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Fraserburgh defeat Bonnyrigg 1-0 but it’s not enough to reach play-off final

Fraserburgh's Scott Barbour, left, tries to get away from the Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic defence
Fraserburgh's Scott Barbour, left, tries to get away from the Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic defence

Fraserburgh beat Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic 1-0 at Bellslea but it wasn’t enough to progress to the pyramid play-off final.

The Broch threw everything at the Lowland League champions with Kieran Simpson’s 66th minute header giving them hope of overturning the 3-1 deficit from the first leg at New Dundas Park.

But despite a grandstand finish the Breedon Highland League champions couldn’t find the goal to force extra-time, however they should be immensely proud of their efforts.

Home boss Mark Cowie made four changes to the side defeated last Saturday. Lewis Davidson, Paul Campbell, Sean Butcher and Ryan Sargent came in to start.

Ross Aitken, Willie West, Jamie Beagrie and Lewis Duncan dropped out. The visitors were unchanged.

Fraserburgh almost gifted Bonnyrigg a chance in the second minutes with goalkeeper Paul Leask tripping on the ball, but he recovered in time to clear before Keiran McGachie closed in.

Rose should have taken the lead after quarter of an hour when McGachie broke in behind.

Bryan Hay’s slip allowed the striker to cut in from the right and with only Leask to beat and team-mate Ross Gray in support McGachie fired well wide.

Fraserburgh’s Sean Butcher wins a header against Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic

Playing up the slope and against the wind in the first period the Broch needed to be patient, but one raid down the right gave Paul Campbell an opening, but his ball across goal was wayward.

Referee Mike Roncone wasn’t helping matters for Fraserburgh either. Kieran Simpson and Sargent were both harshly booked in the first half hour, while Bonnyrigg defenders persistent man-handling of Scott Barbour went unpunished.

Hosts look to turn the screw

Having reached half-time unscathed the Broch were looking to put the pressure on playing down the slope after the break.

However, it was Rose who had another good opportunity on 49 minutes, but McGachie lobbed wide from the edge of the area with Leask frantically back-tracking.

Three minutes later Butcher was close to giving Fraserburgh the lead, but his first time snapshot from 35 yards whistled just over the crossbar.

Then Grant Campbell’s effort from 20 yards was comfortably held by goalkeeper Mark Weir.

On the hour mark Fraserburgh struck the woodwork with Sargent’s footwork on the left allowing him to stand up a cross to the back post.

Paul Campbell’s header was clawed onto the left post by custodian Weir and the hosts couldn’t scramble the rebound into the net.

Ryan Cowie of Fraserburgh, right, grapples with Keiran McGachie of Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic

Five minutes later the Broch had another big chance with Paul Campbell’s free-kick from long range spilled by Weir, but the goalkeeper recovered smartly to block Bryan Hay’s rebound at point-blank range.

But from the resultant left-wing corner taken by Scott Barbour Simpson’s header went through a crowd of bodies and crossed the line before it was cleared.

On 73 minutes Bonnyrigg almost levelled when Kerr Young’s header from Lee Currie’s corner on the right was cleared off the line by Paul Young.

Fraserburgh continued to push and Young’s header after Butcher had flicked on Ryan Cowie’s long throw-in was clutched by Weir.

In the final 10 minutes it was all one way traffic as the Broch threw everything at Bonnyrigg in their search for a second goal which would have forced extra-time.

Club captain Willie West was sent on up front as the Buchan side desperately tried to carve out another goal.

The last chance arrived in the third minute of injury time, but Barbour volleyed over from 20 yards.

After the final whistle McGachie received a second yellow card from referee Mike Roncone for goading the home supporters.

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