Fraserburgh suffered defeat at home again this season when travelling Wick Academy came to town last weekend. An impressive performance prove to be too much for the Broch on the day, and the Scorries went home unchallenged with all three points.
In a nice change of pace for the Highland League, there were games to be played last Saturday.
It was almost misery early on though, when Ross Allan created the first chance with four minutes on the clock, but Fraserburgh’s Bryan Hay made a fine challenge that was enough to contain the threat from the Wick man.
Two minutes later, the men from Caithness did open the scoring when Craig Shearer’s through-ball was not cut out by Ryan Christie, allowing Davie Allan to get up from the challenge and roll the ball into an empty net from around 14-yards out. The Broch looked for a quick equaliser, and, when Willie West’s header came back off the underside of the bar, it could have been 2-0 when Davie Allan again got deep into the Broch’s half following a Ross Allan pass. Ryan Christie made the intervention on the second time of asking, however, clearing the ball off the goal line.
Scott Barbour and Robert Morrice both had chances for the Broch following this, but a big talking point was to arrive at the other end on the half-hour mark.
Ryan Christie appeared to have fouled Davie Allan in the box and, initially, it looked as though referee Calum Spence had pointed to the spot - but subtly altered the direction of his arm to signal a corner having looked at his assistant.
Robert Morrice should have squared the game, but he shot wide from 6-yards out while, just before the break, Richard Macadie shot straight at Paul Leask from 10-yards with just the keeper to beat, who made a simple save.
The half ended with just one goal in it, but this excellent and open game could well have provided six goals in the opening forty-five minutes, two for the home team and four for the away, without anyone raising an eyebrow.
Wick started the second half just as they did in the first half, scoring an early goal to double their advantage.
The impressive David Allan caused havoc on the Broch’s right, and he was on hand to tee up Stevie Cunningham who, in turn, sent a low drive across the face of Leask and into the bottom corner from 12-yards. Ten minutes later, the Scorries made sure of the points when Richard Macadie produced a clinical finish from 10-yards out, after Michael Steven’s header from a Sam Mackay free-kick came back out off the post.
The action continued to flow with more goals always looking on the cards. The Broch could only grab a consolation goal in the end.
Going into injury time, Allan Hale was fouled by substitute Sean Sinclair just inside the box.
Dean Cowie netted from th resulting penalty, but there was to be no fairytale comeback for the Broch.
Fraserburgh, now in fifth place due to goal difference, will play manager Kris Hunter’s former side Turriff United at the weekend.
A win could still see the Brochers rise up to fourth, but it would take a mammoth effort to improve their goal difference enough - over a very good Turriff side - to secure third.
Speaking after the match, manager Kris Hunter commented on the Broch’s poor defensive record, adding that it was no longer good enough to blame their performances on their relatively young squad.
Indeed, the inconsistencies in the Broch’s performance of late has been hard to explain, with Hunter equipping his new team with the tools they need to turn out brilliant performances against the league champions, but collapsing against sides that the Broch should be able to match across the pitch.
With P.A. Bruce away to Australia next week, the Broch will have to make due with one of their top performers of the season so far against the Aberdeenshire Shield winners, a team Hunter knows very well.
This not-so-secret weapon in Hunter’s knowledge may, then, just be enough for the Broch to get back to winning ways - and fast - before the season all but escapes their grasp.
Fraseburgh host Hunter’s former team on Saturday, February 18 at Bellslea Park.