There was a high five at Woodside on Sunday, as Glentanar saw off the challenge of Ellon Meadows, with a goal laden home display.
The hosts started the game with urgency, and had a great chance to take initiative in the opening moments. A Josh Thomson corner found a way through to James Wallace, up from the back. His shot on the turn was held by Liam Gibb in the Ellon net.
Both sides looked to settle into passing rhythm early on. Ellon’s Cayden Finlayson was involved in neat build up down the left, as the fullback ventured forward, only for wavelengths to break down in the final third.
On eight minutes, Glentanar wrote the foreword for their performance. Worked down their left, the ball was bundled across the box for Tate Bavidge to sweep home the opener. Several players forward in the setup, and the midfielder kept his composure from seven yards for 1-0.
On a wintry weekend in the north, that served as the perfect ice breaker. However, Meadows held their nerve in an attempt to construct a response, forcing the play longer. That would give forward Robbie Neilson a chance to stretch his legs in the channels, as the frontman threatened with his pace. More on his influence later.
As the game swung, Glentanar’s interchange was asking questions. Ross Simpson went through on goal, tugging his shot wide. Another Thomson corner was steered just over by Cooper Smith.
On 18, Nathan Bloice answered the call. Again the ball looped from the left. It was headed on by Simpson, helping it into Bloice’s path, to strike a measured volley. 2-0.
The visitors showed endeavour to reply, as the double-deficit appeared to free them. One of their best chances in the period came seconds after the restart. Lofted out of defence, Aidan Cruickshank gambled on the bouncing ball, beating James Wallace to the chase, but couldn’t push his outstretched effort beyond the rushing Matthew Taylor.
Midfielder Brodie Stewart was instrumental in many of Ellon’s possessions, battling hard in the centre, as they pushed forward, creating a flurry of chances towards the break. The aforementioned Neilson had a shot smartly parried on 24, before fizzing a freekick into traffic.
Glentanar were alive on the counter though, and Josh Thomson latched onto a timely Rio Collie pass on 32. With Gibb to beat, he produced a fine save from the stopper.
Neilson flashed one final effort over for Ellon on 35, and a frantic half took a breath.