Formartine tested by 10-man Broch

CHALLENGE: The Broch challenged the visitors across the pitch, but missed out on a point from the game.
CHALLENGE: The Broch challenged the visitors across the pitch, but missed out on a point from the game.

The Broch nearly stole a point from Formartine United last weekend, the 10-men of Fraserburgh just missing out in what would have been a superb comeback in a game that saw Aberdeenshire Cup final opponents meet once more.

The result means that Fraserburgh are yet to record a win in the Highland League since beating Formartine last month in the Aberdeenshire Cup, a decision to send off their key shot stopper starting their latest attempt at a win on a sour note.

Making slight contact with Mike Ewen in the box, Paul Leask was given his orders by referee Caryl Potten to exit the pitch, leaving manager Kris Hunter with something of a dilemma, having no substitute goalkeeper named in his side.

Instead, Michael Fletcher was called upon to pull on a pair of gloves and keep the Broch net empty, but was given little chance of stopping a Stuart Soane penalty kick which, although Fletcher reached in the correct direction, beat him to open the scoring.

The Broch looked to get back in the game with Mark Cowie and Graham Johnston both coming close with good attempts, but Fletcher drew the plaudits from the home crowd in the first-half, preventing a Callum Dingwall effort that would have seen the Broch go two behind.

Shortly after the restart, the Broch drew level, beating the odds with Scott Barbour who calmly stroked the ball into the corner of the net from a spot-kick of his own, having been fouled by Mark Smith after out-pacing him.

However, Formartine took advantage of their extra man and were back in the ascendancy half-way through the second-half, Fletcher gifting the ball to Ewen who went down following another challenge in the box, the referee pointing to the spot for Michael McGinlay to convert.

Formartine would have hoped to have made the rest of the game an easy affair just minutes later, Ewen, who caused problems all day for the Broch, bursting into onto a pass from the right to give the away side their third goal

Fraserburgh, though, had other ideas.

In a game of refereeing decisions, Scott Barbour was brought down in the away box once more, another penalty awarded to the home side.

Barbour again chose the right-hand corner of the net to place his shot, and, again, beat the goalkeeper to keep the Broch’s hopes of a comeback alive.

With both sides now in a fight for control of the game in the dying seconds of play, it was Formartine who came closest to shaving the last say, Fletcher caught out by a Phil McKibben attempt which saw the makeshift goalkeeper saved by the crossbar before the final whistle.

The Broch, losing in heartbreaking fashion after a dominant showing with just 10 men, now find themselves in the bottom-half of the Highland League, with seven points from as many games.

However, after this showing at Bellslea Park, and with games in hand, the Broch are unlikely to make their residence in the bottom places a permanent one.

Fraserburgh play Strathspey Thistle on Saturday, October 27, in the Highland League.

A bus to Grantown-on-Spey will be run by the Fraserburgh Supporters Club which will leave the harbour office at 11am.