Banchory Boys U17s warmed up for this Saturday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final against Edinburgh side Leith Athletic with a long round trip to Portsoy and took their undefeated run in the league to eight games with a hard fought draw in conditions more likely seen at the North Pole.
The pitch itself was frozen in many parts which most people thought would be called off but the referee deemed it playable.
The game proceeded as the sleet started to fall but it was Banchory who found their stride in the early exchanges with an effort from Buchan just going wide.
Taylor was combining well with Smith and Buchan and from such a move Smith was unlucky not to hit the target.
A controversial moment occurred after fifteen minutes. A great pass by Rowett released Henderson through the centre. The striker was then upended in the box by the keeper but to the surprise of visiting support no foul was awarded and the home keeper was fortunate not to go for an early bath.
Minutes later Henderson did have a turn and shot but the keeper made a good save down to his left.
Deveronvale were working hard in the middle and after thirty minutes should have opened the scoring when a long ball eluded Reid to send Yule through. However, Leslie in goal pulled off a great save and from the rebound the striker hit the post from four yards which was eventually cleared.
Near the end of the half Banchory could have scored when Smith, and then Buchan had chances to shoot but failed to test the keeper.
The half time whistle saw both teams troop off swiftly to the changing facilities for a well-earned break from the bitter conditions.
Deveronvale started the second half the better side and created a couple of chances but the Banchory defence line held out well and Leslie mopped up in goal.
Midway through the half Banchory took the lead.
Banchory were awarded a free kick from fully thirty yards where upon ROWETT smashed the ball home with the help of a slight deflection off the wall which left the keeper helpless.
Play now swung from end-to-end and another fine save by Leslie kept the Deeside boys in front.
Banchory then had a succession of corners and from the last of three another strong appeal was raised when a Deveronvale hand appeared to knock the ball out of the area, but again no whistle sounded and play continued.
McRae, on as a sub, was unlucky to see a great effort just clear the bar as the game entered the last few minutes.
Then Smith had a great chance to score when McPherson harassed the back four to see the keeper miskick to Smith but his shot when the wrong side of the post.
With the game now into injury time it looked like Banchory had done enough. A shot by Deveronvale went out for a goal kick but the referee awarded a corner. Approaching the fifth minute of injury time the corner was floated into the box. Bodies were flying in and somehow the ball ended in the net, much to the frustration of the Banchory support and players.
Ironically this was the last kick of the game when the referee decided to blow for full time a good couple of minutes after the game should have been ended.
At the end of the game all players and officials were just glad to get inside away from the conditions and thaw out from the cold.
Banchory: Leslie, Davies, Rennie, Reid, Rowett, Taylor, Smith, Nicoll, Buchan, Henderson, Tubby, McRae, Sadler, McPherson, Iason, Adams.
The boys are hoping for a big crowd on Saturday (February 11) as they take on Edinburgh side Leith Athletic in the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup.
The tie will be played at Milton Park, Crathes with a 1.30pm kick off, weather dependent.
This is the first time a Banchory Boys team has reached this stage in its history.