Broch do themselves proud in defeat against Rangers

Fraserburgh's Paul Young and Rangers Josh Windass. Picture by Heather Fowlie

Fraserburgh did themselves proud in their 3-0 defeat to Rangers in the Scottish Cup fourth round at Bellslea.

A Josh Windass hat-trick was the difference on a night when the Highland League side acquitted themselves superbly.

Bellslea Park was packed to the rafters, with some away supporters being turned away because the ground was full and others had used counterfeit tickets to gain entry.

Broch boss Mark Cowie made three changes from the side that beat Forres 6-1 on Saturday with Paul Campbell, Michael Rae and Cammy Buchan dropping to the bench and Marc Dickson, Jamie Beagrie and Dean Cowie restored to the starting line-up.

Graeme Murty made six changes to his team that beat Ross County 2-1 on Sunday. James Tavernier was suspended, Russell Martin and Wes Foderinghaam rested with Sean Goss, Jamie Murphy and Alfredo Morelos benched.

In came Jak Alnwick, Fabio Cardoso, Andy Halliday, Lee Hodson, Niko Kranjcar, Jason Cummings.

The first chance fell to the Gers after 12 minutes when Kranjcar was given space on the edge of the area to feed Cummings in the box, but keeper Peter Tait did well to smother the effort at close range.

On the quarter hour the Premiership side were ahead when Bryan Hay tangled with Jason Holt in the penalty box and referee Greg Aitken awarded a spot-kick.

It looked a tad harsh but it was given and Josh Windass converted from 12 yards to leave the Broch trailing.

Midway through the half the ref should have pointed to the spot and given Fraserburgh a penalty when Hodson shoved Willie West to the ground but for a reason unknown to everyone inside Bellslea it wasn’t given by Aitken.

On 27 minutes it was almost 2-0 when Kranjcar played a one-two and shot from 16 yards with the effort hitting the bar and flying over.

Broch captain made a goal-saving clearance shortly before half-time when he glanced a Hodson cross to safety with Gers attackers free at the back post and at the interval it remained 1-0 with the Highland League side having had plenty of the ball.

Just three minutes into the second period the Broch threatened with Alnwick having to save West’s near post header from Lewis Davidson’s left wing corner.

On 56 minutes Windass got his second when Kranjcar laid it off to Hodson on the right and his cross came through to Windass at the back post and he finished high into the net from 12 yards.

The Broch didn’t give in though and Paul Young sent a really dangerous ball right across the six-yard box on 63 minutes as they searched for a route back into the game.

Midway through the second period Windass got his hat-trick, he received the ball wide on the left drove inside Davidson and fired a low 15-yard shot into the bottom right corner.

Young sent a thunderous effort from 20 yards just over with 18 minutes left as Fraserburgh kept going and at the other end Tait did well to save Daniel Candeias’ angled 17-yard drive.

Late on sub Graham Johnston was sent off for a lunging tackle on sub Joe Dodoo, Johnston had only been the on pitch for two minutes.

Despite numerical disadvantage Fraserburgh fought until the end trying to score to give the crowd of over 1800 inside Bellslea a memorable moment.

Fraserburgh: Peter Tait, Marc Dickson, Dean Cowie, Bryan Hay, Ryan Cowie; Lewis Davidson, Jamie Beagrie, Ryan Christie (Michael Rae 68), Paul Young, William West (Paul Campbell 68), Gary Harris (Graham Johnston 83).

Subs not used: Cameron Buchan, Aidan Combe, Greg Buchan, Edward Flinn.

Rangers: Jak Alnwick, Declan John, Fabio Cardoso, Josh Windass (Eduardo Herrera 71), Andrew Halliday, Lee Hodson, Niko Kranjcar, Daniel Candeias (Jamie Murphy 79), Jason Holt, David Bates, Jason Cummings (Joe Dodoo 71).

Subs not used: Liam Kelly, Sean Goss, Jamie Murphy, Aidan Wilson, Alfredo Morelos.