They began the game full of hope, but, by the end of it, they were truly battered and bruised.
Despite a promising start, Strathspey Thistle were powerless to resist Fraserburgh’s second-half fightback as the home side continued their steady march with a 4-1 victory.
In action for the first time since their Aberdeenshire Shield triumph, Fraserburgh rang the changes from the side that beat Banks O’Dee at Balmoor, with youngsters Johnny Chalmers, Zak Conway and goalkeeper Joe Barbour being brought into the side.
It was the side from Grantown-on-spey who took a surprise lead in what was the only real spark in a somewhat sluggish opening period to the game. A weak kickout from Joe Barbour landed at Mateusz Bobrowski’s feet around 25 yards from goal, his curling effort looked to be ending up the wrong side of the post – or so everyone inside Bellslea Park thought, including Barbour himself – however the ball took a late wicked twist and ricocheted off the goal frame before nestling in the opposite corner.
Fraserburgh found it difficult to get into their stride in a first half that saw little in the way of opportunities.
However, the Jags stood firm until a penalty incident on the half-hour mark that brought the sides level.
A shout for handball went up in the area after a deflected shot looked to have taken a nick off a blue hand in the box, and following consultation with his assistant, Andy Milne promptly pointed to the spot. Ryan Christie, albeit not the customary penalty taker for the black-and-whites, equalised into the bottom left-corner, well out of the reach of Paul Robertson.
It wasn’t too long before the Bellslea boys took the lead for the first time in the game.
A corner from Robert Morrice missed everyone inside the 6-yard box, with Ryan Christie keeping the ball alive by sliding in at the byline, before the ball kindly dropped to Scott Barbour to nod home from less than a yard out.
And Fraserburgh continued in their attacking vein by securing a third goal, a spell of pressure culminating in Bryan Hay finishing the move off and making the points secure just over twenty minutes from time. The short corner was played to Morrice, who saw his initial shot palmed away, Christie’s drive was blocked before Bryan Hay’s header through a ruck of players caught Robertson unsighted and bounced into the bottom corner.
The Strath Jags’ goalmouth was becoming busier by the minute with the away side firmly camped in their own half, Conway seeing a chance saved before adding his name to the scoresheet only a few moments later.
Graham Johnston – with his first touch – aimed a corner at the front post from a corner kick, and Zak Conway with the slightest flick of a boot netted with a well-deserved goal for the afternoon.
In danger of becoming a rout late in the afternoon, both Johnston and Barbour almost handing the Broch their third consecutive five-star scoreline, the game came to a close with the Broch on the right side of a 4-1 victory.
For the result of the Broch game against Inverurie Loco Works, visit us online at www.fraserburghherald.co.uk.