Echt were probably lucky on two counts with this third round Association Trophy fixture in that 1st Division North outfit Bervie Caley play their home games at Gourdon, a coastal venue left unscathed by the wintry conditions that wiped out most of Saturday’s Amateur fixture list.
Secondly, and probably more importantly, a bit of breathing space in trying to get some confidence back in the ranks prior to the next batch of league fixtures, in which it will be of paramount importance to get points on the board and stave off the relegation threat that currently hangs over the club.
Amazingly due to suspensions and unavailability, Echt’s starting eleven showed only five names that had started in the previous week’s league defeat at Cove Thistle.
Bervie made a decent start against their Premier opposition without really seriously testing Lewis Milne in the Echt goal and totally out of the blue Echt found themselves ahead in 9 mins. Home keeper Stephen’s goal kick was powerfully won and headed forward by Andy Davidson near the halfway line, totally catching out the Bervie backline and Lewis Chouman raced forward completely free and chipped home to perfection over the advancing keeper for 0-1.
In 16 mins at the Echt end Milne was quickly off his line to deny Frazer Zerretti, a former Echt player a finishing touch on a low ball play in from the left.
The Echt custodian then palmed to safety an angular drive from home left full back Beel for a corner which Bervie wasted completely.
Echt struck again in 27 mins when Wood went across to the right side to deliver an inswinging flag kick that Stephen under pressure from Presslie could only help into his own net.
In 33 mins Lawrence, always with an eye for the spectacular, netted with a 40 yd shot that appeared to clip off his marker as soon as it left his boot and flew high in on goal, and despite again a Stephen touch, ended in the back of the net for 0-3, which truth to tell on the
balance of play flattered Echt. Prior to the interval Wood fired high with an angular right side edge of the box attempt and then Zerretti raced clear in the inside right channel with Echt appealing in vain for offside but the advancing Milne made a good block with his foot.
The second half was always going to be about whether Bervie, now with the slight slope advantage could ask more questions of Echt and haul themselves back into the tie.
Although they did indeed carry the game to Echt at every opportunity it was the visitors on two separate occasions who came closest to increasing their advantage first in 51 mins Presslie fired high after a right side ball over the top by Lawrence sent him clear, and then again in 59 mins a Presslie header on a Wood cross was also too high. Zerretti wasted a good free kick opportunity in 65 mins, high over.
Midway through the half Bervie pulled one back as they probed left side,the ball was shifted to their right flank by Cerretti and ended with Smith lifting a high ball across and over Milne into the far side of the net 1-3.
There was no further scoring and indeed little in the way of entertainment value in what turned out to be a fairly comfortable passage into the quarter final of this competition for Echt.