Fraserburgh United will be back playing in the PMAC Superleague next season after they defeated Dufftown on a scorching Westburn Park last Saturday.
After a long, gruelling season, United have guaranteed second spot in the 1st Division, but have a slim chance of becoming champions if Inverness lose or draw away to Glentanar this Saturday.
Fraserburgh United manager Gary Sim was understandably elated afterwards: “From the end of April onward was a huge period for us. We targeted five wins and that’s what the players delivered. It’s a tremendous effort when you factor in that we also defeated Inverness twice in that spell.
“It’s myself, Alyn and Graeme’s first season as a management team and we are all over the moon with how the team has reacted and what we have all achieved this season.
“The work from the committee coupled with the support from the sponsors and fans has been immense all season and I’d like to thank them all for the support they have showed us.”
This was a must win game for United, but injuries and work commitments had them down to the bare bones with only 12 fit outfield players.
With the thermometer tipping 27 degrees, United kicked off and their searing start to the match saw them score within the opening five minutes.
A Dufftown attack was broken up by Innes, who passed wide to Rollo whose fantastic ball over the top saw Watt burst clear.
His first touch looked to have taken him too wide, but as Dufftown ‘keeper McIntosh rushed out, Watt superbly dinked the ball over him for the opener.
United grabbed a crucial second goal just minutes later.
With Dufftown pressing forward, McLeman stole possession in the middle of the park and flicked the ball out to Lawrence whose lofted pass saw Bisset race in on McIntosh, driving the ball fiercely into the far corner.
The Broch continued to push forward with McLeman and Rollo driving them on from midfield, but Fraserburgh were proving wasteful in the final third with Bisset and Watt spurning good opportunities.
Fraserburgh were dealt a blow on 15 minutes when Darren Ross had to go off injured. With no defensive options on the bench, Andrew Ritchie replaced him with left winger Taylor being forced into cover as an emergency left back before half-time.
As they did in the first half, United began in blistering fashion and scored the third goal.
With Dufftown committed forward, Taylor tackled and won possession from Jones and fed Lawrence for a three-on-three attack.
Lawrence’s superb outside of the foot pass split the away side’s defence for Bisset to run past before cutting back past Simpson and firing left footed shot past McIntosh to effectively seal the game.
As the game wore on Dufftown began to push forward with more intent and with 75 minutes on the clock grabbed a consolation.
This time Shearer did well, finding McManus with a pass to loop an effort high over United ‘keeper Sinclair and into the far corner of the net.
Dufftown were contained for the rest of the game before referee Cusiter’s final whistle confirmed United’s promotion to the PMAC Superleague.
United can now look forward to June 2, when they head to Inverurie for the final of the MTM Construction Cup against New Elgin.
Anyone interested in travelling up on the team or supporters bus should contact Gordon Laird on telephone number 01346 516828.