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Formidable Fraserburgh prove a hill to steep to climb for Turriff United

By David Porter

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Turriff United 0 - Fraserburgh 3

Turriff United vs Fraserburgh. Picture: David Porter
Turriff United vs Fraserburgh. Picture: David Porter

It was always going to be an uphill struggle at the Haughs for Turriff United as they faced league leaders Fraserburgh and it proved a mountain that was to hard to climb for the home side.

Manager Dean Donaldson's squad should not be entirely disheartened by this as it is a challenge which has been faced by the rest of the Highland League and which, to date, none has completed with only Buckie Thistle holding them to a draw.

Before kick-off a minutes silence was held in memory of farmer, renowned Shetland pony breeder and well known referee Harry Sleigh who passed away last weekend.

Starting as the very much meant to continue. Fraserburgh were on the attack almost from the off, with the Broch's Lewis Duncan forcing a corner within three minutes and putting the home side on the back-foot.

In response, Murray Thompson laid in a decent effort to Jordan Cooper who sent it across the front of the Broch goal but it failed to find anyone to connect with.

This was not the case for the visitors two minutes later when linked play up the left hand side of the pitch found Scott Barbour with space on the edge of the box, and true to form, he sent it into the net on six minutes to open the scoring for Fraserburgh.

Broch's Lewis Duncan would be the next to take a pop at David Dey in the Turriff goal, this time sending it off to the left of the goals, much to Turriff's relief.

The visitors would keep the pressure on, denying Turriff any opportunity to stray into their half and fourteen minutes, this time it was Ryan Cowie who eyed up a chance with shot from 30 yards out that again veered off to the left of goal, swiftly followed by Barbour just a minute later which was deftly saved by Dey.

Turriff United vs Fraserburgh. Picture: David Porter
Turriff United vs Fraserburgh. Picture: David Porter

A series of free kicks to Fraserburgh around the half-way line followed in fairly quick succession, with United's Owen Kinsella lucky not to catch the attention of referee Robin Taylor on several occasions for his close on contact with Barbour.

Fraserburgh's second would come on 32 minutes when a miss-hit kick back to Dey left Barbour in open space with the ball literally placed at his feet as he found himself one on one with Dey on the right hand side of the box and there was no messing in firing it home to double the visitors lead.

Not to rest on their laurels, the visitors continued to put pressure on Duncan the next to take a shot at the Turriff goal, sending it just wide of the posts on the 40 minute mark with Garry Harris also swiftly sending one over the top of the Turriff goal.

It would take to the 43 minute for Turriff to make concerted attack on the Broch goal, which lead to some scrambled efforts to clear it ending in a corner and it would be Ethan Smith would had the first clear shot of the day on the Broch goal only to see it sail over the top crossbar just before half-time.

Turriff best chance of the game would come just after the start of the second half when Rhys Clark found himself on the edge of the box sending it just wide of the mark.

Next in line for the Broch's attempts on goal was Grant Campbell whose shot from just outside the box span off to the right of target.

Thoughtful build up by Harris perfectly set up team-mate Owen Cairns in the centre of the pitch on 54 minutes who rifled it home from 35 yards out to take the visitors to 3-0 lead and essentially seal the deal.

Turriff United vs Fraserburgh. Picture: David Porter
Turriff United vs Fraserburgh. Picture: David Porter

A situation that has become very familiar to Turriff players and supporters alike, the home sides determination, saw the young squad continue to dig in and try to claim something back.

Both Matty McDonald and substitute Luke Kinsella swiftly gave the Broch defence some questions to answer when within less than a minute both would find themselves at the edge of the box with a shot on goal, but which neither were able to drive home.

Again some five minutes later McDonald, this time joined by sub Murray Esson would force a save from the keeper Paul Leask as the visitors visibly started to show cracks in their defence and a slowing of pace.

Turriff United vs Fraserburgh. Picture: David Porter
Turriff United vs Fraserburgh. Picture: David Porter

Whether a miss-hit or the vagaries of the wind at the Haughs, a kick-out from Leask ended up travelling all of 20 yards forward and almost vertical to drop directly on to the side line to gift Turriff a throw in in line with the edge of the box.

The play in would end with the ball at Luke Kinsella's feet, only to see him taken down by Leask in the box, but appeals from the home fans and players for a penalty were dismissed.

Turriff would again see a chance to claim one back when a corner sent into the box connected with James Chalmers only for him to see it bounce off the keeper and no one else could make contact before it was cleared.

Further attacks from the Broch would see Harris send it over the top of the bar in the last attack of the game.

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