Fraserburgh kept their cool in snow and sub-zero temperatures to beat Keith and progress to the semi-finals of the Aberdeenshire Shield.
While Kynoch Park may have looked picturesque as snow fell before kick-off conditions weren’t ideal for the players.
Despite that the sides served up an entertaining quarter-final tie with the Broch coming from behind to reach the last four.
In the semi-final Mark Cowie’s men will play either Buckie Thistle or Formartine United at Bellslea.
It took a remarkable team effort from both clubs to get the game started.
Despite sub-zero temperatures the Kynoch Park pitch was not frozen and referee Mat Northcroft gave the game the go-ahead.
But then half an hour before kick-off it started snowing heavily and the pitch was quickly covered, however players and committee members from both sides broke out the brushes to sweep the lines and whistler Northcroft decided to start the tie.
And the hard work of both teams was rewarded as the snow stopped falling shortly after kick-off.
Fraserburgh were almost in front after 15 seconds when Ross County loanee Jack Grant was short with a backpass and Scott Barbour intercepted, but shot wide.
Keith hit the front in fifth minute when Gregor MacDonald – who is also on loan from the Staggies – saw a shot from 25 yards parried by goalkeeper Paul Leask and Michael Selfridge was first to react to tuck home the rebound.
The visitors responded with a Jamie Beagrie header and Barbour shot scrambled off the line from successive corners.
Just before the half-hour Broch threatened again when striker Andrew Hannar’s powerful drive from eight yards was pushed round the post by Maroons keeper Greig Simpson.
Fraserburgh did equalise 11 minutes before half-time when Paul Young’s scuffed shot fell for Hannar and he finished past Simpson from close range.
The Buchan side had more possession in the first period, but some disciplined home defending had stifled them for much of it.
Yet Fraserburgh forged ahead four minutes before the interval. Owen Cairns rolled a pass into the feet of Ross Willox on the right side of the area and the midfielder’s cross-cum-shot was forced home at the back post by Barbour.
Fraserburgh started the second half on the front foot as they looked to establish a two-goal lead.
That happened just six minutes after the restart when Barbour’s neat flick set up Cairns and he drilled low across Simpson into the bottom left corner from 10 yards.
Strikers Barbour and Hannar were a constant threat for the Broch and the pair combined well shortly after their third goal, but Keith keeper Simpson dived at Barbour’s feet inside the six-yard box to prevent a fourth.
The Maroons’ task was not made any easier on the hour when centre-back Ryan Robertson was forced off with a suspected hamstring injury.
With manager Dean Donaldson in the stand that forced assistant manager Jamie Lennox into a defensive reshuffle and, midway through the second period, Keith’s record scorer Cammy Keith and winger Max Berton were introduced from the bench in a bid to salvage the tie. But it was Fraserburgh who went closest to adding to the score when Barbour saw a chip cleared off the line by Andrew Smith.
Keith struggled to carve out clear chances in the closing stages as Aberdeenshire Cup winners Fraserburgh held firm.