Banchory St Ternan 3-1 Fraserburgh Utd
Top of the league Banchory played hosts to second placed Fraserburgh, with both teams needing a win to keep their Division One title hopes alive. This game was in fact rescheduled from the 5th, January and again on the 16th March with the fixture postponed 45 minutes before kick-off due to a snow storm. And the conditions on Saturday were incomparable from a month ago, with the temperature around 23 degrees.
The game started at a fast pace on a fiery pitch and in the opening ten minutes both teams struggled to make any clear chances. The first corner was won by Banchory which was followed by a long Liam Cheyne pass that found Ryan Whelan, but a defender was quick to clear at the expense of another corner that was easily defended.
Saints were slightly on top but despite this could not make any headway towards the Fraserburgh goal, mainly due to their failure to beat the offside trap. Fraserburgh’s first real move came on 23 minutes from a free kick wide left, but
Ross Salmon in Saints goal held well under pressure.
The best chance fell to Saints on 30 minutes when a Grant Munro pass found Jordan Clark on the right but with only the keeper to beat, the winger’s shot was easily saved. Steve Young then shot straight at the keeper from 20 yards followed by a Ben Ross effort being blocked.
With ten minutes remaining in the first half, Fraserburgh got a lucky ricochet that allowed their centre forward to advance on goal, but Conran Wilson kept his cool to clear the danger. A fine Banchory move involving Ross, Cheyne and Steve Travers ended with Darren Reid sending in a low square cross that found no takers.
On 41 minutes it looked as though Ryan Whelan had broken the deadlock with a glancing header from a Cheyne cross but the visiting keeper dived full length to touch away for a corner. This was followed by a Josh Robertson header being cleared off the line. Fraserburgh had the last action though, when a move down the left and cross found no takers.
Into the second half and it only took two minutes for a deserved Banchory goal to arrive. A long throw from Cheyne was nodded to the back post where Jordan Clark was quickest to get a foot in to send the ball into the roof of the net.
Five minutes later Steve Travers was denied, when his shot was parried away by the Fraserburgh keeper. Fraserburgh broke up-field and it looked as though the centre forward was through with just Salmon to beat, but he lost control of the bouncing ball. This was followed by a free kick that was well defended by the dominant Saints defence.
On 57 minutes Travers hit the the bar with an 18 yard attempt and then Conran Wilson was on hand to thwart Fraserburgh’s only danger, their centre forward. Josh Robertson made a vital strong tackle inside the box, but with loud claims from the visitors for a penalty, the referee quite rightly didn’t even think about it. Banchory pushed forward looking to increase their lead. Darren Reid won a corner on 62 minutes with Travers forcing the keeper to tip over the bar and from the second corner the ball was headed out as far as Grant Munro who controlled the
ball at the edge of the box to hammer low past the keeper. Saints continued the pressure with another series of corners, with Josh Robertson prominent and once again being denied.
Steve Travers was suffering from cramp and had to be replaced after 73 minutes by Mark Reid, with a reshuffle in midfield necessary. And within three minutes the third goal arrived. Ben Ross sent in a cross that was headed square by Grant Munro finding Ryan Whelan on the 6 yard line. The striker’s first attempt was blocked but he made no mistake with his second.
Above, Ryan Whelan scores the third and his 14th goal of the season
Craig Peters and Calum Wilson came on for Steve Young and Jordan Clark. And it was Peters who almost grabbed a fourth when he was set free on the left, advanced on goal but shot straight at the keeper.
Conran Wilson made another important challenge in a one to one situation as Fraserburgh briefly threatened in the final ten minutes. And it was a freak goal on 92 minutes that gave the visitors a consolation goal. Somehow as he fell to the ground and sitting on his backside, the Fraserburgh player managed to hook the ball over Salmon into the net.
This was a good all round performance from Banchory and are now in touching distance of the McBookie.com Division One title after the other contenders, Deveronside and Stoneywood Parkvale both lost.
The Saints’ boss was delighted with the teams performance.
I thought for the second week in a row, we were excellent right through the team. The 3 subs came on and caused problems too, especially young Mark. Josh and Conran were outstanding dealing with the Fraserburgh attack who can be very good. We lacked that final bit of quality in the final third in the first half to get ourselves in front but thankfully the first goal came early in the second half followed by a fairly quick second goal which gave us the breathing space to keep the ball and force Fraserburgh to chase us in the heat. Their goal takes a bit of the shine off the day, a split second of misunderstanding but in that heat, in the 92nd minute we can’t be too hard on ourselves.
Team: Ross Salmon, Ben Ross, Liam Cheyne, Conran Wilson, Josh Robertson, Steve Young (Craig Peters), Darren Reid, Steve Travers (Mark Reid), Ryan Whelan, Grant Munro, Jordan Clark (Calum Wilson). Unused Subs: Aaron
Thomson, Euan Rose.
This Tuesday, 23rd we host Stoneywood Parkvale, Kick off 7pm, then on Saturday 27th April Sunnybank visit Milton Park for the Semi-Final of the Morrison Cup, kick off 2pm.