Super Burgh rise to Rothes challenge

Fraserburgh's Grant Noble holds off two Rothes defenders.
Fraserburgh's Grant Noble holds off two Rothes defenders.

Fraserburgh Football Club put in a superb second-half shift to turn around a 1-0 deficit and secure three points against Highland League strugglers Rothes last Saturday.

The Burgh were without Scott Barbour for the game, which allowed for a rare combination of Grant Noble and PA Bruce at the head of the Bellslea club’s attack.

With defenders still missing for the home side, the likes of Willie West and Graham Johnston, meanwhile, were pushed further back, Steven Main allowed the opportunity to run into and create space for his teammates. Scott Cowe continued in goal.

The game kicked off with the banned Barbour bringing out the club’s official mascot for the game, youngster Isla McNab.

Isla, who is raising money to fund life-changing surgery in the United States, was helped on the way to reaching her goal with the raffling of a Manchester United football.

With a warm feeling around the ground, hearts were almost immediately shattered by a flowing Rothes move which saw the Burgh defence left floundered after a quick free-kick allowed Callum Mackintosh past Cowe to open the scoring two minutes into the game.

The game remained Rothes to lose until the second-half, several Burgh chances failing to beat an inspired 45-minutes from visiting ‘keeper Rocky Horne.

After the break, the tempo rose for the home side, and the Highland League’s third-bottom side were unable to keep up.

Naming three 17-year-olds on the bench, it was the goal of seasoned Brocher Johnston that drew Kris Hunter’s side level, the utility player losing his marker to convert in the box just minutes after the restart.

A further three goals, provided by a Bruce hat trick saw the game out for Fraserburgh, the former Blue Toon man linking up with Johnston to score on the 54th, 78th, and 89th minutes of the game.

Bruce, who has arguably been the Burgh’s best player in recent weeks, was singled out for praise by club captain Russell McBride last week, the Highland League centre-back commenting: “PA’s starting to score goals as well.

“His downfall was scoring goals, the amount of one-on-ones PA has missed, and two-three yard shots at goal, is unbelievable, but he’s starting to find his form now and he’s starting to get the goals.”

Three points won, the Burgh will travel to Huntly this Saturday.