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Moray welfare round-up: Aberlour Villa march on in Scottish Cup at Hopeman’s expense, Lhanbryde United and Portsoy exit Highland Welfare Cup

By Craig Christie

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Aberlour Villa won the all-Moray tie with Hopeman in the Scottish Welfare Cup to progress to the quarter-finals.

Stewart McLaren (left) scored in Hopeman’s Scottish Cup loss to Aberlour. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Stewart McLaren (left) scored in Hopeman’s Scottish Cup loss to Aberlour. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Having won at Hopeman’s Cameron Park in the league three days earlier, Villa repeated the feat with a 4-2 success at the same venue.

It was Hopeman who drew first blood on ten minutes when Liam Petrie made a tackle in the centre of the field before releasing Stewart McLaren to slot past keeper Andrew Ross from the edge of the box.

Seven minutes later Villa were level when Marcus Murray headed home Barry Grant’s cross.

Both sides had chances before the interval but went in at half time all square.

Villa started to get on top with Kelvin Main nodding wide and Murray denied by a last-ditch tackle, with the same Aberlour player firing wide after a counter-attack from a home free kick.

Petrie and player boss Danny Gresham went close for Hopeman but it was Aberlour who took the lead when Corey Pring cut in and curled home.

A Gresham foul on Liam Munro saw the visitors awarded a penalty but Gary Morrison’s kick was saved by keeper Kyle Rowe.

However Aberlour did extend their lead soon after, Morrison making amends for his spot miss by nodding in Grant’s centre.

McLaren had an effort cleared off the line as Hopeman responded, but it was game over when Murray got his second on the rebound after Rowe parried a Jay Anderson strike.

Co-manager Lee Spencer nodded in a last minute consolation for Hopeman, with a 4-2 success putting Villa in the last eight.

Portsoy exited the Highland Welfare Cup in the second round after a nine-goal thriller against Elgin side The Vikings.

Goals by Gary Noble (2), Leyton Boyd and Aidan O’Neill were not enough for the Banffshire men as they slipped to a 5-4 loss.

A depleted Lhanbryde United side also went out, defeated 4-0 at home to Methlick with three first half goals doing the bulk of the damage.

In the league, Buckie Rovers returned to top spot without kicking a ball as opponents Seaforth couldn’t raise a full team.

Thunderton and RAF Lossiemouth shared the spoils in both teams’ first draw of the league campaign.

It was goalless at the break with both sides having chances, and it was an hour into the contest before the deadlock was broken. Thunderton’s Craig McPherson tapped in at the back post after good closing down from Scott Ross led to a cross, followed by an assist from Russell Geddes.

Lossie equalised within 90 seconds, as a good run from the left wing saw the ball cut back to edge of the box and a well placed strike into bottom corner from Callum Devine made it 1-1.

The airmen had almost constant pressure in the final half hour plus stoppage time but couldn’t find a winner.

Craigellachie came from behind to clock up their first league win since May at Ugie’s expense.

The Keith side began well and took the lead on seven minutes, Reece Johnston capitalising on a home mistake at the back to score.

Jacob Imlach struck the post with Craigellachie’s best chance of the first half and Ugie held their lead until half time.

Imlach had an effort saved by Ali Nicoll as Craigellachie stepped up their efforts in the second half. He saw another effort go past as did team-mate Colin Coutts, but the home side finally drew level midway through the half when Jordan Gray nodded home at a corner.

With the rain pouring down, there was always going to be chances and Craigellachie netted what proved to be the winner on 78 minutes, top scorer Aaron O’Hara firing across goal into the far corner of the net to secure the three points.

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