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Fraserburgh edge Brechin City to set the pace in the Highland League

Scott Barbour celebrates Fraserburgh's goal against Brechin City.
Scott Barbour celebrates Fraserburgh's goal against Brechin City.

Fraserburgh made it five wins out of five in the Highland League with a tense 1-0 victory against Brechin City at Bellslea.

The issue was settled by an unfortunate own-goal by Brechin’s Michael Paton just after the half hour mark but former Formartine favourite Garry Wood should have rescued a point for the visitors late on with a close-range header which Paul Leask in the Broch goal somehow managed to claw to safety.

The victory leaves Fraserburgh three points clear of Buckie Thistle and Formartine United at the top of the table.

Broch boss Mark Cowie said: “It’s the same three points you get for every win and at this stage of the season this victory isn’t going to define anything.

“There is a long way to go but it is good to get the win as we want to win our home games.

“We had to battle for it but we could have been a couple up by half-time.

“I felt that we were unlucky to go in at the break just 1-0 up and in the second half we had one chalked off before their keeper pulled off an unbelievable save to deny Scott Barbour.”

Scott Barbour chasing down the ball, outnumbered by Brechin players.

There was an early clash of heads between Broch midfielder Grant Campbell and Brechin’s Murray Mackintosh with Mackintosh having to come off after 22 minutes

In the 31st minute Fraserburgh opened the scoring when Barbour drilled the ball goal-wards and Paton’s attempted clearance found the back of his own net.

Brechin keeper Jack Wills kept his side in it with a brilliant save to thwart Barbour.

In the 73rd minute Fraserburgh thought they had made it 2-0 when Butcher’s downward header beat Wills but the referee spotted a push in the box and chalked it off.

With 10 minutes left Fraserburgh goalkeeper Paul Leask palmed a dangerous Marc Scott cross over the top for a fruitless corner-kick.

Sean Butcher scores from a corner in the second half, only for the goal to be disallowed by the referee.

Three minutes later Leask did even better to get a hand to a Wood header when a goal seemed certain.

Disappointed Brechin boss Andy Kirk said: “A couple of moments in the game swung the momentum a wee bit in their favour in the first half.

“We don’t defend situations well enough and we are slow to react to things, and all that does is give momentum to the opposition.

“The winning goal came from their keeper kicking the ball long, we have two boys at the back sleeping and we got punished. I wonder if the players realise how important this is and what this actually means?

“In the second half we had the momentum and Garry Wood must score. If he had then the momentum would switch back to us, and you never know what might happen after that.”

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