Aberdeenshire AFA

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Ferryhill 4 – 2 Turriff Thistle

Report by Scott McPherson

Division Three leaders Ferryhill booked their place in the Chattan Rovers Cup final against second place Great Northern Athletic after an impressive victory over Turriff Thistle.

That scenario never looked likely after the first 10 minutes of the game. Turriff started the much hungrier and brighter of the two sides and could have easily been two up inside 4 minutes. Firstly, winger Richard Fisher tested Ferryhill stopper Branton with a low side foot within a minute which he could only parry. Minutes later Clarke Morrison struck the post for Turriff from the angle of the 6 yard box after a defensive mix up.

These near misses evidently shook the hosts into action as they went to dominate the remainder of the half. Ferryhill’s midfielder Calum MacPhee was first to change the pattern of the game as he had an effort scooped off the line by a covering defender.

Striker Graeme Milne was next to make an impact as he glided past a defender before trying a delicate chip over Turriff ‘keeper Fraser who fisted the ball back to Milne who squared it to his strike partner Turbine who mishit the ball and it squirmed away harmlessly.

The home side missed another great opportunity after a graceful team move. Centre mid’ Grant Wood swept the ball wide for winger Hill who beat his man and pulled it back to Milne who sliced the ball wide of the target.

The pressure finally told half way through the first period and as is often the case, it was through a set piece. A driven corner was met by a flying side foot from midfield engine Grant Wood which left the goalkeeper stranded.

Turriff nearly simultaneously equalised from another set piece. A floated free kick fell to target man Fisher who flapped a shot comfortably over.

Shortly after we saw a classic midfield run from Ferryhill man Alan Mackie. He burst from midfield to go one on one with Scott Fraser with absent defenders but the Turriff number 1 saved his side from going further behind blocking a well placed shot from Mackie.

All the chances were falling to Ferryhill and defender Michael Wilson was next to have a go to beat Fraser. A corner fell to the full back on the edge of the box who curled a shot off the bar which bounced down as the league leaders appealed that the ball had crossed the line.

The second goal eventually did come but this time it was from a Ferryhill counter attack as Turriff defender Carder misjudged the flight of the ball and Milne punished him with a drilled effort at the near post to make it 2-0 at the interval.

Turriff would have been hoping to use the wind to their advantage in the second half to try and turn around the game but Ferryhill’s Chris Turbine almost ended that hope a minute into the second half after he knocked the ball past the on rushing Fraser after the ball fell to him at the corner of the 18 yard box.

Turriff didn’t just lie down and accept the knock back as they replied quickly from the penalty spot. Ryan Morrison was brought down as he moved away from goal and playmaker Philip Burnett coolly passed the ball into the net after sending the ‘keeper the wrong way.

Just as it was game on, it was game over. A loose ball fell to that man Graeme Milne who looked offside but with no whistle he didn’t stop to find out as he shrugged off a defender before nudging the ball past Fraser to end Turriff’s dream of a place in the final by making it 4-1 Ferryhill.

Turriff did score again but it was nothing but a consolation. The cup finalists won’t be happy with the defending as striker Mark Robertson was put through from his own ‘keeper’s kick to eventually prod under Phillip Branton to make the score line more respectable.

Ferryhill edged out their opponents after that goal, only restricting them to half chances. This result sets up a final between the top two teams in Division Three which could easily go either way.