a Mintlaw player who slammed it home for the equaliser.
Half-time: Mintlaw 1, Johnshaven 1.
In the 53rd minute Milne won the ball well inside Mintlaw’s half and went on a solo run before passing it to Scott Beedie. His diagonal cross found his brother Stuart on the edge of the six-yard box but unfortunately his shot went past.
A few minutes later a Johnshaven throw-in by Brown found Philip who turned his man and shot but it also flew just past the post.
Johnshaven’s next attack came when Scott Beedie put Milne into a one-on-one with the Mintlaw ‘keeper. Milne tried to round him but he dived and made an excellent save.
In the 58th minute R. Blease sent a Johnshaven indirect free kick into the 18-yard box. Scott Beedie went for it but the home ‘keeper got a touch to push the ball wide. Scott Beedie chased it but a Mintlaw player lunched at the ball and took him out instead. The referee awarded a penalty which Ross Blease converted to put Johnshaven back in the lead.
On the hour mark Johnshaven made their first and only substitution when Trialist replaced an exhausted Stuart Beedie
About five minutes later a melee in the Johnshaven 18-yard box saw a shot from Mintlaw go just over the bar.
A speculative 30-yard wind-assisted shot from Mintlaw in the 70th minute found the net for the equaliser.
From the kick-off the ball was played to Dundas who went on a diagonal run then shot, but his effort was saved.
Ten minutes later a long kick out from the Mintlaw ‘keeper cleared the Johnshaven defence which allowed them to play the ball across the 18-yard box to a waiting player who chested it down then volleyed over the bar.
In Johnshaven’s next attack a shot from Milne was saved by the diving ‘keeper.
In the dying moments of the game a shot from R. Blease was parried down by the home ‘keeper before he dived and smothered the ball.
Soon after, the referee blew for the end of the game.
Johnshaven had to play two trialists and some players out of their usual positions as several players were unavailable for selection. Despite this everyone pulled together to give a good performance and the team was unlucky not to come away with three points.
Man-of-the-match was Robert Milne.
Johnshaven: Trialist, Brown, Stephen, Blease, Smith, Stuart Beedie (Trialist), Dalgarno, Milne, Scott Beedie, Philip and Dundas.