Fraserburgh took on a good Falkirk side that plays four divisions higher than them, so it was always going to be a tough contest.
Falkirk were the team with all the possession, but only had one goal to show for it through Lee Miller until the 67th minute when the Broch stunned them with the equaliser. However, minutes later Falkirk re-gained their lead and didn’t look back.
Falkirk as you’d expect had the early chances with Joe Barbour flapping at the ball when it came into the box, but it was collected eventually. The home side really should have taken the lead in the seventh minute as Blair Alston took a quick free-kick to Aaron Muirhead, which caught out the Broch defence. He crossed from the right of the box and Miller should have scored on the volley from six yards out, but he missed.
The visitors’ opening shot came in the ninth minute with Graham Johnston running wide and his effort hit the side netting, not troubling stand-in keeper Alex Tokarczyk.
The Broch were certainly making a game out of it, refusing to let the home side have it all their own way.
However, the Bairns took the lead in the 16th minute as Alston’s corner was met by the head of Miller, whose effort went through Barbour’s arms and into the back of the net.
It would have been easy for the Broch to give up after the first goal, but they continued to play exactly like they had all game, restricting Falkirk to shooting from distance.
Falkirk did manage to carve open the Fraserburgh defence again and it was down to John Baird playing a one-two with Craig Sibbald. Baird hit a shot from a tight angle that was saved by the legs of Babrour, who then gathered the ball.
The Bairns started the second period exactly like they had played the whole first half, with a lot of possession, but not doing much incisively with the ball.
The home side did have the ball in the net as Luke Leahy put in a cross after a corner had been cleared and Baird flicked it with the back of his head. The ball found the top corner of the net but the linesman flagged for offside.
Barbour then made a quality save to stop Leahy’s half volley from 25 yards out and the keeper pushed the ball out for a corner, which led to nothing.
Astonishingly, in the 67th minute, the Broch equalised. John Chalmers played an excellently weighted through ball into the path of right midfielder Marc Lawrence, who was one-on-one with the Bairns keeper Tokarczyk. The winger’s first effort was saved, but he followed up to score on the rebound and send the 311 Broch fans into delight.
That joy was short lived as Barbour made a fantastic save to deny Miller and the ball went out for another corner. Alston played his cross to Will Vaulks, who headed home to regain Falkirk’s lead in the 71st minute and went off to do his acrobatic celebration.
That Fraserburgh strike certainly woke Falkirk up and three minutes after their second goal, the hosts made it 3-1. Vaulks managed to send a chip over the defence and Miller beat the offside trap to get to the ball. The striker wasn’t going to miss from eight yards out and he grabbed his second of the game.
The Broch made an effort to go for it by bringing on Steven Davidson but he couldn’t manage to change the game.
Falkirk got their final goal in the 84th minute. Miller slid in to force the ball over the line after Barbour made a great save to deny youngster Jamie O’Hara. That was enough to get the striker his hat-trick and the match ball.
Miller told the press after the game that this was the first time he got the match ball, as the last time he got a hat-trick was against St Mirren and someone scored a hat-trick before him in that game.
At full-time all the Fraserburgh players went over to their fans and were fairly happy with the shift they put in. All the fans and staff can be immensely proud of the Broch players, who gave their absolute all.