Fraserburgh United triumphed over fierce rivals Buchanhaven Hearts in a breathless encounter at Raemoss Park on Saturday.
A large crowd saw United concede two goals within 20 minutes after their normally miserly defence gifted Hearts both goals with poor individual errors.
Yet this Broch team is made of sterner stuff and mounted a spirited fight back as free-scoring centre half David Innes grabbed a brace, while Iain Bisset grabbed the winner mid-way through the second period.
United made one change from the win against Lossie last Saturday as Noble came in for the very unfortunate Reid. Manager Sim would have been regretting this decision as within the opening minutes Buchanhaven took the lead.
A simple long ball down the middle from Brown saw United’s Innes and Hearts Edwards tussle in the air with the ball breaking for Noble who should have cleared easily, however United’s captain was slow to react and Ballard nipped in to flick the ball past the stopper and bear down on Barbour before coolly finishing to give Hearts the lead.
With Hearts employing a direct, long ball strategy, United looked nervous and shaky with clearances being sliced and Hearts players hounding mistakes out of a rattled Broch side.
Hearts went further in front on 17 minutes when a Davie Ross passback to keeper Barbour was woefully short and Ballard again pounced to dink the ball over Barbour and give Hearts a stunning two goal lead.
United’s calamitous back four almost conceded an incredible own goal as this time Darren Ross, in an attempt to clear the ball to safety, diverted a Johnson cross onto his own post from 18yards. However the Broch slowly began to settle, and the game became entrenched in the middle third and although there was little in the way of goalmouth action the game was played at breakneck speed, with strong challenges flying in.
United almost clawed their way back into it on 27 minutes when a nice move involving Buchan, Ritchie and Watt saw the winger burst clear on the inside right channel but with Lawrence open in the box, Watt elected to shoot and his effort hit the side netting.
United continued to pressure and got themselves back into it on 32 minutes. Buchan forced a corner off Davidson and Bisset swung over a great delivery where Innes headed home from six yards to get United back into it.
But the Broch’s defence almost let Hearts in again at the other end, as Innes was caught on the ball 25 yards out by Bruce and then promptly scythed down as the defender attempted to atone for his error.
From the resultant free kick Neary blasted the ball into a ruck of bodies where the ball ricocheted about before breaking to Edwards who brought out a great save from Barbour from 10 yards. United came out for the second half a much more organised looking side and from the off pushed forward and Buchan had a great volley whistle wide of Buchanhaven keeper Park’s far post.
On 49 minutes United got the crucial equaliser and it was Innes again with an almost carbon copy of his first. Bisset’s corner delivery again caused problems and Innes rose highest to nod in despite Park’s best efforts to keep the ball out and claim his sixth goal of the season.
On 67 minutes Forbes broke down a Hearts attack and quickly fed A. Ritchie his instinctive ball over the Hearts defence to find Bisset who outpaced the Buchanhaven defence before slipping the ball expertly under Park to spark Broch celebrations.
As the game ticked into the closing minutes Hearts threw everything forward but could not fashion a solid chance as United’s defence finally looked like its old self.
HEARTS: Grant-GK, Sime, Brown, Powell, Abolehassam, Geddes, Keith, Ritchie, Duncan, Ballard, Stainton. Subs: Clark, Glendinning, Hart, Findlay, McLean, Burnett, Pirie, McLeod