Banchory St Ternan 1-0 Fraserburgh United
Fraserburgh United made the long trip to Milton on Saturday for this Morrison Cup Section 2 tie, shortened though by taking the new AWPR and arriving in record time from previous visits.
Banchory manager Ewan Robb and his coaching staff welcome back the suspended Jordan Clark, and Steve Young, but Captain Steve Travers was not included in the squad as a result of a toe injury from the previous week. Ben Ross, Jason Ritchie were also rested to give them time to recover from niggling injuries.
The game started at a high pace with both teams looking determined to show who was in command for the up and coming important league game at Milton in two week’s time. The first chance fell to Banchory on 10 minutes but a weak free kick posed no problems. Minutes later Fraserburgh’s centre forward got free but his 20 yard angled shot come cross went well wide of Rose’s post. Then two more Saints free kicks from just outside the box were blocked by the visitor’s wall.
The best chance fell to Broch’s number 7 on 17 minutes when his 15 yard effort went a foot over the junction of post and bar. Mark Reid went close for Saints minutes later but the Broch keeper blocked his effort at the expense of a corner from which Reid hit the side netting with a header.
The game was still being played at high pace ebbing and flowing end to end. The visitors went close with a low shot but Euan Rose in Saints goal had it well covered and then the young keeper had to look lively to punch clear. A Broch free kick was deflected for what looked like a corner but the referee awarded a goal kick.
With just over 30 minutes gone Grant Munro looked as though he was through on goal and about to shoot when he was brought down one yard outside the box, but yet again the free kick was blocked this time from Liam Cheyne.
Five minutes later, Richard Binnie was through on goal but the visiting keeper saved the day, but on 38 minutes the deadlock was broken when Grant Munro was upended inside the box and he calmly stepped up himself to score from the penalty spot. It should have been 2-0 minutes later but Ryan Whelan took too long to line himself up and his shot was blocked by the keeper.
Two minutes before half time Euan Rose made a fine diving save low to his left to turn a net bound shot past the post and then just before the whistle a Liam Cheyne needless challenge gave away a free kick which thankfully was easily dealt with.
Into the second half and a Banchory change was made right away, with Jordan Clark coming on for Cheyne who was on a yellow card, meaning Ryan Whelan moving to the left back position.
Within a few minutes a glorious chance fell to Saints when Mark Reid beat two defenders down the right only to see his low cross being missed by two of his team mates inside the 6 yard box. Then a minute later at the other end Rose made a save with his legs to prevent the equaliser.
Fraserburgh had a chance with a 25 yard free but Rose gathered easily and from his clearance the ball was played into Mark Reid who found himself in the centre forward position inside the box. The Lumsden loon wriggled past two defenders and then had his feet whipped from underneath him for a second penalty of the day. Mark decided to take the penalty himself but the keeper made a good save low to his right to keep the score at 1-0 with 11 minutes of the second half gone.
The visitors maybe should have equalised three minutes later when their number 10 found himself unmarked at the back post but he skewed his header well wide.
The pace of the game slowed somewhat which was not surprising in what was a very competitive game and in this spell the referee reached for his yellow card on a few occasions.
With 15 minutes remaining Ryan Whelan cleared a net bound shot off the line as Fraserburgh tried to up the pace.
On 81 minutes Ethan Grant replaced Mark Reid and it wasn’t long before the substitute sent in an awkward low cross just evading Richard Binnie.
The final minutes belonged to Saints and with Binnie causing problems the Fraserburgh number 4 received a second yellow card and his marching orders.
Craig Peters came on for Munro with one minute of normal time remaining, but it was another 6 minutes before the referee blew for full time. This win puts Saints top of their Section and in a good position to qualify as one of the top two to qualify for the semi-finals.
The boys hunger was there to see against a good, physical Broch side. Had we been a bit more clinical the game could’ve been a lot more comfortable for us. Wheels has had a good chance he’ll probably wish he went first time. Mark’s cross for Darren and a carbon copy from Ethan’s cross which has just evaded Binnie sliding in, then obviously the penalty. At 1-0 it’s never really safe as the Broch are a decent side with players in the forward areas who can hurt you and although i felt we were defensively solid, Broch will feel there’s a few chances they could’ve done better with but all in all i think we probably deserved the points.
Team: Euan Rose, Dean Henderson, Liam Cheyne (Jordan Clark), Aaron Thomson, Josh Robertson, Steve Young, Mark Reid (Ethan Grant), Darren Reid, Grant Munro (Craig Peters), Richard Binnie, Ryan Whelan.
Unused Subs: Ross Salmon, Jason Ritchie.
Next Saturday, Saints have to travel North again to play Buckie Rovers in their final away League game, leaving the final five league games at Milton Park during the course of March and April, kick off 2.00pm at Merson Park.