Rich Broch effort enough to see off Nairn

Willie West goes in for the ball against Nairn County FC.
Willie West goes in for the ball against Nairn County FC.

Fraserburgh Football Club opened their Highland League campaign with a deserved victory over the favourites for the title, Nairn County.

The spirited performance, driven from the Broch’s midfield and personified by the performance of the Burgh’s Johnny Chalmers, who was praised after the game by manager Kris Hunter, saw both sides fight to get all of the points on the campaign’s opening day.

It was, however, Fraserburgh who would prove to be the more successful at this when Mark Cowie got to the ball first during an in-box scramble at the Nairn end, Cowie falling to the ground to see the ball hit the back of the net which would, ultimately, secure the three points.

The Broch had a chance earlier to go ahead, too, when Willie West saw his penalty well-saved by Narin’s Callum Donaldson.

Nairn, meanwhile, grabbed at their chances when they could, Conor Gethins, who was named as last season’s best player, having the pick of the lot when he broke free in the Broch half, following the Broch going ahead, to miss from 10-yards.

Speaking after the game, Fraserburgh manager Kris Hunter said: “It proves a lot of people wrong,” referencing pre-season predictions about the season.

“The players were a wee bitty annoyed with it.

“They were written off before the season starts,” he continued.

“They’re out to prove a lot of people wrong and they’ve got a lot of pride in tehir ability themselves, so we put that forward to them before the game to go out and start off the season against the title favourites.”

He added: “If we show the same commitment as we did today, then, hopefully, we’ll be challenging.”

Hunter also praised the performance of Courtney Cooper at right-back who, he said, was man-of-the-match, in his opinion.

Elsewhere in the Highland League, Cove Rangers drew 2-2 with Huntly; Wick Academy beat Buckie Thistle 2-0; Brora smashed five past Clachnacuddin in their 5-1 victory; Lossiemouth lost out to Formartine United 0-3; Strathspey lost 0-4 at home to Inverurie Locos; Keith could only score on in a 1-4 defeat to Deveronvale; Fortwilliam lost 2-4 to Turriff United, and Forres Mechanics beat Rothes 2-0.

Fraserburgh will travel to Buckie Thistle on Saturday for a 3pm kick-off. A bus leaves the harbour office at 12:45pm.