By Lewis Michie
After relegation last term Stonehaven will have been hoping for an instant return to the top division in northern Juniors football – the SuperLeague – and while that could very much still happen, it certainly won’t be easy.
The Hive sit third, three points behind leaders Sunnybank – Although Sunnybank have three more games than Stoney.
Second placed Aberdeen University beat Stonehaven 2-1 this weekend – with the aid of a first half sending off for the Hive. With Uni just two points ahead, this result has moved the Hive down a place. Although Stonehaven could still be top if they win games in hand – they’ve also got a game more to play than Uni.
Ryan Fenby scored the only goal of the game for the Hive on Saturday, with Martyn Rollo not best pleased with the referees decision on the red card.
Last week was a painful defeat to take. We started the game so strongly and really should have been a few goal ahead before we lost the penalty to make it 1-1.”
The sending off changed the game. This season has seen a massive shift in how games are officiated at all levels. Their has been a lot of criticism at the top levels for referees and in fairness a lot of it looks warranted.
The new standards that are being driven from the top are rippling all the way down the ladder to junior football. Many will argue this is correct and is the direction that the game should be moving in.
Even though I am a young manager I may be more old school in my thought process and I don’t want to see football go down a route where contact is not allowed and every foul is a booking and any hard tackle is a red card for a player.”
Next up for Martyn Rollo’s side is Fraserburgh United.
Rollo said ahead of that fixture:
Fraserburgh are in my opinion the strongest side we have faced this season so this weekend provides another stern test for the club, one which we aspire to rise too.”
I feel this league will go right to the wire so we can expect ups and downs until the end of May. The key is to recover from a set back as quick as possible and that what we aim to do this weekend.”
United sit just four points behind Stoney, and they have two games in hand – so again, even if Rollo’s side did win all of their games in hand, Fraserburgh could bypass them by winning theirs – making this weekend’s game a big one.
Weather continues to play havoc with fixtures – and will likely continue to do so for the next few months.
This past weekend Bervie Caledonian’s North of Scotland Cup First Round fixture with Tolbooth was called off.
As was the Aberdeen FC Trophy fixture between Stonehaven Athletic and their hosts University Colts.
Just two Mearns Aberdeenshire Amateur games went ahead.
Firstly, a 6-4 win for Cowie Thistle away from home against Fossoway in the Third Round of the Amateur Cup.
AC Mill Inn were the only side in league action, they enjoyed a 3-2 success over Cammachmore in Division One East.
Inn sit third, and while run-away leaders Kincorth look out of touch already, Inn sit just two points behind Alford.
This Weekend’s Fixtures: