Banchory St Ternan 2-1 Fraserburgh Utd
Saints welcomed Fraserburgh United to Milton Park hoping to avenge a close 2-1 defeat earlier in the season and it turned out to be another close game with the Buchan side losing out this time by the same scoreline.
As in recent matches, Banchory were on the front foot immediately and in the very first attack Ryan Whelan flicked to Darren Reid who found Craig Peters wide right but the wingers low cross was blocked and cleared. Then on 4 minutes Darren Reid had a shot well saved by the Broch keeper, followed four minutes later with Craig Peter’s low shot going just past.
Fraserburgh began to make headway forcing two free kicks in quick succession that were well defended. On 15 minutes Saints had another two chances to take the lead. Firstly a point blank shot was blocked by the Broch keeper and then a Steve Travers long range effort shaved the base of the post. Minutes later Darren Reid had a great opportunity but blasted well over the bar.
Fraserburgh were relying on the quick break for their opportunities and from one of these down the right the awkward cross was well cleared by Saints defence. On the half hour mark Fraserburgh came the closest to opening the scoring when from a suspiciously offside move through the middle the centre forward hit the post from 18 yards.
The visitors had their tails up now and began to control the midfield for a spell. Right on half time a foul was awarded to Banchory and to everyone’s surprise the Fraserburgh number 11 received a red card for alleged comments to the referee.
With the one man advantage Saints looked for an early goal at the start of the second half. However apart from a couple of attacks down the flanks which were easily dealt with when the crosses arrived in the box, there was no direct shots on goal.
Mark Reid came on for Ben Ross changing the Banchory formation. On 61 minutes Darren Reid set up Ryan Whelan on the left and the forwards shot was blocked for a corner. Fraserburgh broke up the park from the flag kick and Steve Travers saved the day with a last ditch tackle just outside the box.
The visitors were playing well despite the one man disadvantage and were still looking dangerous. But on 63 minutes Saints took the lead when Darren Reid headed on a Liam Cheyne cross for Steve Travers to score with a diving header.
Play was end to end now and played at a fast pace. On 72 minutes Greig Mackie replaced Jordan Clark and a minute later Saints had the ball in the back of the Broch net. A cross was headed in by Josh Robertson finding Craig Peters at the back post to rise above a defender to head the ball into the net. Despite there being the goalkeeper and a defender on the line, the referee blew for offside.
Fraserburgh took the free kick, broke up the right where Liam Cheyne put in a late tackle to receive his second yellow of the day and an early shower.
With 15 minutes remaining Saints were caught napping when a long ball over the defence on the left and with Ross Salmon off his line, the winger simply stroked the ball into the empty net to make it 1-1.
Play was end to end and quite hectic. On 82 minutes Calum Wilson replaced Josh Robertson to again change the formation pushing for the winner.
Fraserburgh exploited some gaps in the Saints defence and twice Salmon saved the day, firstly saving with his legs and then saving at the feet of number 8.
The final five minutes saw Banchory press forward with Whelan prominent down the left, and it was from his cross on 90 minutes that produced the winner. The ball landed at the back post where Mark Reid’s effort was blocked by the keeper and when a defender attempted to clear the ball it ricocheted off Mark and over the line.
Six minutes of injury time followed which didn’t please the home spectators and management team but we held for the 3 points
Saint’s boss Robb was pleased with the 3 points but not the performance.
Yes, delighted to get the 3 points but we made hard work of it. We missed a few great chances early on. Their goalie has made a brilliant, really brave save at the feet of Darren. Travie went close with a header and Daz then put a great chance over the bar. Credit to Fraserburgh, they played with great tempo and even with 10 men, were a threat. We weren’t great in possession today and gave the ball away far too easily at times, maybe just a little eager to go forward when it wasn’t on. I thought when we got the first goal it would settle us down and we’d take control which we did and then got the second which kills the game but the ref’s disallowed it and instead of 2-0 up, within 5 minutes we’re down to 10 men and it’s 1 all. But the lads showed great determination to keep at it and find a way to win when the game could’ve went either way. Pleasing to see Whelan and Liam getting involved in the goals on their first starts since returning to the club. Liam’s delivery for the first and then Whelan’s for the second so they’ve done their part
Team: Ross Salmon, Ben Ross (Mark Reid), Liam Cheyne, Aaron Thomson, Josh Robertson (Calum Wilson), Steve Young, Craig Peters, Steve Travers, Darren Reid, Ryan Whelan, Jordan Clark (Greig Mackie). Subs: Adam Reid, Euan Rose.
Next Saturday Saints are away to Longside. kick off 1.30pm.