Stoneywood 1 Culter 2
CULTER left it very late to secure all three points and stay in pole position in the Soccer World Super League with a 90th Roddy Cameron goal snatching the winner in final minute. Stoneywood looked to have held onto a win with a resilient display of defending particularly in the second period.
The home side started as if they meant business when an attempt by Greig rebounded off Smith to Spencer who blasted wide. A few moments later a sweeping move involving Dawson and Smith saw Spencer shoot wide again. This seemed to galvanise the visitors and a McRitchie snap shot was charged down for a corner.
With five minutes gone McRitchie had half a chance from a Stewart pass but his first-time effort flashed over the bar. It was all Culter now and only some courageous defending denied them the opener with at least three attempts on goal by various Culter players being charged down.
Stewart looked to have opened the scoring when his curling shot from the left beat everyone but slammed off the foot of the post and away to safety. The onslaught continued when Rattray released Stewart who in turn found McRitchie who blasted wide.
Adam then nearly caught the home defence napping with a quick free kick but his curling effort drifted wide with Marwick scrambling along his line.
With underfoot conditions difficult there were bound to be some late tackles and for a period the game deteriorated into a midfield war and Smith and Dawson of Stoneywood were both booked as was Christie of Culter. In a rare Stoneywood attack Spencer turned well in the box and Pirie rose acrobatically to tip the ball over for a corner.
At the other end a Greig free kick found McRitchie wide and he held the ball up for Stewart who in turn fed Christie but with only Marwick to beat he fired wide. The first of many goal line clearances came from Anderson who got back after Cameron had rounded the keeper and attempted to stroke the ball home. Stewart then tried his luck again but on this occasion Marwick positioned himself well to save easily.
In the dying minutes of the first half there was a melee in the Culter box and Pirie had to react quickly to smother the ball with Spencer lurking.
At the start of the second period Cameron raced clear of Small but the defender got in a last gasp tackle to send the ball out for a corner. From the flag-kick from Adam Greig, Cameron and McRitchie all rose above the home defence but failed to connect. Culter were then forced to take on Allan and Ord for the injured Thain and Craik and before the new players had time to settle Stoneywood went into the lead with a speculative shot from Dawson which appeared to be going wide, cannoned off the head of Smith and into the back of the net.
This reversal stunned the visitors and they appeared to be going into sleep mode for a couple of minutes allowing Stoneywood two half-chances which came to nothing.
Culter suddenly awoke and had a strong claim for a penalty turned down when Stewart was tackled in the box but the only reward he got was a booking from referee Taylor for protesting. Culter kept pressing and Greig set up Stewart who darted into the box before belting one just past. It was backs to the wall for bottom of the table Stoneywood and Small twice had to boot the ball out for corners as Culter camped in the home half.
In a rare sojourn up field Spencer should have sealed the points for Stoneywood but he blasted wide with only Pirie to beat. Shortly after Greig looked to have scored with a powerful downward header but Aspe bundled the ball off the line and seconds later a Cameron shot was blocked with Marwick beaten. Marwick did however make a telling save from Stewart but he did not know much about it and again the ball was scrambled to safety.
The Deesiders had a second penalty claim waved on when Christie went down in the box as the pressure became relentless. Small was forced to concede another corner and from the kick McRitchie rose to head for goal but Aspe once again cleared off the line. The same thing happened seconds later when a Stewart effort was booted off the line.
With two minutes left of official time Culter scored a remarkable equaliser when a Stewart cross was headed home by a delighted Cowell for his first goal for the club.
Right on the final whistle Cowell turned provider when his pinpoint cross was headed home by Cameron who sparked wild celebrations in the Culter camp.
Team: Pirie, Thain, Greig, Cowell, Rattray, Adam, Stewart, Cameron, McRitchie, Christie, Craik. Subs: Ord, Allan, Thow, Milne.
n Culter are in Scottish OVD Cup action this weekend when they entertain Maryhill at Crombie Park. Kick-off is 1.45pm.