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Sat 16th Jan - Fraserburgh 1 Formartine 1

Russell McBride’s acrobatic effort won Fraserburgh a point which takes them above Wick and Buckie into 7th place, while a point for the visitors leaves them 7 points behind league leaders Brora with two games in hand.

McBride’s effort on the 15 minute mark opened the scoring but was cancelled out on the half hour when Gary Wood controversially put the ball in the empty net after Fraserburgh goalkeeper Joe Barbour appeared to go down injured a good 10 seconds before the ball was turned in to the open net.

Both managers agreed that a draw was probably a fair result despite both teams dominating different stages of the game. Mark Cowie was happy with the performance despite the tricky conditions, however he was disappointed they couldn’t get a win but was still content with the draw. Kris Hunter knew what he was coming up against but admitted they found it difficult in the early stages, Kris was still fairly upbeat about the title saying it “keeps it tight at the top” and keeps them in the mix.

Fraserburgh came out sharp and had the best of the early opportunities, the best fell to Grant Noble after Ryan Cowie’s excellent floated ball landed at his feet, but unfortunately for him he volleyed horribly over.

Fraserburgh continued to be the better side and took the lead in the 15th minute when Ryan Cowie’s corner wasn’t cleared by the visiting defence and McBride acrobatically fired the ball into the left side of the net from inside the 6 yard box.

The Broch had an appeal for a penalty when Lawrence appeared to knee the ball onto the hand of a Formartine defender but referee Thomas Shaw was having none of it.

The visitors appeared to change their game slightly after that after as united manager Kris Hunter admitted his side “were struggling to cope with Fraserburgh with their energy and tempo”. The change certainly made a difference with his side creating a lot more chances.

On the half hour mark the visitors equalised through a fairly controversial goal to say the least. Neil Gauld and Bryan Hay appeared to clatter Barbour into the Broch net, with the young keeper unable to get up but and Wood put the ball in the empty net. Barbour had to receive medical treatment afterwards.

Barbour played the rest of the first half with a slight limp but was replaced by ex-St Johnstone youngster Edward Flinn at half time.

Jamie Masson almost put the visitors into the lead as early as one minute into the second half but Flinn saved well, forcing it out for a corner which subsequently led to nothing.

Then Wood was denied by the youngster in the Broch goal after Masson laid it off to Wood on the 6 yard line for a volley but Flinn stood strong to deny the clinical striker.

Fraserburgh could have put themselves ahead with less than 10 minutes to go when Dean Cowie put a cross right on the foot of PA Bruce, who himself was coming back after not playing in a while, but he volleyed into the side netting.

There were claims for a Formartine penalty late on when Andy Reid’s punt was controlled by Wood who played through Cammy Keith but the normally reliable hitman appeared to miss the ball, then claimed that R.Cowie fouled him but once again Shaw said no.

The visitors nearly won it late on when Keith’s header forced Flinn to make a quick reaction fingertip save to keep the score level.


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