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Highland League: Fraserburgh fend off Deveronvale fightback as Wick and Rothes rage at red cards

Broch dig deep following Vale fightback in Banff while red cards leave managers unhappy following Harmsworth Park stalemate

Sean Butcher came off the bench to score twice for Fraserburgh. Image: Kenny Elrick / DC Thomson
Sean Butcher came off the bench to score twice for Fraserburgh. Image: Kenny Elrick / DC Thomson

Sean Butcher came off the bench to score twice and secure the points for Fraserburgh in a 4-2 thriller at Deveronvale.

Broch manager Mark Cowie was pleased to have strength in reserve to ensure his side took all three points.

He said “I wasn’t overly delighted by the first half but at times we were unplayable as we moved the ball quickly and caused the Vale defence problems.

“We could have had more goals but were too relaxed on occasions when we could have scored a couple more.

“A lapse of concentration saw Vale get something to play for and then there was another lapse in defence and all of a sudden it was two each after having been so much in control.

“Sean probably hasn’t played as much as he would have liked the last month but I am delighted for him as he came on and grabbed the goals.

“It will do his confidence the world of good and it gets us into a good position in the league.”

Broch two up after 23 minutes

Jamie Beagrie scored Fraserburgh’s opener at Princess Royal Park. Image: Kami Thomson / DC Thomson

A thoroughly entertaining game saw Jamie Beagrie get onto the end of a Scott Barbour corner to head home the opener in the 20th minute.

Ryan Cowie doubled the advantage three minutes later with a spectacular 30-yard strike that flew beyond Sean McIntosh.

Ryan Sargent was denied a third by a fine McIntosh save and Vale broke to reduce the deficit to one with five minutes of the half remaining as Jack Mitchell capitalised on a slack Bryan Hay pass back to score.

Vale levelled nine minutes into the second period as yet another poor piece of defending saw Hay caught again with Ryan Park collecting the ball to round the keeper and score.

Triple substitution put Broch back in control

Broch made a triple substitution and it paid dividends as, one of the trio, Butcher fired home from close range after 68 minutes following fine play from fellow sub Aiden Sopel and Greg Buchan.

Butcher made sure of the victory as he followed up a Willie West shot that was blocked by McIntosh to score.

‘Third goal knocked the stuffing out of us’

Deveronvale boss Craig Stewart.

Vale manager Craig Stewart tried a new defensive formation with Kyle Dalling making his debut but he felt it took them a while to adjust by which time they were two goals behind.

He said: “What is disappointing me is the fact their first goal came from a free header especially with our height advantage.

“Ryan Cowie had loads of space to fire home and although it was a wonder strike we had worked on closing down opportunities like these in training.

“We got to grips with the formation and got a bit of luck as Jack Mitchell produced a good finish.

“Then we saw Ryan Park get us level as we were the better team in the first 20 minutes of the second half.

“Broch got a well worked goal to get ahead again but it came from our corner and it knocked the stuffing out of us a bit.

“The shot in the build up to the fourth goal also needed to be closed down although the boys thought it could have been offside.

“However we have a lot of positives to take from our performance playing that different formation with Jack Mitchell and Ryan Park excellent on the day up front.”

Red card drama as Wick and Rothes end in stalemate

Wick Academy and Rothes drew 0-0 at Harmsworth Park with both managers disappointed with red cards handed out by referee Scott Donohoe.

For the Scorries, player-boss Gary Manson was banished from the technical area for dissent in the first half.

The Speysiders saw Ben Williamson given a straight red card nine minutes from time for treading on Ross Gunn’s hand.

Manson said: “Rothes’ red was ridiculous and was never a red card. The referee was throwing cards about like a postie at Christmas.

“For mine as the game was ongoing the linesman (Christopher Taylor) shouted to me ‘Manson get your subs sitting down’.

Wick manager Gary Manson was sent off against Rothes

“I couldn’t really believe it because I looked round and they were all in the dugout, standing watching the game.

“They were standing up because there weren’t enough seats, but they were in the dugout not the technical area

“I made a throwaway comment saying meaning to say ‘you can’t be serious’ which included an expletive and then I could hear him on the mic telling the referee to red card me.

“The ref came over, didn’t even speak to me and just flashed the red card in my face.

“It was a throwaway comment which wasn’t aimed at the linesman specifically, but he took as if it was aimed at him.”

Rothes manager Ross Jack

Rothes boss Ross Jack added: “The amount of bookings was ridiculous, there was no need for half of them.

“There was nothing to merit Gary’s sending off or Ben’s sending off, I don’t understand it at times.

“Unfortunately there’s no real evidence in terms of appealing Ben’s red card. We’d like to, but we won’t get anywhere.”

Openings at a premium

Rothes’ best chances came from corners with Charlie Macdonald, twice, and Gary Kerr having headers blocked.

Wick’s Owen Rendall also went close with a header from a corner, but the best chance fell for Academy in stoppage time.

The ball broke to Ross Gunn 12 yards out, but goalkeeper Sean McCarthy saved the shot with his legs.

Jack said: “Both teams maybe feel it’s a missed opportunity to win, but it’s maybe not a bad point either. Neither side was decisive enough in front of goal.”

After losing 8-0 to Clachnacuddin last weekend, Manson added: “This performance was a lot more competitive and much more like you want to see.

“Ninety-nine times out of 100 Ross would finish the chance at the end and we’d win, but it wasn’t to be.”