Match Report - By Eoin McNicol
City tasted their first league defeat since February yesterday afternoon as Fraserburgh ran out narrow winners at the Carnegie Fuels Stadium at Glebe Park.
Brechin were edged out in a frustrating 1-0 defeat against a well set up and physical Fraserburgh outfit who managed to limit City’s chances throughout the game. Ryan Cowie’s first half strike was the difference between the sides in a fiery battle at Carnegie Fuels Stadium at Glebe Park.
Manager Gavin Price named an unchanged starting lineup for his second game in charge after City’s 3-1 victory against Keith in midweek.
Early on, Ewan Murray picked out Euan Spark in the box from a cross, but the City skippers’ header was too high as it looped onto the roof of the net. Just 8 minutes in, Euan Loudon beat his man with an excellent burst of pace as he went round his man. The finish wasn’t there as he sliced his shot into the Cemetery End.
Just before the quarter hour mark, a Fraserburgh free kick from distance was well cleared by the head of Lewis Martin as he stopped the danger. Brechin looked to counter as Ewan Loudon showed a nice piece of skill to get past his man before sliding in Fraser MacLeod down the right. MacLeod was able to get to the byline but his low cross was dealt with by the goalkeeper.
In the 20th minute, Fraserburgh took the lead through RYAN COWIE. The away side were awarded a free kick on the very edge of the box after Lenny Wilson caught the ball outside of his area. Cowie lined up the close range free kick before smashing it into the City wall, with the rebound landing favourably for the defender who drilled a shot through everyone in the box and past Lenny Wilson to open the scoring.
Josh Bolton picked up the first of many bookings 24 minutes in after a poor challenge on Seth Patrick just inside the Fraserburgh half. The free kick was lofted deep into the box which met Euan Loudon at the far post who headed the ball back across goal, but there was no one to come onto his layoff.
Just after the half hour mark, Grady McGrath tried to make an impact as he tested the goalkeeper from range with a low shot, but the shot was straight at Joe Barbour in goal.
City had a real positive spell towards the end of the first half as they pushed for an equaliser. A Ewan Murray free kick was whipped into the box from the right and picked out Hamish Thomson at the back post but he couldn't generate the power behind his header to trouble Barbour.
Just minutes after, Ewan Murray had another opportunity from a free kick just outside the box, but he smashed his effort over the crossbar.
On 42 minutes, City had two decent chances blocked by Fraserburgh. Hamish Thomson again looked dangerous at the back post as he met a lofted ball into the box, but his header was blocked before Marc Scott’s rebound shot smashed off the Fraserburgh defender.
Fraser MacLeod had the last chance of the first half as he showed silky footwork as he worked his way into the box before seeing his effort blocked by the feet of Barbour.
Seven minutes into the second half, Seth Patrick threaded a nice through ball over to Marc Scott down the right wing. Scott controlled the ball with an excellent first touch before winning a corner. Grady McGrath took the resulting corner and once again found Hamish Thomson who managed to guide his header on target but the keeper was able to hold.
The game was a physical battle with late and rash challenges from start to finish. City struggled to create chances against the well set up Fraserburgh side for the majority of the second half.
With 20 minutes to go, Lenny Wilson produced a fine stop from close range to keep it 1-0. City then managed to break and get up the park - Seth Patrick had positioned himself well in the box and received the cut back, but he failed to keep his shot down as he smashed over the bar with his first time effort.
With quarter of an hour remaining, Grady McGrath whipped in a dangerous long range free kick which was well defended by Kieran Simpson who stopped the danger as he cleared for a corner. Moments later, McGrath and substitute Liam Duell combined for a nice bit of attacking play as McGrath used Duell for a one-two flicked header, but he couldn't connect properly to get the shot off.
Fraserburgh were close to killing the game off in the final ten through substitute Connor Wood who went one on one with Lenny Wilson. Wilson managed to get a slight touch on Wood's shot as it trickled just past the outside of the post.
City came agonisingly close to an equaliser through Hamish Thomson in the 86th minute. The big centre half got up again at the far post to meet McGrath’s corner as he bulleted his header goalward, but his shot was headed off the line by the Fraserburgh defender.
The Broch held on for all 3 points, inflicting City's first league defeat since the 2-0 defeat against Formartine United at North Lodge Park away back in February last season.
Next up is Forres Mechanics at Mosset Park in the Breedon Highland League next weekend as Gavin Price takes charge of his first away trip as City Manager.
Other Results - Breedon Highland League
Forres Mechanics 0 Rothes 1
Huntly 1 Banks O' Dee 3
Inverurie Locos 3 Deveronvale 0
Lossiemouth 5 Clachnacuddin 3
Strathspey Thistle 1 Turriff United 8
Wick Academy 2 Nairn County 3