After suffering a 5-1 defeat at The Haughs in October, Fraserburgh dished out a similar victory of their own to Turriff United as a scintillating display saw them brush aside their Aberdeenshire counterparts, with Graham Johnston netting a first-half hat-trick.
Both sides had reached the next phase of the Aberdeenshire Shield in the past fortnight, and were eager to make an impression on the very much wintry conditions at Bellslea Park, however it was Fraserburgh who posed questions to Turriff early on.
A kick-out from Paul Leask caused problems for the Turriff defence who let the ball bounce in front of them, handing Johnston a chance as Bowden was ousted for pace by the Broch forward who got to the ball in a flash and shuffled the ball past Steven Coutts for 1-0.
And before long that same man had doubled Fraserburgh’s advantage. Dave McKenzie saw a looping effort rise just over the crossbar just a moment prior, but at the other end Allan Hale’s pass fed Graham Johnston who, with a sublime piece of trickery, saw him beat his marker with his first touch and deceived a second by shimmying past him before finishing the ball into the far corner.
Fraserburgh were very much in the ascendancy and there was no doubt over who got the third. Goalkeeper Steven Coutts received a backpass but the weight of his touch allowed Graham Johnston a chance to pounce, blocking Coutts attempted clearance and finishing into an empty net despite Mark Simpson’s best efforts to slide the ball out, rounding off a remarkable twenty-minute period for Gizzy.
If there was any doubt over the final outcome from any of the 299 near-frozen spectators inside Bellslea Park, that doubt was surely extinguished just prior to half-time. Scott Barbour raced to the byline to gather a long ball played down the flank, up against Chris Herd there seemed to be very little on for Barbour but his cross was misjudged in the wind by Coutts and PA Bruce arrived at just the right time to slam home from less than a yard out, in his penultimate game for the club before departing to New South Wales.
Half-Time: Fraserburgh 4-0 Turriff United
The second half had a much slower tempo to it compared to the previous period at Turriff attempted to fully settle in order to reclaim some pride after what had been a torrid afternoon for them, however it didn’t get much better as Dean Cowie added another for the Broch, completing their nap hand. A high ball knocked over the top by Bruce picked out Cowie’s run, and managed to execute a sublime lob over Coutts from just outside the penalty area, with the celebratory somersaults intact.
The rest of the game was played at virtually training ground pace, with Fraserburgh and boss Kris Hunter obviously very content with their display despite a spirited second half display from Turriff, which saw Jerry O’Driscoll trouble Paul Leask’s goal with a low effort that span off two defenders, and it was those two players who were involved in Turra’s consolation strike.
Substitute Ryan Cowie’s cross from the left was hooked on by Jerry O’Driscoll before striking the underside of the bar and taking a vital touch of Leask before crossing the line.
Steven Coutts made a fine save to deny Johnston a 4th goal of the afternoon late on, before Michael Taylor missed a gilt-edged chance to reduce the deposit firing well over the bar when he should have at least hit the target from a ball across the face of the 6-yard box, however it was the Broch who got back on track with this convincing victory, setting them up nicely for last Tuesday night’s visit of Buckie Thistle.