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Penalty proves crucial for Brora Rangers

By SPP Reporter

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Dale Gillespie's penalty proved enough for Brora Rangers to take the points against Huntly.
Dale Gillespie's penalty proved enough for Brora Rangers to take the points against Huntly.

The spot kick was disputed by the visitors but victory was no less than Brora deserved, having created most of the clear-cut chances during the 90 minutes.

Brora’s first chance came in the fourth minute. Richie Hart’s cross from the left was helped on by Steven MacKay for Stephen Skinner, but the full back’s shot flew straight at Huntly goalkeeper Shaun Barney.

The home side won their first corner of the match five minutes later. Hart’s in-swinger was met by Alex Lamb but his header flashed past the wrong side of the upright.

After a promising start, play got bogged down in the middle of the park with little in the way of goalmouth action.

However, Craig Campbell did have the ball in the Huntly net in the 20th minute after he was sent clear by MacKay but he was ruled offside.

Huntly’s first real chance fell to Neale Davidson in the 35th minute but his glancing header drifted narrowly past Alex Ridgers’ right hand post.

But it was mostly Brora and Campbell was not far away with a drive from outside the area while Ross Grant was also off-target with an effort just before the break.

The turning point came in the 53rd minute when Brora were awarded a penalty after Michael Clark handled on the goal-line. Barney appeared to have smothered a MacKay effort but the Brora player won the ball back and his goalbound shot was stopped from going in by the Huntly defender. Clark, who was booked in the first half, was shown a red card by referee Calum Spence.

Gillespie kept his cool during all the commotion and fired his spot kick high past Barney.

Despite being a man down, the Strathbogie side enjoyed their best spell in the match and Ridgers had to be on his toes to keep out efforts from Andrzej Kleczkowski and Michael Fyfe in quick succession.

The game’s last chance fell to Brora when they were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position in the 88th minute. However, Barney did well to turn Hart’s curling effort behind for a corner.

There were no more chances as Brora held on for their fourth win on the bounce. They are one of four clubs on 22 points in the table, five points off the summit.

Brora – Ridgers, Skinner, Golabek, Hind, Lamb, MacLean, Gillespie, Hart, Campbell (Baxter 58), MacKay, Grant (Rutherford 75).

Tomorrow (Saturday) Brora make the long trek to Lochaber to play Fort William at Claggan Park – kick-off 3pm.

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