Fraserburgh battle past Straphspey Thistle

Fraserburgh battled past a stuffy Strathspey Thistle side thanks to Scott Barbour’s stunning first half volley and Jonathan Dunbar’s fantastic late penalty save at Seafield Park in Grantown-on-Spey.

The visitors had numerous chances, none better than Scott Barbour’s penalty which Willie Ridgers saved, but the result keeps the Black and Whites winning run going as they looked forward to the visit of Deveronvale yesterday.

With the games coming thick and fast, Kris Hunter made a number of changes from the Buckie Thistle match including Jonathan Dunbar taking over in goal from the absent Paul Leask, and there were also recalls for Bryan Hay, Mark Cowie, John Willox, Neil Main, Ryan Cowie and John Chalmers who replaced Russell McBride, Ryan Christie, William West, Graham Johnston, Steven Main, & PA Bruce.

The first chance of the match fell to Fraserburgh on five minutes when a short corner by Mark Cowie was played back to him by Scott Barbour and the midfielder’s cross to the back post was nodded across goal by Neil Main, but Bryan Hay could not direct his header on target.

A mistake by John Chalmers on 11 minutes in his own area almost gifted the home side the lead but Allen Mackenzie fired the ball over the bar.

Back came the Broch a minute later when Ryan Cowie fed Scott Barbour on the left, but the ball across the face of goal was missed by everyone and cleared to safety.

Strathspey gave the visiting defence problems when Marc MacDonald played in Terry Swinton but the midfielder screwed his shot wide.

At the other end, John Willox found Scott Barbour in the box but his shot was deflected wide.

The opening goal was only delayed for another seven minutes when Bryan Hay’s cross bounced awkwardly in the box but fell kindly to Scott Barbour who thumped a half volley past Willie Ridgers in the home goal from 20 yards.

The home side were next to threaten on 34 minutes when Sandis Reinsons latched onto a through ball, but his shot bounced off Jonathan Dunbar to safety.

The Broch came out of the traps all guns blazing at the start of the second-half with mark Cowie finding Scott Barbour in the box but his turn and low shot was blocked for a corner.

On 53 minutes, John Chalmers was felled inside the penalty area by Willie Ridgers and referee Douglas Ross had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. The Strathspey number one, however, made amends, turning away Barbour’s rather weak penalty kick.

Strathspey had another chance on the hour mark when Allen MacKenzie laid the ball back to David Ross 20 yards out but he fired his shot well over.

The home side were then reduced to 10 men when Mark MacKernie was red carded for elbowing Zak Conway in an aerial challenge having previously been booked for dissent.

With five minutes left Strathspey had a golden opportunity to level the match when Jonathan Dunbar was adjudged to have taken down Allen MacKenzie. However the Strathspey striker’s penalty kick was brilliantly tipped round the post by Dunbar to preserve his clean sheet.

Fraserburgh will travel to Nairn this Saturday.