Gritty Broch denied win

Fraserburgh managed to cobble together a squad for this trip to Clachnacuddin after a flu bug had decimated Charlie Duncan’s pool throughout the week.

However, their Highland League travel sickness continued thanks to Gordon Morrison’s last-minute thunderbolt, which rescued a point for the hosts and left the Broch still with just one away win this season.

A shot by Jonathan Garden was pushed away for a corner after two minutes for Fraserburgh before Clachnacuddin’s John MacAskill put trialist Daniel Macleod through one-on-one with the goalkeeper but Paul Leask was quick off his line and did well to spread himself and block a certain goal.

A Courtney Cooper effort at the other end had Clach stopper David Harrison struggling to collect on 11 minutes. It was to be the start of a nightmare half for the home goalkeeper.

There was nothing the Clach number one could do on 13 minutes though, as a nice ball by young defender Scott Ritchie found Willie West unmarked at the back post and he had no problem putting the visitors in front.

Clach looked for an instant response and a whipped in cross by Allan Pollock was just too high for the unmarked Stuart Leslie. Veteran Russell McBride was then booked for a blatant block on 20 minutes and from the resultant Pollock free kick, a great diving header by Gordon Morrison levelled terms.

The hosts now had their tails up and Broch goalkeeper Paul Leask well to touch a Brian Macleod drive around the post for a corner.

A minute later, Macleod did manage to beat the stopper and put the ball in the net but his effort was ruled out for a foul on the ‘keeper.

The game continued to swing from end to end and on 31 minutes, a Neil Main cross caused mayhem in the Clach six-yard box, resulting in West having a shot that was cleared off the line before Graham Johnston’s follow up hit the grounded goalkeeper with MacAskill then on hand to mop up for the home side.

Leslie bagged himself a hat trick in Clach’s last outing and he had a great chance to add to his tally for the season when he robbed Ritchie 25 yards from goal but instead of closing in on Leask, he decided to shoot early and the visiting stopper had no problems clutching the attacker’s effort.

A free McBride header off a Johnston header fizzed over the bar as the Broch began to dominate again. Then, on the stroke of half time, Johnston saw his free kick fumbled onto the bar by Harrison to give Jonathan Garden the easiest of chances from two yards and he bundled home to put his side back in front.

Both teams took their time to settle into the second half but it was left to Gordon Morrison to make his mark on the 53 minutes when he very cleverly chipped the ball over the outrushing Broch defence and to the horror of the visitors, the ball landed in the path of Stuart Leslie, who made no mistake from close-in to square things up.

But the home supporters’ joy was short-lived as no more than 120 seconds later, Fraserburgh had managed to get their noses back in front.

A good run and powerful cross by Neil Main caught the home defence on their heels but the alert Russell McBride had read the script and was on hand at the back post to tap home and put his team back in the driving seat.

Fraserburgh looked to be heading for goal number four when Allan Hale beat a handful of Clach players on a mazy run through the middle but unfortunately for the Broch number nine, his shot lacked any power and Harrison saved easily.

The next 20 minutes were broken up by substitutions and needless bookings as Fraserburgh looked for that killer goal and Clach searched for an equaliser.

It was that man Morrison that sent the home fans wild and made the Fraserburgh players wishing they had stayed in their sick beds.

In time added on, sub Sam Urquhart was needlessly fouled 25 yards from the visitors goal.

There was only ever going to be one player to take such a free kick and up stepped Gordon Morrison. His well-hit shot hit flew past Leask in the Broch goal and hit the far up right but then entered the net via the opposite post and Clach had their hard-fought-for point.