Strong Brora team punish Golspie
Brora Rangers made the very short journey south to Golspie in the first round of the North of Scotland Cup last night.
Although this is a game that the Highland League table toppers would normally be expected to win, the home side won the North Caledonian title last season so nothing could be taken for granted and the Cattachs gave Golspie Sutherland due respect by fielding their strongest team for this east Sutherland derby.
Before the match, Brora boss Steven MacKay pointed out that he made his Brora debut some years ago against Golspie at King George V Park in the North Cup in a closer encounter than the 1-4 score line then suggested. On this occasion, Golspie had a mountain to climb after 25 minutes by not defending crosses well enough and conceding three identikit headed goals the first after only three minutes when Jordan MacRae headed a right wing corner inside the far post.
Golspie allowed the visitors to double their lead when Neil MacDonald – a former Golspie player – headed home Brora’s second.
Yet another headed goal ensued after 25 minutes with Colin Williamson emphatically heading home a left wing cross high into the net at the far post for number three. Once again, the hosts attempted to get back into the match and, from a right wing cross, Brora keeper Joe Malin did well to parry away the inrushing midfielder’s strong header.
Golspie must have thought it wasn’t to be their night on 34 minutes when Scott Davidson’s shot from the edge of the box was deflected into the path of the incoming Kyle MacLeod who tucked the ball low into the far corner of the net.
Golspie tried to press and get on the scoresheet before the interval but the Brora defence were resolute and the main goal threat came at the other end when Gavin Morrison fired a free kick high over the bar and Paul Brindle’s hard drive was beaten away by the Golspie keeper.
After the restart, the home side’s cause wasn’t helped by conceding two penalties. The first, after 51 minutes was tucked in low to the keeper’s right by Davidson for Brora’s fifth after a trip inside the box on the left. Following a Golspie effort just wide, on 66 minutes the home side conceded a second penalty when Brindle was felled following a left wing attack and Ally MacDonald blasted the resulting spot kick into the postage stamp corner for goal number six
The seventh counter arrived on 78 minutes when Davidson cheekily lobbed the keeper from the left edge. Goal number eight was headed home by Davidson for his hat-trick following Bjorn Wagenaar’s cross on 82 minutes and just a minute later Niall Docherty’s shot on the left went through the unfortunate keeper’s hands to complete the scoring.
In truth, Golspie looked good with neat passing and approach play but no cutting edge in the box. They also have had less game time than the visitors whose sound defence, pace and varied attacking menace will trouble a lot of opponents this season and will face Wick Academy at home in the next round of this competition.