Breedon Scottish Highland Football League, Fraserburgh v Huntly, Saturday 2nd March 2019
By Finlay Noble
Broch in seventh heaven as Huntly put to the sword
After their excellent performance the previous week at Buckie, Manager, Mark Cowie only made one change to the starting eleven which was enforced due to Jamie Beagrie’s work commitments with Bryan Hay returning from suspension to take his normal place in the centre of defence. There was also a place on the bench for teenage Lithuanian Arnadas Cepulis who has impressed in the U20 team this season.
Huntly had the first effort of the game after one minute when Gary McGowan fired in a shot which Edward Flinn did well to beat away for a corner. Two minutes later Sean Butcher did well to flick the ball onto Paul Campbell on the right and his centre was met by Scott Barbour but Euan Storrier did well to block the Broch striker’s effort.
On 12 minutes Aidan Combe found Sean Butcher inside the penalty area and the former Longside man laid it off to Scott Barbour who saw his shot squirm just wide of the post. Two minutes later the home side were awarded a penalty after Michael Clark handled inside the area. Paul Campbell fired home the spot kick despite the Huntly keeper getting a hand to it.
The Broch went 2-0 up on 16 minutes when Lewis Davidson bombed down the right wing and crossed into the middle where Paul Young controlled the ball before firing home a half volley from 10 yards. Two minutes later Scott Barbour almost made it three when the ball broke to him inside the box and his shot from a tight angle cannoned off the post and crossbar, Aidan Combe then saw his effort from the rebound tipped over the crossbar by Euan Storrier.
It was 3-0 on 26 minutes when another marauding run and cross by Lewis Davidson saw the ball fall to Scott Barbour who saw his effort blocked but it fell kindly for Paul Campbell who fired home via the aid of a deflection. A minute later and the home side grabbed a fourth when Michael Rae’s long ball forward found Scott Barbour who nudged the ball past the Huntly keeper into an empty net.
Things were going from bad to worse for the visitors who conceded a fifth on 29 minutes when Sean Butcher was released down the right channel and as he drove into the box he saw his low shot spilled by Euan Storrier and Aidan Combe eventually controlled the loose ball before slotting it home from close range.
The home side were really putting their opponents to the sword and it was almost six on 36 minutes when Scott Barbour raced clear of a static Huntly defence but saw his effort saved by the keeper before Aidan Combe curled the rebound just over. Three minutes later Edward Flinn did well to tip over a chipped effort from David Booth as Huntly tried to get one back before the break.
Half Time: Fraserburgh 5 Huntly 0
The visitors had obviously had a rocket from manager Martin Skinner at the break as the came out of the traps quickly in the second half and almost made a breakthrough when Paul Napier sent Gary McGowan clear on goal but once again Edward Flinn did well to stand up and block the winger’s effort.
The home side were content to soak up some Huntly pressure and hit them on the break and on 59 minutes Aidan Combe was released by Sean Butcher on the left wing and his cross flashed across the face of goal with just out of the reach of Paul Campbell. Three minutes later the Broch got their sixth goal when Ryan Cowie’s corner from the right was forced home by Sean Butcher from six yards out.
The visitors then pulled one back on 67 minutes when a ball into the Broch area was cut out by Bryan Hay but unluckily for the home team it smacked of the post and fell into the path of Nicholas Gray who managed to squeeze the ball home despite the desperate efforts of Edward Flinn and Bryan Hay on the goalline.
Three minutes later Bryan Hay was dispossessed on the edge of the penalty area by Gary McGowan but he was thwarted once again by the legs of Edward Flinn. The visitors searched for another goal and almost got it on 83 minutes when Glenn Murison’s flashed a ball across the Broch six yard area but Matthew McDonald couldn’t find the net with his effort on the turn.
A minute later Greg Buchan and Scott Barbour combined for the latter to cut inside and fire an effort in which Euan Storrier did well to save. Arnadas Cepulis then made his debut coming on for Sean Butcher with 4 minutes remaining and the home side scored their seventh in the 90th minute when Scott Barbour and Greg Buchan combined at the edge of the box and the former fired home despite the Huntly keeper getting a hand to the shot.
Full Time: Fraserburgh 7 Huntly 1
Fraserburgh: Edward Flinn, Lewis Davidson, Bryan Hay, Ryan Cowie, Kieran Simpson, Michael Rae, Aidan Combe (Greg Buchan 65), Paul Young, Paul Campbell (Nathan Stuart 81), Sean Butcher (Arnadas Cepulis 86), Scott Barbour.
Subs not used: Graham Johnston, Ryan Sargent, Paul Leask.
Goalscorers: Paul Campbell (14 Penalty & 26), Paul Young (16), Scott Barbour (27 & 90), Aidan Combe (29), Sean Butcher (62).
Huntly: Euan Storrier, Blair Johnston, Michael Clark, Ryan McRitchie (Cory Ritchie 55), Glenn Murison, Ross Still, Kai Ross, David Booth (Matthew McDonald 76), Gary McGowan, Bradley Manson, Paul Napier (Nicholas Gray 64).
Subs not used: Cameron Booth, Tom Andrews, Cameron Chyla, Matthew Johnson.
Goalscorer: Nicholas Gray (67).
Match Officials: Referee: Paul McAvinue, Assistant Referees: Brian Fowlie & Daniel Donohoe.
Man of the Match chosen by Grampian Lifting Services was Michael Rae.