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Jae Marandola hat-trick helps Cullen to defeat Lhanbryde United in Moray welfare league clash

By Craig Christie

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On-form Cullen made it six wins in seven league and cup outings with a 7-2 victory over Lhanbryde United.

Read more: FC Fochabers and Aberlour push for the top after midweek wins.

The coast side boosted their hopes of a top six finish ahead of the Moray welfare league split, recovering from a slow start at Logie Park.

Latest Abbeyside League table
Latest Abbeyside League table

It was Lhanbryde who threatened first and Cullen keeper Scott Mair has to make a big save when the visitors broke through on goal in the early minutes.

A small tweak got Cullen on their way, with Jae Marandola grabbing the first goal of the game.

Marandola quickly made it 2-0 after getting on the end of Taylor Smith's cross and he completed his hat-trick on the half hour mark, pressing high to win the ball from the Lhanbryde defence before rounding the goalkeeper.

Smith got on the scoresheet himself before half time, firing into the top-right corner after the ball fell to him inside the box following a corner kick.

Lhanbryde looked to put a disappointing first half behind them and pulled one back after the break when Craig harrold latched on to a loose ball to net his sixth of the season.

Cullen soon found their groove again and Kieran Ferguson scored almost immediately, smashing home a free kick. Ferguson then nodded in a Calum McGregor cross for his second, before Logan Macaulay Mill worked a one-two on the edge of the box and using his weaker left foot produced an excellent finish.

United at least had the last say, Campbell Dawson lobbing in a consolation goal.

Leading Moray welfare goalscorers (all competitions)

12 - Ben Carby (RAF Lossie), Aaron O’Hara (Craigellachie), Gary Morrison (Aberlour Villa)

10 - Ryan Woods (RAF Lossie), Jordan Gray (Craigellachie)

9 - Stewart McLaren (Hopeman), Matthew McConachie (Rothes A), Jordan Clark (FC Fochabers)

8 - Raymond Anderson (Thunderton), Lee Alexander (FC Fochabers)

7 - Warren Orford (Thunderton), Iain Lunan (Hopeman), Ross Fiske, William Morrison 9both Buckie Rovers), Cammy Thomson (Ugie), Logan Mill Macaulay (Cullen)

6 - Stephen Dey, Craig Sim, Craig Harrold (all Lhanbryde United), Reece Cooper (Aberlour Villa), Jack McConnachie (Aberlour Villa), Jordan Bisset (Buckie Rovers), Robbie Bruce, taylor Smith (both Cullen)

5 - Brad Mills (Craigellachie), Leyton Boyd (Portsoy), John Harrold (Lhanbryde United), Barry Grant, Marcus Murray (Aberlour Villa), Jae Marandola (Cullen), Evan Smith (FC Fochabers).

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