Match Report - By Steven Mew
City had to settle for a share of the spoils following a scrappy encounter against Fraserburgh at a wet and blustery Bellslea yesterday evening.
It was a game of very few clear cut chances as both sides struggled to adapt to the conditions throughout.
It could have easily been the 3 points that City craved as City were awarded a penalty ten minutes from time, however Botti Biabi saw his spot kick saved by keeper Joe Barbour.
Manager Andy Kirk opted to make one change from Saturday’s thumping win over Wick, with Kevin McHattie returning to the defence at the expense of Nathan Cooney.
In front of a healthy crowd at Bellslea, the hosts started brightly with Buchan shooting straight at Wilson from the edge of the box after 5 minutes. Shortly after, the City keeper was called into action again when he made a terrific save to push away a rasping effort from Barbour which looked destined for the top corner.
City started to grow into the game with Biabi unlucky to see his powerful shot blocked whilst skipper Jamie Bain flicked a header wide.
Ten minutes before the break, a cross from Bain found McGrath inside the box but his header lacked conviction and Barbour claimed comfortably.
With the wind in their favour in the second half, the home side looked to get in behind the defence with long balls over the top, however the City rearguard stood firm to the challenge.
Nine minutes into the second period, Bain whipped in a free kick to the back post which found Spark lurking however he was unable to guide his header goalwards.
Midway through the half, a cross into the box found Broch’s top-scorer Scott Barbour lurking at the back post but he rushed his effort and sliced well over.
Manager Andy Kirk looked to inject more energy into his side as Ewan Loudon replaced Grady McGrath on the 70 minute mark.
With just ten minutes remaining, City had a glorious opportunity to put themselves in front when referee Dan McFarlane awarded a penalty following a foul on Biabi in the box. The City striker stepped up to take the spot kick himself however he saw his effort down the middle kept out by Barbour in the Broch goal.
The game threatened to boil over in the closing stages when a challenge by Inglis on Watt resulted in a brief melee which saw Inglis booked along with Aitken for the home side.
Deep into stoppage time, City were reduced to 10 men when substitute Ewan Loudon was harshly shown a straight red card for a challenge on Kieran Simpson.
The result moves City to within 5 points of leaders Buckie Thistle with two games in hand over the Jags as the season edges towards an exciting climax.
It’s back to home soil for City on Saturday as Turriff United are the visitors to Glebe Park for a 3pm kick off.