Fraserburgh 3 Buckie Thistle 2
This was never going to be one for the faint-hearted and so it proved with an 86th minute Peter-Alexander Bruce goal doing the business as Fraserburgh edged out Buckie Thistle to win the 2014 Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup final.
On a Kynoch Park surface which looked very heavy after soaking up a lot of heavy rain overnight, both sides were going top have to play it clever tactically.
It was Fraserburgh almost going in front inside a minute. Scott Fowlie latched on to a Willie West headflick but out came young recent signing Andy Burr to clear with his legs at the expense of a corner.
In the 7th minute it was 1-0 for the team in the home dressing room. Scott Barbour’s backheel played in Bruce, his shot went across the box and landed for Graham Johnston to fire home from eight yards out.
Buckie were looking to reply quickly and young central midfielder Shaun Carrol tried his luck with a curling long range shot which went just over. Two minutes later Peterhead’s on-loan left winger Scott Adams tried a cross effort which cleared the bar by several inches. This was a good period for the Jags, but in the 21st minute a lapse in concentration allowed Barbour to sneak through the inside left channel. He couldn’t believe his luck but he ran on to volley over the top.
Both sides were looking to be creative and next up was Andy Low getting behind Broch defenders but finishing weakly. Low tried a rising free-kick which was easily saved by Joe Barbour, chosen in preference to Scott Cowe. In between, Ryan Cowie’s floated high cross from the left clipped the crossbar. The last chance of the half came to Barbour racing through and firing high at Burr who saved.
Willie West glanced a header wide from a Ryan Cowie free-kick in 54 minutes but the Green and White faithful were jumping for joy following the equaliser just after the hour mark. Low latched on to a ball 25 yards out and a deflection off Bryan Hay ensured it flew with a spin into the net.
Three minutes later, the score was 1-2. Russell McBride brought down Andrzej Kleczkowski in the box and referee Ryan Milne had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Shaun Carrol stepped up to place the ball to keeper Barbour’s right.
Six minutes later it was 2-2. Scott Barbour again caused panic and his cross from the left was only half-cleared to Johnston who angled his low shot expertly into Burr’s right corner. West then played in Johnston and despite a hesitant defence the No 10 failed to complete his hat-trick.
With four minutes left, Fraserburgh took the lead. Barbour again fired the ball over, Johnston turned his man in the box and when the ball brole loose, Bruce fired high into the roof of the net.
That was to be the winner but Johnston almost made it 4-2 while, off balance in front of the Jags dugout and with keeper Burr returning from an injury-time set-piece, he fired just wide.
Just before the full-time whistle Lewis MacKinnon, who entered the fray as a second-half substitute for the injured Chris Hegarty, was sent-off for an over-zealous challenge on West.