Breedon Scottish Highland Football League, Fort William v Fraserburgh, Saturday 13th April 2019
By Mark Simpson
Broch in seventh heaven to beat Fort and finish in third place
It was a young Fraserburgh side with an average age of 23 that took the field for the last game of the season at Claggan Park against Fort William. Mark Cowie made several changes from the previous game against Clach with 12 first team regulars missing for various reasons. Teenagers Nathan Stuart, Kieran Simpson and debutant Ross Coutts joined skipper William West in a very youthful looking defence with 21 year old Edward Flinn in goal. There were also three teenagers on the bench, Andrew Hannar, Liam Norris and Joel Murray who was getting his first taste of first team action they were joined by a rather older trialist!!
The visitors took the lead on 4 minutes when Paul Campbell crossed from the right and the unlucky Joshua Knowles turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Scott Barbour. Four minutes later Aidan Combe found space before unleashing a shot which Callum Ligertwood did well to save.
The Broch were creating some good openings and another cross by Scott Barbour to the back post found Paul Campbell but his header was comfortably saved by the Fort William stopper. The visitors should have doubled their lead on 20 minutes after Paul Campbell burst through the home defence and as the ball broke kindly for Scott Barbour he could only watch in horror as he lifted it well over the crossbar.
Three minutes later Paul Campbell had another effort which went just over the bar. Scott Barbour then tried his luck with a free kick 20 yards out on 25 minutes but once again it dipped just over the uprights. The second goal finally arrived on 33 minutes when good work on the left by Aidan Combe saw him cross into the Fort penalty area for Scott Barbour to slot home.
Half Time: Fort William 0 Fraserburgh 2
Despite leading at the break it was obvious that Mark Cowie wasn't entirely happy with the first half showing as the visitors were out of the traps quickly in the second half. Aidan Combe crossed from the left and Scott Barbour should have done better than head past from close range. On 53 minutes a corner from the right was met by William West but his shot was blocked away and two minutes later Nathan Stuart's cross from the right almost caught our the Fort keeper as it dipped just over the bar.
The visitors were getting closer to a third and on 56 minutes Paul Campbell's header into the path of Scott Barbour saw the Broch's leading marksman dink the ball past Callum Ligertwood only to strike the outside of the post. A minute later he returned the favour crossing from the left but Paul Campbell could only lift the ball over from a good position.
The home defence finally cracked on 58 minutes when Paul Campbell drove down the right wing before delivering a peach of a cross which was crashed home by Sean Butcher. Two minutes later and it was four, Aidan Combe picking up a clearance just outside the Fort penalty area before slotting the ball into the net just inside the left upright.
The Broch continued to lay siege to the Fort goal and Sean Butcher saw a shot deflected onto the post and wide on 65 minutes before Scott Barbour was played in on goal five minutes later and chipped the ball past Callum Ligertwood but also past the post. The fifth goal was only delayed for a further two minutes when Aidan Combe did well to set up Paul Campbell and he rifled the ball into the top corner from the edge of the penalty box.
Substitute Liam Norris tried his luck from distance on 78 minutes but it was straight at the Fort keeper but a minute later Sean Butcher controlled a loose ball before hammering home a shot from 14 yards. Joel Murray then made his debut for the club replacing the aforementioned Butcher on 81 minutes and the diminutive winger set up Scott Barbour two minutes later but the effort went just over.
The one way traffic continued into the last five minutes and Aidan Combe saw another shot blocked with Andrew Hannar firing the rebound just over. The visitors wrapped up a good afternoon's work on 89 minutes when Liam Norris picked out Aidan Combe with an inch perfect pass and the Broch winger coolly slotted past the Fort keeper from just inside the penalty area.
Full Time: Fort William 0 Fraserburgh 7
Fort William: Callum Ligertwood, Ronan Cameron, Aiden Taylor, Callum Fraser (Sam MacKenzie 63), John Treasurer, Joshua Knowles, Ryan Henderson (Kyle Dignan 71), Robert Nevison, Toni Moir, Jordan Andrew, Scott Hunter (Ryan MacDonald 83).
Subs not used: Brandon Lopez, Jordan Morrison, Ruairidh MacDonald.
Fraserburgh: Edward Flinn, Nathan Stuart (Liam Norris 68), Ross Coutts, Greg Buchan, Kieran Simpson, Paul Young, Aidan Combe, William West, Paul Campbell (Andrew Hannar 76), Sean Butcher (Joel Murray 81), Scott Barbour.
Subs not used: Mark Cowie, Joe Barbour.
Goalscorers: Own Goal (4), Scott Barbour (33), Sean Butcher (58 & 79), Aidan Combe (60 & 89), Paul Campbell (72).
Match Officials: Referee: Mat Northcroft, Assistant Referees: Brian Dean & Allan Leslie.