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Slices of Mellon serve up cup win for Buckie

By Craig Christie

BUCKIE United’s Mellon brothers struck late to claim the Mike Simpson Memorial Cup for their club.

United took on Banff Rovers in Friday’s final at Victoria Park with the prize for the winners being the showpiece silverware in the Moray welfare football season.

Underdogs Banff were on course for a shock win when they led with just 10 minutes to play.

However, the Mellons both scored for United to steal victory in the closing moments of an exciting cup clash.

Keen to make up for their failure to clinch the Premier Division title from a position of command, United made a lively start to the final.

As expected they dominated Rovers, whose goalkeeper Michael Stephen was in good form.

After seven minutes Buckie’s Paul Davidson worked the ball to team-mate Allan Geddes, who in turn set up Sean Petrie at the back post but Stephen got a fingertip to Petrie’s effort to turn it round the base of the post.

United then won a free-kick 25 yards out and Davidson tried his luck, with Stephen managing to parry his effort before a Banff defender made a timely clearance.

Buckie were on top and Petrie twice fired wide of the mark with two efforts in a five-minute spell.

Just when it looked like the teams would go in at the break at 0-0, the final burst to life with three quick goals.

Five minutes before the break, Darren Thain deservedly put United ahead from a shot that had rebounded into his path.

This only served to spur Banff on and they gave their travelling support some joy with an equaliser just two minutes later.

A corner kick was punched into the air by the United keeper and fell into the six-yard box, where a scramble broke out and Bradley Henderson managed to put the ball in the net.

Amazingly, just two minutes later Banff had turned a deficit into an advantage when Chris Macdonald skipped down the wing past a defender and sent a ball across the goalmouth for Henderson to arrive and score his second of the night.

Buckie were stunned to go in at half time behind, having taken the lead so late in the half.

Petrie had another chance seven minutes after the interval but struck a Davidson cross over the target.

Midway through the half Ryan Simpson broke through for United and managed to take the ball round keeper Stephen, only for a defender to get back and make a last-ditch clearance.

Petrie then broke clear on the left but instead of going for goal, chose to play across to Davidson but his strike was blocked by a defender.

Finally Buckie levelled on 80 minutes when Paul Mellon’s pace took him clear of the Banff rearguard and he slotted past Stephen.

Both sides had opportunities in an even second half but with extra time looming, Buckie won a corner, which was taken short, and John Mellon came across to try a shot which flashed low across the box and inside the post to grab what proved to be the winner on 87 minutes.

The teams could meet again in the Highland Welfare Cup final, with Buckie earning their place courtesy of a 9-0 semi final success at home to Portsoy on Sunday. Banff’s semi against Haven was postponed. The final is played in Elgin on October 20.

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