By Lewis Michie
Following relegation last season from the Northern Junior SuperLeague, Martyn Rollo set one task for his Stonehaven side – get back into the top tier. Five games in and the Hive sit top of the First Division, although it’s certainly not looking like developing into an easy ride – they’ll have to work for this one.
Four wins and one loss so far this season in the league, Rollo has had to deal with various challenges so far – but his side are currently on track to at least be in with a chance of returning to the SuperLeague.
Aberdeen University sit just three points off of Stoney with a game in hand and a better goal difference, Longside are three points adrift with the same amount of games played and Stoneywood Parkvale – the only team to beat Stonehaven so far – are six points off with two games in hand. So things are far from easy.
Nonetheless, a 4-1 victory over Longside last Saturday has moods high at Glenury Park – where The Hive are running on a 100% record so far.
Tom Ballie got his first goal for the club, with a superb hat-trick from Stoney’s top scorer Calum Watson putting Longside to bed.
NE98 caught up with Stonehaven’s boss Martyn Rollo to see how he is feeling about the start to the season.
Rollo said of the win over Longside:
Last week was an excellent performance against a strong Longside team who started the game ahead of us in top spot on goal difference.
We scored early which allowed us to control the game for long spells.”
In terms of the overall feel around the club, Rollo said:
We have a few injuries right now but the squad has shown its strength with players coming into the team grabbing the opportunities that have come their way.
Training has been excellent tempo all week”
League action will have to be put to the side for now as cup competition takes centre stage.
Rollo said ahead of the upcoming knockout tie:
First up is SuperLeague table toppers Deveronside at home.
They will obviously be a very strong team however at home we feel we can cause any team problems.”
There was plenty of cup action going on in the Amateur ranks last weekend as well, firstly with both Bervie Caledonian and St Laurence involved in the first round of their league cup – The Premier Trophy.
Both sides had impressive performances, although with slightly different outcomes.
First St Laurence would progress to the next round with a 2-0 win away from home against Insch.
Bervie drew 3-3 with Woodside, taking the league favourites to extra time before unfortunately losing out on penalties.
It was progression for Stonehaven Athletic in the Stephen Shield First round, they beat Banchory Amateurs 2-0.
Ac Mill Inn were in league action in the Divison One East, 2-0 proved to be a popular scoreline in the Mearns last weekend, as Inn beat Tolbooth by the same scoreline.
Johnshaven continued their strong start to the campaign in the Montrose and District Welfare league, beating Fishies FC 8-0 last Sunday.
They currently sit fourth in the league table, three points adrift of the top of the division.
Here’s the fixtures going on for the Mearns sides this weekend.