The Broch triumphs in battle of the Uniteds

Ryan Stewart forces a save from the Fraserburgh keeper.
Ryan Stewart forces a save from the Fraserburgh keeper.

ELLON United reserved their worst performance of the season so far for their home league match against Fraserburgh United last weekend, and were made to pay the price. Neither side deserved to win a very scrappy encounter, but when the visitors were fortunate to get a goal in the 33rd minute, and with Ellon misfiring on all cylinders, the home side were unable to get back on terms leaving the Broch to return home with the points.

Play was scrappy right from the start, and although Ellon just edged and controlled possession, the visitors’ fighting spirit kept them in the game as Ellon were unable to gain command. Ellon were awarded a free kick in the 11th minute, with the ball somehow eventually falling to keeper Innes after a scramble in the goal area. Ellon should have taken the lead in the 17th minute when a shot from Ryan Stewart was blocked, but fell to Jordan Morrice who only succeeded in volleying over the edge from the six yard box.

Scott Whelan almost set up a chance in the 25th minute, but his low diagonal pass was just too far ahead of Jordan Morrice as he came in at the near post. It was Fraserburgh who took the lead out of nothing in the 33rd minute, when a low ball from the right was missed by a Broch striker, only to fall to Watt directly in front of the goal. He needed no second invitation to open the scoring. Ellon huffed and puffed for the rest of the first half, allowing Fraserburgh to comfortably hold their advantage at the break.

Ellon had previously been given a right talking to in the interval, and were unlucky not to draw level five minutes after the restart when Mark Lawson’s header off a corner hit the bar. Two minutes later, Ellon’s defensive frailties of the afternoon were exposed when scrappy play in the home box saw the ball finally fall to Forbes who shot wide. A Callum Dunbar shot was deflected for a corner in the 60th minute. Mark Lawson won the ball again, but this time his weak header drifted harmlessly wide. The Broch survived a penalty shout when the Referee over-ruled his assistant who had flagged for the infringement. Ellon introduced striker Lenny Johnson for Willie Mathers midway through the half to try and add to their strike threat. Callum Dunbar had an immediate chance but blasted the ball well over. With Ellon trying to push for an equaliser, they were caught on the break and Fraserburgh passed up a good chance to grab a two goal cushion in the 76th minute when the final shot was well blocked.

Fraserburgh’s stand in keeper Innes had been rarely troubled by the lack lustre home side, but he was caught out by a header from Jonathon Millsom only for his defence to rescue him from a goal line clearance. Ellon’s last throw of the dice saw trialist Josh Lamberti replace Ryan Stewart with Paul Leahy pushing forward into a striking roll, but this week there was no late joy as the visitors kept their noses in front.

Ellon United: Steer, Millsom, Bailey, Leahy, Lawson, Mathers (Johnson), Whelan, Stewart (Lamberti), Mathers, Crolli.

Fraserburgh United: Innes, Downie, hay, Cowie, Ross, McLennan, Forbes, Ritchie, Taylor, Watt, Gibb, Bissett, Lawrence Rollo, Davidson, Tait.

Saturday turned out to be a complete let down by the Ellon side following the bright performances of the previous two weeks. The only possible plus to come from the game were that a couple of players who have been out injured for a spell were able to get some game time. Ellon must now knuckle down to make sure there is no repeat performance when they visit Hall Russell united next Saturday, KO 1.30pm. The winning numbers in united’s Weekly Lucky Six draw were 2, 3, 8, 9, 11 and 12, with Grant Bell picking the full set to win £1350. The jackpot for next week’s draw will be £1000 with the selection 6 from 20. Consolation prize winner was D Hyland.