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Late sting in the tale as Portlethen edge Fraserburgh

Portlethen SC 1

Gordon 69

Fraserburgh Link-Up YFC 0

Scott McPherson | YFS North Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

A Ryan Gordon goal one minute from full-time ensured Portlethen stayed top of the table and denied Fraserburgh the point they looked destined to gain. Gordon’s goal means Portlethen go five points clear of promotion rivals Fraserburgh who end their 96-mile all round trip to Portlethen empty handed.
 
Portlethen’s late winner could end up being decisive when the season does come to a close with them, Fraserburgh, Colony Park, Cove, Ellon Meadows and Banchory all fighting for just two promotion spots. The win means Portlethen stay one point clear at the top of the table ahead of Colony Park but the Inverurie side have played three games less. Colony kept the pressure on Portlethen with a 3-1 away victory at Paul Lawrie Foundation Eagles. 
 
The players were joined by an extremely harsh wind at Nicol Park which is guarded by play parks on either side of the pitch and is a haven for dog walkers, even in strong winds. On the pitch were two teams bursting with players who just wanted to take defenders on and go past them but also didn’t shirk a tackle. Despite that combination, chances were few and far between. 
 
The first clear cut chance of the match fell to the hosts. A long kick out from goalkeeper Dylan McBain eluded Fraserburgh’s defence and allowed Jamie McLaughlin to run through on goal and his delicate lob went over goalkeeper Jamie Bruce but bounced wide of goal.
 
Portlethen were in the ascendency in the first half and looked particularly dangerous from set pieces. They did eventually score from one but it was rightfully chalked off for a foul on the goalkeeper.
 
Fraserburgh’s best chance of the half came from a set piece. William Third’s free kick from 25 yards was acrobatically tipped wide for a corner by McBain in goal for Portlethen. 
 
Portlethen then came close to breaking the deadlock just before the interval but winger Kyle Dalling could only knock the ball over the crossbar from six yards after good work on the right by substitute Mitchel Greig.
The first-half ended with a Dalling chance and the second began in the same fashion. Good play by Kai Annal set up Dalling whose powerful shot from 12 yards was well saved by Bruce. 
 
Never has the phrase ‘cancelling each other out’ been more apt. Fraserburgh’s resilience to finish with the point they started with was cancelling out Portlethen’s attempts to score. 
 
That was until the home side were awarded a penalty midway through the second period. Fraserburgh’s Third was adjudged to have fouled Annal after the latter’s quick feet in the area. 
 
Jamie McLaughlin stepped up and smashed the ball hard and high to the ‘keeper’s right but Bruce did magnificently to stretch and get a firm hand to the ball to turn it away from goal. McLaughlin was visibly gutted but there was little else he could do, it was a brilliant save. 
 
Bruce’s save looked like cementing Fraserburgh’s hard earned away point but there was one late twist. 
 
Greig’s through ball was not dealt with by the otherwise excellent Fraserburgh defence and Gordon capitalised on the indecision, latching on to the loose ball before prodding over the advancing Bruce who had to agonisingly watch the ball trickle over the goal line.
 
Gordon had an eventful game. He was frequently involved in the first half, quiet in the second half, came off with a dead leg, came back on and then popped up with the winner in stoppage time.
 
An important win for Portlethen and a disappointing defeat for Fraserburgh, but there is still a long way to go in the quest for promotion to the A League. 

Lineups

Portlethen SC
Fraserburgh Link-Up YFC

1. Dylan McBain
2. Andrew Ewen
3. David Lewis
4. Mitchel Greig
6. Morgan Robertson
7. Andrew Wood
8. Josh Rae
9. Ryan Gordon
10. Lewis Cavanagh
11. Kai Annal
12. Jack McGinness
14. Jamie McLaughlin
16. Kyle Dalling
17. Ryan Dempster
20. Callum Brunton
21. Jamie Pashley

1.Jamie Bruce 
3. William third
4. Darren Anderson 
5. Logan Reid 
6. Craig Barbour 
7. Callum Wilton 
8. Ryan Mcgregor
11. Ryan Sargent 
12. Shaun Jappy 
16. Jamie Park
21. Reece Taylor
9. Jordan McLean
14. Nathan Gatt 
15. Jake Masson 
17. Fergus Hutcheson
22. Arron Masson
Star Player
Portlethen SC
Fraserburgh Link-Up YFC
Special mention for Andrew Wood who was outstanding in Portlethen's defence. But it has to be Kyle Dalling, he epitomised everything good about Portlethen. Pace, power, directness and work-rate. He kept going to the very last minute and never gave the opposition defenders a minute to think.
It has to be Jamie Bruce. Usually when the attacker takes a good penalty; it's a goal, but not with Bruce in between the posts. That save was Fraserburgh's highlight and should have earned them a point.
Magic Moment
Portlethen SC
Fraserburgh Link-Up YFC
Ryan Gordon's late winner was exactly what Portlethen were looking for. Great celebrations when he scored.
Jamie Bruce's save was the one piece of quality in a otherwise dogged and determined Fraserburgh performance.

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