Just three days after their extra-time victory in the Aberdeenshire Shield, Fraserburgh returned to Harlaw Park in the Breedon Aggregates Highland League Cup.
Both sides rang in the changes, with Inverurie bringing five players into a new-look midfield while Fraserburgh brought in three new pairs of fresh legs. Unlike the previous meeting, Inverurie dominated the match, extracting revenge for their mid-week loss.
Kieron Adams gave Inverurie the lead midway through the first half from a well worked corner, before Graeme Stewart’s late winner sealed the victory.
Fraserburgh looked a shadow of the Aberdeenshire Shield side as they failed to threaten the Locos goal, finishing the match with nine men after Marc Dickson and Zac Conway received their marching orders in stoppage time.
After losing two extra-time goals mid-week, the match started promisingly for the home side as Graeme Stewart’s glancing header from a John Maitland corner and Neil Gauld’s low free kick from 20 yards tested Paul Leask without success.
Pressure on the Fraserburgh goal continued to build until Nikki Gordon’s quick thinking corner found their breaking point on 23 minutes. With the defence still setting up, Gordon placed the corner before slyly knocking the ball to Maitland.
Realising the play was now active, the scrambling defence failed to defend the resulting cross, with Keiron Adams picking up the loose ball before poking the ball through a sea of defenders and into the net.
The final scoring opportunity before the break came through a typical Inverurie move, seeing Gauld and Bain linking up in midfield before playing Maitland through on goal, only for his low curling shot from the edge of the box to be comfortably saved by Leask.
In the second half an uninspired Fraserburgh continued to allow Inverurie to hold possession, gifting several opportunities which Inverurie failed to capitalise on.
Inverurie threatened once again, seeing Gordon’s deep cross chipped by Craig Ross into the path of Neil Gauld. With his back to the goal, Gauld chose to execute a spectacular overhead kick, with his effort narrowly missing the target.
Eventually, Fraserburgh’s composure began to slip, resulting in tempers boiling over in the 73rd minute after Marc Dickson’s booking for a professional foul on Neil Gauld as he advanced on goal followed by Zac Conway’s booking for dissent.
Although John Maitland failed to convert the dangerous free kick, attentions quickly turned to the referee as Brian Braidwood sent a furious Kirs Hunter to the stand, leaving the Broch coaches with the managerial duties for the remainder of the match.
Keeping their focus, Inverurie quickly fed the ball back into Maitland deep inside the box. Twisting and turning defenders, he found himself a yard to space to dink the ball across goal to Graeme Stewart, whose header flicked the ball over Leask and dipped under the cross bar.
As the 90th minute approached, Fraserburgh’s discipline capitulated as two players received their marching orders. Zac Conway, booked earlier for dissent was the first into the dressing room after a clumsy high feet tackle on Neil McLean. With tempers boiling over, it came as no surprise when Marc Dickson became the second sending off as he pulled on John Maitland’s shirt in frustration.
Next up for Fraserburgh is another away tripe to Lossiemouth. The Fraserburgh FC supporters club will be running a bus to Lossiemouth this Saturday, which will leave the harbour office at 12:30pm.