Scott Barbour’s 35th-minute strike for Formartine United effectively ended Fraserburgh’s slim Highland League title hopes at Bellslea last night.
If the Broch lose again at Wick on Saturday and Cove Rangers beat Clach at Harlaw Park, Inverurie, Cove will be crowned champions.
Broch made four changes to the side which went down 2-1 to Formartine in the League Cup final at Rothes on Saturday.
Lewis Davidson, captain Ryan Christie, Graham Johnston and Aidan Combe came in to replace Dean Cowie, Gary Harris, Marc Dickson and the suspended Michael Rae.
In the third minute United almost took the lead when Stuart Smith’s ball over the top picked out Scott Barbour but his 12-yard effort flew high over the crossbar.
At the other end, Jamie Beagrie fired wildly over from 12 yards with only Kevin Main in the Formartine goal to beat.
The visitors forced three corners in quick succession and from the third one Broch captain Christie had to make a well-timed clearance on the volley as a United striker was about to pounce.
The Broch replied with a first-time Combe effort but his 15-yarder was well off target.
On the half-hour mark United almost broke the deadlock when Jevan Anderson’s looping six-yard header from an Archie Macphee corner came back of the face of the crossbar.
Five minutes later a horrendous mistake by Greg Buchan, when he passed straight to Barbour, led to the opening goal, Barbour running on and drawing keeper Tait before sliding the ball into the unguarded net.
Just before the break Formartine keeper Main was injured when he dived at the feet of the inrushing Willie West, but he continued after treatment.
Buchan tried to make amends for his earlier costly error but he fired his 20-yard drive straight at Main.
In the 56th minute the Broch were awarded a penalty when Main brought down West but the United keeper redeemed himself by beating away Johnston’s spot kick.
Broch brought on Gary Harris and Paul Campbell to join West up front.
In the 71st minute the Broch were reduced to 10 men when second-half substitute Marc Dickson, who was only on the pitch for 10 minutes, was shown a straight red card for a dangerous high challenge.
It took a fabulous flying save from Main to stop a Ryan Cowie 25-yard free kick from giving the Broch an equaliser.