Locos were well beaten by the reigning Highland League champions as Andy Low’s first home game since returning to the club ended in disappointment. Goals from Bryan Hay and Connor Wood in an otherwise tight first half had the points sewn up for Fraserburgh before a dominant second half display saw Ryan Sargent and Scott Barbour add to their tally.
Low’s return, coupled with a two new signings this week, led to a positive atmosphere before kick off, with fans also taking hope from previous performances against the Broch the season. One of those new faces came into the starting line-up, Sam Robertson replacing injured brother Lloyd. There was a place on the bench for Jonny Smith whose return to Locos had been announced earlier in the day.
After a tame Logan Watt effort, it was Robertson who had Locos first attempt of the afternoon with 6 minutes on the clock, controlling neatly with his first touch before shooting wide of Joe Barbour’s right hand post. Ten minutes later the new recruit met a Calum Dingwall corner on the volley but couldn’t keep his effort down.
The visitors then began to show some attacking threat. Sargent shot straight at Andy Reid before a bit of pinball in the penalty area saw Locos make some important blocks. Broch weren’t to be denied for long though as they took the lead on 26 minutes. Reid again kept out a Sargent effort but the resultant corner wasn’t dealt with and Hay got the final touch as the ball seemed to move in slow motion towards the goal. Garry Wood cleared after the ball struck the woodwork but it had already crossed the line.
After a Watt effort from distance had been dealt with comfortably by Reid, Locos came close to parity on the half hour mark, the threat once again coming from Robertson who sent a clever effort over Barbour that dipped onto, rather than under, the bar.
Eight minutes from half time Fraserburgh doubled their lead. Locos will be disappointed that the goal came from another corner, Connor Wood heading unchallenged across goal and inside the far post. It felt a long way back for the Railwaymen going into the break.
With their tails up, Broch saw plenty of the ball in the early stages of the second half and Sargent netted their third shortly before the hour, lifting the ball over the advancing Reid to finish off a good move.
That goal saw Jonny Smith introduced as Low looked for a route back into the game. It was the visitors who continued to dominate, although Smith did combine well with Garry Wood to give the latter a sight of goal but he was unable to hit the target. Locos continued to plug away but Barbour got his seemingly customary goal, firing past Reid from an acute angle to round off the scoring in the 79th minute.
This was a game where the quality in each penalty area was decisive. Locos will feel that they gave soft goals away and again struggled to test the opposition keeper. Sam Robertson’s debut was certainly a positive though and fans will be hopeful that there is more to come from him. It’s been a baptism of fire for Low, facing last season’s top two in his opening games, but he would have already been aware that there is work to do if Locos are to compete with the league’s big hitters.
Locos: A Reid, T Reid (Gill), Mitchell, Dingwall, Souter, Johnstone, Ward, Wood, Burnett (Michie), S Robertson, Meres (J Smith)
Unused subs: Thain, Petermann, B Smith, Shingler
Fraserburgh: J Barbour, Hay, Cowie, Simpson, Young, Watt (Bolton), S Barbour (Lawrence), Wood (Beagrie), Buchan, Sargent, Aitken
Unused subs: West, Butcher, Laird, Inglis