Press & Journal Scottish Highland Football League, Fraserburgh v Huntly, Saturday 23rd December 2017, Bellslea Park, Fraserburgh
Broch in seventh heaven as they cruise past Huntly.
Fraserburgh gave their fans an early Christmas present as they breezed past 9 man Huntly. Ryan Christie's first half thunderbolt gave the home side a half time lead with Thoirs seeing red for the visitors. Blair Johnston then received his marching orders for a second yellow card and Huntly were simply overrun by a free flowing Broch side which saw Paul Campbell hit a quickfire double before Gary Harris added a fourth. Ryan Christie then scored twice in 3 minutes to grab a hat-trick and Paul Young scored a spectacular seventh to round things off.
The home side made several changes from the disappointing Shield exit at Turriff over two weeks ago with Ryan Cowie, Dean Cowie, Greg Buchan and Paul Campbell all returning at the expense of Marc Dickson, Andrew Hannar & Michael Rae who all dropped to the bench and Ryan Sargent who didn't make the squad showing the depth of talent available to Mark Cowie.
They early exchanges were even as both sides looked to settle into a rhythm but it was the Broch who were first to threaten when Cameron Buchan was released down the left wing and played the ball across to Greg Buchan who found Lewis Davidson bursting into the penalty area but he could only fire his shot straight at Craig Reid in the visitors goal.
On 18 minutes the home side spurned two great chances when first Paul Campbell got in behind the Huntly defence but Reid was out smartly to block the striker's effort, when the ball was eventually played back into the visitors box, Paul Young was all alone at the back post but he could only clip his shot wide of the far upright.
Huntly came close on 20 minutes when the ball was played back to Dennis Wyness just outside the area and he cracked in a 20 yarder which rebounded off Paul Tait's crossbar to safety.
Eight minutes later the Broch took the lead when William West squared the ball to Ryan Christie 25 yards out and the Black & Whites captain hit a thunderbolt which was too hot to handle for Craig Reid and he could only help the ball into the net for the opening goal.
William West then went close on 38 minutes when a through ball by Paul Young saw the Broch player get in behind the Huntly defence but his lobbed effort drifted wide of the visiting keeper's right hand post.
A minute later a flowing move between Ryan Christie, Lewis Davidson and Greg Buchan saw the latter sweep the ball into the 18 yard area where Paul Young met it sweetly but his well directed shot was smartly saved by Craig Reid.
Three minutes before the break a corner from the right wing was cleared and as the ball came back to Ryan Cowie he swung in an inviting cross which Paul Campbell met with his head but he couldn't direct it on target.
Just before the break Huntly received a huge blow when Alexander Thoirs was shown a straight red card for a high challenge on Ryan Cowie which left the Fraserburgh full back with a nasty stud mark on his thigh.
Half Time: Fraserburgh 1 Huntly 0
The second half was only 11 minutes old when Huntly were reduced to 9 men after Blair Johnston was shown a second yellow for pulling back Lewis Davidson with a rugby style tackle after the Broch full back had brushed past him and was bearing down on the penalty area. From the resultant free kick Ryan Cowie curled in a shot which rebounded off the crossbar into the path of Paul Campbell who made no mistake from close range.
The home side made it 3-0 after 63 minutes when a cross by Lewis Davidson from the right wing to the back post was met by Paul Campbell and he directed his header back across Craig Reid and into the net for his second goal of the match.
Two minutes later the Broch added a fourth goal when Gary Harris, on as a substitute, was released by Greg Buchan on the right and he drove towards the Huntly penalty area before firing a powerful shot from 16 yards high into the roof of the net past a shell shocked Huntly keeper.
It was one way traffic now as Fraserburgh moved the ball about well and Ryan Christie fired in his second of the match on 68 minutes after William West had laid the ball off to him 20 yards out and the Broch captain's rasping drive fizzed past Craig Reid into the net.
The veteran Broch defender cum midfielder then completed his hat trick on 71 minutes when Cory Ritchie was adjudged to have handled inside the box and Ryan Christie made no mistake from the penalty spot.
The home side rounded off the scoring on 78 minutes with arguably the goal of the game from Paul Young. A Broch corner from the right was picked up by Ryan Christie who played the ball back to Young and he caught the ball perfectly on the half volley 20 yards out to rocket a shot past Craig Reid via the crossbar.
Full Time: Fraserburgh 7 Huntly 0
Fraserburgh: Peter Tait, Lewis Davidson, Bryan Hay, Ryan Cowie, Ryan Christie, Dean Cowie, Greg Buchan, William West (Aidan Combe 68), Paul Campbell (Andrew Hannar 68), Paul Young, Cameron Buchan (Gary Harris 58).
Subs not used: Marc Dickson, Michael Rae, Graham Johnston, Edward Flinn.
Goalscorers: Ryan Christie (28, 68 & 71 pen), Paul Campbell (57 & 63), Gary Harris (65), Paul Young (78).
Huntly: Craig Reid, David Donald, Blair Johnston, Tom Andrews (Cameron Booth 59), Glenn Murison, Michael Clark, Paul Napier, Ross Still, Dennis Wyness (Cory Ritchie 46), Michael Ewen (Reece McKeown 65), Alexander Thoirs.
Subs not used: Calvin Roddie, Clark Robertson, Ryan Stewart, John Farquhar.
Referee: Alex Shepherd, Assistant Referees: Chris Phillips & Neil Matheson.
Man of the Match selected by match sponsor Grampian Lifting Services Ltd, Fraserburgh captain Ryan Christie.