United triumphed in the latest Buchan derby as they comfortably overcame North East rivals Buchanhaven Hearts by two goals to nil at College Park on Saturday.
In a game short on action or incident it took something special to break the deadlock for United.
Ewan Taylor grabbed his second goal in as many games with a tremendous strike moments before half time to get the Broch into the lead.
The opening exchanges were very even, neither team settling into any kind of rhythm. Buchanhaven’s 4-3-3 formation was keeping the home side’s defence busy while neither side could get any dominance in the midfield.
The only point of note in the opening 25mins was a Fraser Watt effort that Bruce held comfortably and a Noble cross-come-shot that drifted inches over the bar.
The best chance of the opening half an hour arrived for Hearts. Rollo gave away a free-kick on the half way line and Hart’s quick thinking saw him play in Keith with the United defence napping, but Keith’s effort from 18yards was brilliantly finger tipped round the post by Dunbar in the home goal.
This let-off seemed to inspire United as they upped the tempo, on 36mins Taylor had an effort well blocked by Bruce. But the youngster did not have long to wait. Rollo’s cross from the right was partially cleared out to the left touchline where Taylor collected the loose ball and turned skipping past Stainton and Clark before flashing a superb drive into the near top corner past the despairing dive of Bruce.
United should have doubled their advantage on 41mins when Forbes fired in a drive that deflected off Brown and landed at Bisset’s feet 6yards out but United’s top scorer blasted just over.
The second half followed the template of the first as Hearts seemed content to employ a very direct game and work off the knock downs from the towering Cunningham who was having a great duel with United’s Innes.
With Buchanhaven’s strikers feeding off scraps it always looked more likely that the Broch would be the side to get another goal and so it arrived on 55mins. Hay broke down a Buchanhaven attack on the left and burst upfield his pass inside found Forbes who chipped the ball down the left where Watt raced clear his ball into the box found McLeman’s run and he flicked the ball into the back post where Liam Rollo gleefully headed home from 2yards to grab his first goal in United colours.
United replaced the injured goalscoring duo for Andrew Ritchie and Darren Ross as United turned the screw in the last 10mins. With the Hearts side beginning to tire United created a number of chances but Lawrence and Watt spurned the best of them as the game drew to its conclusion.
Assistant Manager Alyn Sim said afterwards: “With derby games the form book goes out the window, so it was crucial that we were focused and I’m glad to say that the lads today did all that we asked of them.”