By Lewis Michie
Johnshaven Athletic Football Club made changes at the top this summer with Ryan Crabb taking over in the hot seat for the Montrose and District Welfare League. So far, so good for the costal side – as they sit fourth, three points off the top of the division.
Last weekend was an off week for Athletic as they took part in some fundraising for the club, but their last outing before that was a 4-1 win over St Tams in Arbroath the previous Sunday.
NE98 caught up with gaffer Crabb to see how things have been going for his side since kicking off their season.
We’ve had full squads to choose from every week and the competition in the team is very heartening. Last season we struggled to raise 11 some weeks.”
It makes my job tougher having to leave players out/on the bench. But the boys know it’s a long hard season and they will get their chance. Also been able to implement a bit of squad rotation to keep everyone involved and keen, whilst still maintaining high standards of play.”
Looking back to the previous weekend’s win over St Tams, Crabb had this to say:
A game that typically we would have struggled with last season. We’ve been the better team in every game we’ve played so far, but for poor finishing and one or two individual errors, we’d be sitting on 5 wins out of 5 instead of the 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat so far.”
However, I’d be more concerned were we not creating chances or playing good football, and fortunately we are doing both of these things.”
Can’t fault the boys so far, and from the first pre-season session up until now there seems to be a bit more of a buzz about the squad. Hopefully the fine form continues in the coming weeks.”
Stonehaven Juniors fell to their first league defeat of the season this past Saturday – losing 3-0 to Stoneywood Parkvale.
The defeat means the league is extremely tight, with Longside ahead of second placed Stonehaven on goal difference – both on nine points after four games. Both Stoneywood and Aberdeen University have six points for one less game and Fraserburgh United could go top if they win their games in hand – they have a 100% record so far, after playing twice.
Following the loss, The Hive’s Facebook page said:
Stonehaven dropped their first points of the season with a very poor showing at Stoneywood. We failed to find our rhythm in a game where our best chance of the first half saw what looked a certain goal, stopped by a superb goal line clearance from the fullback just before the break.”
In the Aberdeenshire Amateur ranks, it was time for the first round of the Scottish Amateur Cup for most teams.
St Laurence are into the hat for the second round, after a dominating performance as they beat University Strollers 10-0.
This included four goals from Ewan Slesser, with six separate scorers in the game.
Bervie Caledonian are through to the next round after a 4-1 win away to Cammachmore. Frazer Cerretti scored a hat-trick, with David Salmond getting a late fourth goal.
Cowie Thistle also progress through to the next round, although things were harder done for Thistle as they beat Kaimhill United 4-3.
McCombie, R.Causby, Buchanan and Wiseman all got on the scoresheet for Cowie.
Stonehaven Athletic were the only side eliminated from the Cup this weekend – beaten 4-1 by Huntly Amateurs.
Ac Mill Inn were the only Mearns side in League competition this past weekend. Inn beat St Marnans 2-0. They are now 7th in Division One East, just four points outside of a promotion spot.
A 4-0 win for Stonehaven Ladies over bottom of the league Raith Rovers has seen Stoney up to just one point behind Westdyke Ladies – as they look to escape the relegation zone.
Raith are nine points behind and have two games in hand, so while it’s possible Raith could still peg Stoney back, considering they’ve only taken three points all season, that would be some turn around.
So it would appear a battle is now commencing for avoiding relegation with Stonehaven and Westdyke, with a small possibility that Deveronvale or Kelty Hearts who are six points ahead getting involved too – with six games to go.