Moray welfare football: Aberlour Villa edge out RAF Lossiemouth and Hopeman push towards the top after victory at Cullen
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The battle for the Moray welfare league title is hotting up with Hopeman and Aberlour Villa making strong bids to take the crown.
Aberlour remain in top spot after ending RAF Lossiemouth's good run of results to complete a league double over the airmen.
Play was even at the base until Villa drew first blood with a tidy finish into the top corner by Jack Craib, his third goal in two games.
Lossie had chances going into the second half but it looked like they could play all night and not score as their finishing was off the mark.
Aberlour duly punished their hosts as a rash tackle in the box led to a penalty which Greig Donald converted to double the away side's lead.
The RAF men piled on the pressure but came up against a well-drilled defence and couldn't find a way through until two minutes from the end when Callum Devine slotted home what proved to be merely a consolation goal for the beaten homesters.
Moray welfare top goalscorers:
5 - Logan Buick, James Johnston (both RAF Lossiemouth)
4 - Chris Cooper, Iain Lunan (both Hopeman), David Blackhall (Aberlour Villa), Hendry Jordan (RAF Lossiemouth), Sean Petrie (FC Fochabers)
3 - Darren Mitchell, Jack Craib (both Aberlour Villa), Connor McArthur, Chris Greene (both Hopeman), Kieran Ferguson (Cullen), Sam Watson (RAF Lossiemouth).
Hopeman returned to action with their first game in three weeks and bounced back from their only defeat of the season with a 4-0 success at Cullen.
Strong winds at Logie Park made for a tough game of football, and the first half ended goalless.
Hopeman grabbed the lead early in the second. Iain Lunan managing to drift beyond the Cullen defence from a set piece to flick the ball in with a header.
Cullen came close to equalising through Ethan Blanchard, his effort hitting the goalkeeper at point blank range and narrowly going wide of the post.
A mix-up at the back for Cullen gave Hopeman a second, with Ross Davidson heading in from a poor clearance.
With Cullen chasing to get back into the game, Hopeman found a third in the closing minutes through Darren Wood, using the wind to good effect to lob the Cullen goalkeeper from the edge of the box.
Victory was sealed soon after as Lunan from the edge of the box smashed into the top-right corner of the net for his second of the game.
The first meeting between Craigellachie and FC Fochabers resulted in a comfortable Fochabers win.
Craigellachie kept things tight until the 32nd minute when they conceded a corner and Sean Petrie met it at the front post to score the opener.
Fochabers got a second before half time from George Duncan's finish, his second of the season.
Craigellachie were on top for a good spell in the second half, creating several chances but it was Fochabers who went on to add to their scoring tally.
A Ryan Higgins shot from outside the box made it 3-0 on 74 minutes, with Petrie knocking in his second with a clinical volley on 81 minutes to wrap up a 4-0 success.