The perfect start

It was meltdown at Milton Park as both teams struggled to compete with the highest temperatures of the summer. Banchory found it difficult to match some of the football they played last week, but an improved second half made sure of all three points in their first PMAC Superleague match.

The Buchan team were the first to settle and take the game to Saints. A needless Thompson foul in the 4th minute forced Irvine in Saints’ goal to save at his far post from the free kick. Four minutes later a back post header went just wide but Irvine had it covered.

It wasn’t until 20 minutes that Banchory had their first real chance when a driven Simpson free kick close to the corner flag was just missed by Pyper. A minute later Close broke down the right and his cross-cum-shot fizzed past the far post.

Presly wasted a good chance from a corner when he hurried his shot to send it well wide. The visitors caused panic in the home defence on 35 minutes but were denied by two defenders blocking in the six yard box.

Saints then came very close to scoring when Close’s diving header from a Presly cross was saved on the line by the Broch keeper. Close then became provider when Biskup set him up on the right, but his square ball into the box found no takers.

Banchory were now pressing for the opening goal and in the final five minutes of the first half they had two excellent chances. First Simpson controlled a cross well but his angled shot went well over the bar. And then Presly wriggled his way past several defenders with Biskup picking up the loose ball to fire into the net from 6 yards, but the referee probably quite rightly blew for offside.

Into the second half and Saints produced an early goal when PRESLY scored with a glorious header from just outside the six yard box, and then almost immediately a Close corner was headed off the Broch goal line. A Fraserburgh cross caused a scramble in the Banchory 6 yard box with Irvine finally smothering the ball. On 55 minutes Biskup’s cheeky lob just brushed the corner of bar and post.

It was 2-0 on 65 minutes when Pyper picked up the ball in defence, set up Simpson who crossed into the box and after a couple of blocked shots, McGREGOR shot low past the Fraserburgh keeper from 10 yards.

Saints were on top now and a sweet move between Biskup, Close and McGregor ended with McGregor cutely chipping the keeper only to hit the bar. A Simpson low driven free kick was then headed just past by Biskup.

With 20 minutes remaining Danny Ross replaced Presly and shortly after Gray replaced Close. Fraserburgh had not been in the game for most of the second half, but a Reid mistake let in the No. 9 but Irvine came to the rescue with a fine one handed save to deflect round the post. As Fraserburgh sniffed a chance to get back into the game, Robertson had to act quickly to clear inside the 6 yard box.

With 10 minutes remaining Henderson replaced McGregor and he was quickly in action when he set up Biskup only for the striker’s net bound effort to be tipped over the bar by the Fraserburgh keeper. Then it was Henderson’s turn to be denied by the keeper when he once again tipped over the bar from the subs lob. Saints forced three corners in quick succession before the final chance came on 90 minutes when Biskup released Henderson through on goal but once again the keeper denied Henderson by pushing the ball onto the post and out for a corner.