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St Marnans 4 - Postal ALC 3 - North of Scotland Cup - Aberchirder - 23/09/2023

TEAM - 1. S.Walker 2. A.Baxter 3. S.Wells 4. S.Carter. 5. B.Patterson 6. J.Steele 7. A.Clark 8. T.Raynard 9. S.Cotovici 10. S.Abel 11. N.Willey 12. B.Webster 14. M.Hunter 15. R.Webster 16. S.Allardyce. 17. L.Giulianotti 18. G.Cormack


Postal took the hour drive to Aberchirder to face St Marnans in the first round of the North of Scotland Cup. A surprisingly sunny day and nice flat pitch awaited.

Postal welcomed back Walker in goal, Patterson in defence and Raynard to the midfield with Willey moving up front for the travelling Melia.

Postal started the game well, forcing 2 corners in as many minutes. One of these was met well by Raynard but his header went well wide.

On 4 minutes a St Marnans counter would see them finish the move by hitting the bar. Lucky for Postal.

St Marnans started to dominate the first half with Postal dropping deeper and deeper into their own half and struggling to give any service to Cotovici and Abel up top.

St Marnans would have a series of corners but young Raynard was doing well against the St Marnans centre half.

On 9 minutes Postal had a half chance when Cotovici laid the ball into the path of Raynard but the keeper saved the shot.

On 11 minutes the home side took the lead. Poor decision making when Postal were on the attack saw them give the ball away needlessly. From the counter the ball eventually fell to the impressive number 10 for the home side who belted the ball into the postage stamp from 25 yards out. 1-0.

The rest of the half was largely dominated by St Marnans, shooting down the slope. Postal weren’t doing themselves any favours though. Giving the ball away under very little pressure and generally sitting far too deep, inviting the home side on to them.

St Marnans doubled their lead on 25 minutes. The Centre half strode forward with the ball at his fee. Postal didn’t engage till he was nearly inside the 18 yard box. One pass into the box and the forward dispatched low into the net past Walker. Really poor goal to lose. 2-0.

Carter had a collectors item shot on goal after one of the few times Postal manage to put more than 3 passes together and a Cotovici half chance which the keeper saved were about as good as it got as Postal held on to keep the score at 2 down.

HALF TIME – St Marnans 2 - POSTAL ALC 0

Postal were a lot better second half.

They pulled one back in the first minute of the half when a Clark free kick was fired into the top corner of the net from about 20 yards out. Excellent goal. 2-1.

Postal were really playing much better football and dominating the opening ten minutes so it was a real kick in the teeth when they conceded a 3rd on ten minutes. A Patterson defensive header seen the ball drop on the Postal right, just outside the box. Carter was robbed of the ball and the forward drove into the box to shoot low past Walker. 3-1.

Postal kept plugging away and were rewarded on 28 minutes when a corner dropped to Baxter who shot through a lot of bodies low into the keepers right corner. 3-2.

On 36 minutes Postal had a good chance to equalise. A corner from the Postal left was sent to the back post but Carter’s downward header hit the grass and over the bar.

A minute later and Postal were two behind again. Patterson jockeying the forward in the box on the Postal right, until the forward turned on the pace and went by him, driving in on goal to score low into the corner of the net. 4-2.

To their credit, Postal kept working and were rewarded on 40 minutes when Giulianotti drove into the home box and was tripped. He stood up, took the resulting pen and scored. 4-3.

A wee bit of panic now set into the home side as Postal tried for the equaliser. All of a sudden there was only one ball in the whole of Aberchirder that could be used as the ball was pumped into the trees and bushes around the park. Fair play, Postal would have no doubt done the same.

Overall a game of two halves with Postal doing a lot better second half after being dominated in the first period by a very impressive St Marnans team. Another four goals against, though, which is not good enough no matter which First Div team we are playing.

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TEAM - 1.  G.Cormack  2.  N.MacDonald  3.  A.Baxter  4.  A.Macrae  5.  B.Patterson  6.  J.Steele  7.  A.Clark  8.  L.Giulianotti  9.  E.Brechin  10.  S.Abel  11.  S.Ahmed  12.  S.Cotovici  14.  M.Maci


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