Goalkeeper Saves The Day by Easton Thain
Come full time in the game against Fraserburgh there was a bit of relief around Victoria Park as, when Thistle missed a golden chance with a minute to go it all seemed over, but then a minute into injury time a rare sight saved the day a keeper scoring. Post match everyone gathered their thoughts which were mainly that the performance by the Jags was an improvement from the cup tie against Formartine but also some disappointment that they could not take advantage of being a man to the good for almost the whole of the second half. All that though paled into insignificance to the news that broke later in the day which I am sure you all soon became aware of that Thistle should not have played Jay Cheyne as he was suspended from the match. Total disbelief was the reaction to that and the realisation that repercussions would follow. It makes it me difficult to report on the actual game here goes anyway and what sheer drama there was at the conclusion of the match.
It was a day of drama for young keeper Andy Burr who instead of being sinner to saint was saint to sinner on a day he showed that he is still raw at this level but it will come of that I have no doubt. The first 15 minutes were fairly uneventful but the Broch had a chance in the 8th minute when Willie West set up Graham Johnston but his effort was parried by Andy Burr and cleared. Thistle replied with a fine break four minutes on and the ball was played towards Chris Angus but cleared. A minute on Shaun Carrol sent in a superb deep cross but Kevin Fraser couldn’t quite reach the ball. In the 25th minute a super ball through found Andy Low who set up Drew Copeland but it was cleared for a corner. On the half hour the Buchan side came within a whisker of taking the lead when they won a free-kick about 25-yards out and dead ball specialist Graham Johnston sent in a superb shot but the clipped the top of the bar and went over. Two minutes on the ball was played over the Thistle defence to Steven Davidson but Darren Wood blocked his effort away. Seven minutes before the break Kevin Fraser wrestled for and won the ball before feeding Jay Cheyne who moved forward and cut across but his final effort went wide. In the 40th minute the visitors had a great chance when John Chalmers set Peter Alexander-Bruce free but he too shot wide
Half-time Buckie Thistle 0 Fraserburgh 0
No one could have predicted the dramatic start to the second half, the ball was sent through to Chris Angus who was clean through on goal only to have his legs taken from him by Bryan Hay and as last man he was duly sent off. The free kick was played to Shaun Carrol but his shot was deflected for a corner. However, from that Shaun Carrol sent in a magnificent place-kick over the defence and on to the head of Kevin Fraser who duly netted his first Jags goal. Thistle looked to press home the advantage and should have doubled their lead in the 51st minute when Shaun Wood sent in a great deep ball onto the head of Chris Angus but he contrived to head it up and over. Then, on the hour, luck deserted the Jags when Kevin Fraser superbly won the ball in the box and set up Chris Angus who sent in a delicious dipping shot only to see the effort hit the top of the bar and go over. Just 60 seconds later the Broch made light of their escapes by equalising and it was a bad goal from the Thistle viewpoint. A couple of errors let the visitors through and then Shaun Wood got on the wrong side of Scott Barbour who out-muscled the defender ran in and slotted the ball under the advancing Andy Burr. The Jags responded in the 67th minute with a fine cross from Andy Low to Drew Copeland but his effort was blocked away. A minute on another ball in from Andy Low eventually fell to Chris Angus but it was an awkward chance that he could only poke forward and it was easily cleared. With 20 minutes left a fine Thistle move saw Drew Copeland feed Kevin Fraser who set up Chris Hegarty but his effort was deflected behind. Disaster then struck the Jags with twelve minutes remaining. Broch had at least two offside but you play to the whistle in this game, Andy Burr ran out and should have cleared the ball into row Z but was indecisive and the ball eventually reached Peter Alexander-Bruce who lobbed the keeper, should be impossible over someone at 6 ft 8! It looked curtains for Thistle at this stage although a chance came with seven minutes left for Craig MacMillan but this too was deflected for a corner. Then, with a minute left a ball in was called for but completely missed by Scott Cowe and fell right into the path of Chris Angus, he would not have been expecting it but should still have scored, he contrived to lean back and shoot over. That looked to be that but a minute into injury time Andy Burr moved up into the opponents box for a corner and when Andy Low delivered in a brilliant set piece kick the big keeper met it with a superb glancing header and the ball found the far corner of the net – cue utter pandemonium and from the restart the ref blew the final whistle. Phew what an ending!
Full-time Buckie Thistle 2 Fraserburgh 2
The team played better on the day of that there is no doubt with Kevin Fraser beginning to show the ability he has and he was effective on the right and then later on the left. Drew Copeland continues to improve as well and put in another fine display and Chris Angus was reasonably effective in a new front role. At the back Chris Hegarty was in control in the second half but Darren Wood was the best defender on the day.
Match Photo’s courtesy of Allan Robertson
Buckie Thistle – Burr, S Wood, Carrol, Hegarty, D Wood, Cheyne (MacMillan), Fraser, Munro, Angus and Copeland
Fraserburgh – Cowe, Dickson, Davidson, R Cowie, Hay, M Cowie, Chalmers, West, Alexander-Bruce, Johnston and S Barbour Subs used – McBride and Noble
Referee – D Watt