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Buckie 
34
+94
82
2
Cove 
34
+79
82
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+80
81
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+35
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58
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WHAM! YOUNG GUNS GO FOR IT BUT LEAVE IT TOO LATE
 
Deveronvale 1-2 Brora Rangers
 
Scorers: Mackay 8, Maclean 44, Keith 79
 
Deveronvale put up a dogged fight, especially given the gap in experience, age and the unavailability of key players, but ultimately slipped to another home defeat, this time to title hopefuls from Sutherland Brora Rangers.
 
A bad start for Dippy's youngsters saw Steve Mackay open the scoring for the visitors after eight minutes and the loss of a second on the stroke of half-time didn't help matters but Sean Keith's goal-line finish with around ten minutes remaining made it slightly uncomfortable for Grant Munro's side who had only themselves to blame pfor not putting the result to bed earlier given the amount of possession and chances created.
 
Ahead of kick-off a minutes silence was observed for Moira Murray a life-long Deveronvale supporter and mother of sponsor Neil Murray who sadly passed away recently.
 
Steve Dolan was forced to throw new signing Grant Noble straight into his starting eleven due to further injuries picked up at Inverurie in midweek, Paul Sutherland and Ross Aitken joined the long list of unavailable players available to the unlucky Vale boss who was looking for another hard-working performance from his young side and a home goal of any sort would be very welcome,
 
Unfortunately it didn't take the former league champions long to open the scoring, Liam Forbes allowed Ally Macdonald's hopeful ball into the box to pass him over his head and veteran striker Steve Mackay took full advantage as he stuck out a boot and simply guided the ball in the far corner of James Blanchard's net with less than ten minutes on the clock.
 
It was very quickly one-way traffic and Dale Gillespie tested Blanchy with a crisp strike from distance which the keeper saved comfortably before Martin Maclean's effort was turned into the side-netting by the home custodian as the homeside looked like rabbits caught in the proverbial headlights momentarily.
 
James Duguid did have a decent dig at goal blocked by Colin Williamson as the Banffers managed a rare foray forward while the ever-dangerous Andrew Greig was only a foot or so high with his 25 yard curling strike at the St Andrews End.
 
With half an hour played James Blanchard stood up well to deny Zander Sutherland as he raced in behind latching onto Sid MacKay's nicely-weighted pass and five minutes later the busy Vale keeper did well once more as he stretched to turn Martin Maclean's deft lob over the top for a flag-kick which to be fair to the defence was well dealt with.
 
As the interval approached endeavouring play from James Duguid saw the striker get the better of full back Ally Macdonald before squaring to Steven Davidson but the latter's side-footed effort on goal was easily saved by visiting captain and goalie Joe Malin.
 
Brora scored a second right on the stroke of the half-time whistle, John Pickles floated the ball into the path of Martin Maclean and the midfielder headed firmly beyond Blanchy with Vale guilty once more of failing to pick up their opposite number in the danger area leaving Steve Dolan with yet another difficult interval team-talk. HT
 
Andrew Greig had a low shot from the edge of the area cleared by Scott Begg as the visitors started the second period how they finished the first, on the ascendancy. 
 
Steven Davidson had a rare attempt at goal for the Banffers but failed to work Joe Malin while at the opposite end Alan Pollock had a clear run at goal after playing a one-two at the edge of the Vale 18-yard box but James Blanchard was able to fist the former Clach midfielder's strike to safety.
 
Nathan Ross replaced Steven Davidson on the hour for the hard-pressed Banffers and within five minutes they had their best effort of the match. Graeme Watt scrapping with Ross Tokely inside the visitors penalty area before sending a dipping strike at goal which just failed to nestle in the far corner of Malin's net.
 
A double change with twenty minutes remaining from Steve Dolan saw Liam Archibald make his long-awaited return from injury as he replaced Bradley Manson and it paid off within five minutes as the Banffers finally netted their first goal at Princess Royal Park since the 30th of July.
 
Grant Noble had the initial shot on target after just missing the target from distance minutes earlier and although Joe Malin pushed the debutant's effort to his left substitute Sean KEITH, who had just replaced James Duguid, arrived on cue to bundle the loose ball over the line much to the annoyance of the visiting coaching staff.
 
As the Cattachs immediately found another gear Sean Keith headed off his own line to deny Steve Mackay, Steven Fraser blocked a fierce Martin Maclean strike while James Blanchard dived at full length to his right turn to deny Craig Campbell after the substitute had turned and fired at goal from around 12-yards.
 
Graeme Watt tried to manufacture an equaliser inside stoppage time but blazed high over the top and a late set-piece from super-sub Sean Keith just failed to find Steven Fraser stooping in at the back post.
 
Vale: Blanchard, Rae, Dunbar, Begg, *89 Steven Fraser, Forbes, Duguid (Keith 72), Manson (Archibald 72), Davidson (Ross 60), *66 Noble, Watt (cpt)
Subs: Sopel, Patterson (gk)
 
Brora: Malin, Pickles, Macdonald, Williamson, Gillespie, *83, Tokely, Maclean, Pollock, Sutherland (Campbell 70), Mackay, Greig (Ross [T] 70)
Subs: Ross, C Lisle, Morrison, S Lisle, Cormack 
Manager: Grant Munro
 
Referee: Dan McFarlane
 
Vale Stats:
Efforts On: 3
Efforts Off: 5
Woodwork: 0
Corners: 0
Offside: 3
Overhead Conditions: Warm Sunshine
Playing Surface: Pretty Good
Temp at KO: 18 degrees
Last Season: 0-2
 
Reporter: Neil Montgomery
Reported LastEdited: 18-Sep-2016
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