Aberdeen Grammar First Year finally got their CNR International League season under way with a daunting trip to leaders Bucksburn, falling to a 3-1 defeat.
Grammar had seen three fixtures postponed because of the weather and the elements continued to play their part as Bucksburn kicked off under an overcast sky, low temperatures and a troublesome wind.
It was away side Grammar who were first on the attack, however, with Kai Ryrie sending a fierce drive narrowly over in the opening couple of minutes.
The Grammar team was causing Bucksburn all kinds of problems down the right through Toby Nesbitt’s strength, speed and dangerous crosses. Midway through the half, though, he was injured after an accidental collision and, when he came off the field, the visitors found progress a little more difficult.
Bucksburn were then in the ascendancy, with both Clark Whyte and Jack Fordyce forcing Grammar keeper Callum Vargesson to make fine stops.
However, the home side were in front three minutes before the interval, with Whyte lobbing Vargesson from 25 yards following the goalie’s wind-affected attempted clearance.
A second Bucksburn counter then arrived just before the whistle for the interval.
Good foraging on the left by sub Ashley Munjoma ended with his initial goalbound attempt being blocked by the defence. The rebound fell kindly for him, however, and he calmly steadied himself before sending a left-footed drive into the far corner.
Grammar needed to score quickly if they were to rediscover a footing in the match, but it was the home team who netted to extend their advantage 90 seconds into the second half. Bucksburn’s Alex McMurray, lurking unmarked at the back post, headed beyond half-time replacement keeper Anas Saltan.
Despite being 3-0 down, Grammar were not prepared to let the game go.
It was no coincidence they were more dangerous on Nesbitt’s return to the field and they deservedly pulled a goal back on 52 minutes.
Having been awarded a free-kick 40 yards out in midfield, Liam Harkin took it and his curling shot soared over Toby Catto’s head and into the net.
There was plenty time left and, midway through the half, Nesbitt picked the ball up inside his own half, ran towards the goal, but a heavy touch allowed Catto to clear.
Nesbitt and Wishart each had further chances to reduce the deficit as the final whistle approached, but could not hit the target.
Bucksburn Academy First Year
Toby Catto, Jack Fordyce, Logan Taylor, Tyler Cosgrove, Noah Sahar, Miller Giles, Clark Whyte, Dahen Vixamar, Fraser Bruce, Alex McMurray and Ethan Reid. Subs: Sebastian Castillo, Milan George, Samuel Akindileni, Lewis Mair and Ashley Munjoma.
Aberdeen Grammar School First Year
Callum Vargesson, Kai Ryrie, Liam Harkins, Kit Jessiman, Cameron Findlay, Toby Nesbitt, Connor Masson, Matthew Taylor, Evan Glover, Joe Inglis and Leo Wishart. Subs: Anas Saltan, Harry Notman, Michael Boyd, Adam Mekki and Yahya Ibrahim.
Referee A. Cunningham