Bellslea Park, Aberdeenshire Cup Semi Final, 31/08/21
Entrance – £10 Me, £0 Wee Man
Attendance – TBC
Pie – £4 Mince Pie and Coffee
Pint – N/A
Fraserburgh Football Club
Founded – 1910
Nickname – The Broch
Honours – Highland League – 1932/33, 1937/38 and 2001/02, Highland League Cup – 1958/59 and 2005/06, Aberdeenshire Cup – 1910/11, 1937/38, 1955/56, 1963/64, 1972/73, 1975/76, 1996/97, 2012/13, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2019/20 and 2020/21. Aberdeenshire Shield – 1991/92, 1993/94, 1995/96, 1996/97, 1999/00, 2011/12, 2015/16, and 2019–20, Qualifying Cup – 1957/58, 1995/96 and 2006/07
Random Fact – The club have the biggest Scottish Cup giant killing to their name in terms of gulf in divisions. This came after they eliminated top flight Dundee in the first round during season 1958/59. (This bizarrely never seems to make the lists on Cup shocks in Scotland)
This one was for the Wee Man. He had been asking to head to Bellslea for a while now. This was too easy an opportunity not to get it ticked off for him. Unfortunately for us and my cousin Keiren who joined us for the night, it was not much of a game but it was a cup shock of such given the positions in the pyramid. It seemed bizarre that only thirty five days ago Wee Man and I watched Fraserburgh win this cup at Harlaw Park and tonight we watched them exit the same trophy in the semi finals.
A classic this was not and it did not live up to this great old ground(one of my favourites on earth). It was always going to be a tight game and this was definitely the case, so much so it almost seemed to leave the match devoid of much action. The opening ten minutes the Broch went at the Dee but the Aberdeen sides defence stood up well, a trait that was to be the case throughout the night. Lee Sweeney in the Dee goal had pretty much nothing to do due to his solid defence in front of him. Another common theme of the match was the ability to hit on the counter that Bank o’ Dee possessed and in the first instance of this they took the lead. A rapid break saw the a decent three man move with the ball ending up at the feet of Lachie MacLeod who took a touch on the eighteen yard line, opened his body and lifted the his second touch into Paul Leasks top left hand corner. A very composed finish from the big striker. He wasn’t so clever moments later when he found himself on the end of a great through ball but his touch was poor and Leask gladly gathered the loose ball. The game seriously lacked any real stand out moments barring the Dee goal. The Broch resorted to long balls which were clearly not working whether into the corners or straight down the middle as the visiting defence lapped up everything thrown at them. The first clear opportunity for the home side came on thirty minutes and even then it was a shanked effort wide from Jamie Beagrie. A poor tense half of football
HT 0 v 1
The second half had a bit more goalmouth action and the Dee should have doubled their advantage when a ball in from the left seemed perfect and MacLeod and Henderson(I think) seemed to be confused at who to hit the ball despite neither having a Broch player within at least five yards of them. This giving Leask the chance to make a decision and save the tame effort from Henderson out for a corner. The resulting corner also led to a big chance when the ball in found Gilmour free but his contact was not hard enough and he glanced the ball wide. Another big chance went begging for the Dee when a Phillipson ball in from the right beat everyone and MacLeod looked destined to score as he slid in but from out of nowhere Broch centre half Simpson beat the forward to it and diverted the ball over the bar. Some brilliant last ditch defending. Banks o Dee were not so brilliant shortly after and let Fraserburgh equalise through some calamitous defending. A through ball looked to be over cooked and headed towards goalkeeper Sweeney but full back Buglass seemed caught in two minds on whether to deal with it on the edge of the box and he got in the way of his keeper who got his attempted kick all worng the ball leaving Jamie Sargent an open goal to tap into from twelve yards out. From here the Broch took the game to the visitors and the Dee seemed to be penned in and dropped deeper and deeper as the minutes passed but the back line led by the brilliant Kane Winton(my man of the match) dealt with everything they faced. In among all this Broch pressure the counter attack worked perfectly again for the Dee as the broke down the right at speed, the ball worked its way through three players with MacLeod laying off Gilmour who let fly past Leask. It may have been a bit fortuitous as it took a wee nick but they all count. MacAskill could have finished off the game when clean through cutting in from the right but Leask was off his line like a man possessed narrowing his angles and pulling off a a very decent save. The Broch had a couple more big chances through Sean Butcher, one where he stung Sweeneys fingers after making a mockery of the Dee defender and the second in the dying minutes when he seems to trip before making contact when inside the box. The latter was a huge chance to potentially help keep the Aberdeenshire Cup in the Bellslea trophy cabinet but it was not to be. Over the ninety minutes Banks o’ Dee were the worthy winners, the were rock solid at the back and every time the broke they looked dangerous. The Broch on the other hand must be disappointed with their overall performance as in all honesty meekly surrendered any chance of a third straight victorious campaign in this fine tournament.
Me still 205, Wee Man 73