When Fraserburgh travelled down to Brora Rangers on Saturday, January 21, fans were probably hoping that their performance against Buckie Thistle – in which they provided a defensive master-class to keep Buckie at bay 1-0 – would be repeated. It was not, and, instead, the Broch slumped to a disheartening 2-2 draw.
The wintry chill in the air provided the backdrop to a lukewarm Fraserburgh performance that gifted Brora Rangers a point, the travelling Brochers twice finding themselves ahead in the game. Gary Kerr and Steven Ross cancelled out strikes from Mark Cowie and Scott Barbour – all the goals coming in the second-half.
The Broch had the first chance of the game, playing against the wind. In the sixth minute, it was free-scoring Allan Hale who skipped past Sean McCarthy with a burst of pace to attempt a toe-poke into the back of the Buckie Net. Gordon Finlayson was up to the early challenge and made a scrambling clearance off of the line to save his side.
Some 15 minutes in, Steven Ross of Brora tried his luck with a 30-yard free-kick, but it lacked any real pace to trouble the Fraserburgh goal – despite a strong wind playing against the Broch.
Allan Hale again troubled the Brora back-line, well into the first-half, his shot denied by Sean McCarthy. Gary Kersha, picking up on a tidy pass from Liam Baxter, then saw his shot from 10-yards well saved by Paul Leask.
With the wind playing in Brora’s favour, they could have been accused as being overzealous with their attempts, with their through-balls zipping harmlessly past many of their targets. Just before the break, however, it was Baxter who crossed an inch-perfect ball for Gary Kerr to head. Kerr, though, could not convert it, and the ball fell harmlessly wide of the post.
The second half started with a bang as the Broch took the lead just two minutes into the restart.
A swift break down the left saw Willie West deliver the ball into a dangerous area, Mark Cowie played in just in front of Sean McCarthy to slam the ball into the goalmouth from just 9-yards out.
The game did not settle for the Broch, however, and Brora levelled in the 53rd minute.
Liam Baxter’s tempting free kick appeared to evade every Fraserburgh player as it found a way into the back of Leask’s goal.
Back came Fraserburgh and young Scott Barbour was to get his name on the scoresheet when a dangerous corner from the right was turned home from close range by the teenager.
The game was now in full flow and the momentum swung back towards the home team in the 74th minute as they grabbed a second equaliser, the Broch unable to hold on to their lead for the second time.
Liam Baxter played a free kick to Gordon Finlayson and his deep cross was met by Steven Ross at the back post, the Buckie man crashing a header past a stranded Paul Leask.
Nine minutes from time, the Cattachs could have went in front themselves.
Liam Baxter played the ball to Steven Ross and he fed it into the path of substitute Craig Ross who bore down on goal, but luckily fired his shot high over the bar with only Leask to beat.
Mimicking the Broch’s performance last week, the Brora defence played their hearts out for in the dying embers of the second-half, Fraserburgh unable to break down their defence despite constant attacking moves.
After the match, manager Kris Hunter suggested that poor defending had resulted in his side dropping two points. Hunter added that Forres Mechanics were probably too much of a stretch to catch up with now, with Fraserburgh 14 points behind the league leaders.
The Broch now face Deveronvale in their next match, at home on Saturday, 28 January.