Broughty Athletic claimed back to back victories in the Super League this afternoon with a hard-fought 4-2 home win over visitors Kennoway Star Hearts in absolutely atrocious weather conditions at Whitton Park.
Club officials had to call on a local referee to check the condition of Whitton Park due to the persistent rain from early morning, although there was no lying water on the park it was very heavy in places but both the local and match referee declared the park playable and the game went ahead.
Broughty were dealt a massive blow one hour before kick-off when captain Graham Hay pulled out through injury whilst going through a fitness test. That meant a slight shuffle in the back four, with Greig McNaughton coming in at right back and the gaffer moving to centre-half partnering recent new signing Gregor Anderson who made his debut. Other recent signings Jordan Garden and Taylor Berry both making the bench.
Things started brightly for the visitors, having the most of the possession and half chances on goal. If not for Chris McPherson in the goal the visitors could have taken the lead on more than one occasion but he saved well when needed. 19mins on the clock and Broughty almost scored, striker Kevin Milne lobbing the ball onto the crossbar after the KSH keeper came out his box and messed up.
But within three minutes the Fed took the lead courtesy of winger Chris Liversedge. He collected the ball on the left side and took on his defender and a low shot cut across the goal beating the keeper and into the far corner of the net, 1-0. two minutes later Liversedge thought he doubled the Feds lead but his shot from the right side hit the side netting with the keeper beaten. Bang on the half-hour mark, KSH were through on goal with only McPherson to beat but again he saved well with his foot when a goal looked certain.
35mins on the clock and Broughty were awarded a penalty when Winter was brought down in the box, he picked himself up and slammed home the resulting penalty kick, 2-0 to finish the last of the action for the first half in awful conditions. H/T 2-0
The second half was only three minutes old when KSH had another great chance to score but the shot went across the six-yard box with no takers from the visitors, a left off for the Fed defence. KSH pressed further upfield and another fine save from McPherson from an edge of the box shot kept in at 2-0. But on 58mins their goal finally came, a corner was swung into the box and a shot hit the arm of Liversedge from three yards out and shockingly a penalty was given much to the disgust of the Fed players. It was converted despite McPherson getting his hand to it but it spun under him and in the net, 2-1. Fed striker Kevin Milne was shown a second yellow card of the game for his protests and was thus sent off reducing the Fed to ten men.
On 75mins Broughty were denied a stonewall penalty when Liversedge was brought down in the box but the referee waved play on despite appeals from the Broughty side and bench. But within 60secs Broughty extended their lead courtesy of today’s captain of the side, Brian Clark. He collected the ball on the right side, cut in on his left, strolled past the flat-footed defenders and slotted into the bottom of the net, 3-1. 78mins and KSH were back in the game pulling another goal back. This time an inch-perfect cross from the left found their striker unmarked and he lobbed the ball over McPherson into the net, 3-2.
Substitute Liam McCartney thought he’d scored Broughty’s fourth goal but the farside linesman ruled for offside as the ball landed in the net. But with the clock running down and minutes to go, another substitute and recent new signing Jordan Garden was put through one on one with the KSH keeper and he chipped the ball past him and into the net, 4-2 F/T.
Summing up, what a game in shocking conditions weather wise. Howling winds, persistent rainfall and freezing temperatures but both sides cracked on and got on with it. Some rash challenges only due to the slippy surface. KSH will leave thinking they should have gained a point from the match on shots on target alone but for great goalkeeping and defending. Broughty never gave up despite losing a man and deserved their three points in the end, making it back to back victories in the league.
Man of the Match, tricky one due to the conditions, not much pretty football being played, but for keeping his side in the game at vital points and pulling off some good saves from some good KSH shots, it goes to Fed keeper Chris McPherson, pictured during the game.
F/T: BAJFC 4-2 KSH – Scorers: Liversedge, Winter(p), Clark, Garden.
Team: McPherson, McCunnie, Anderson, Blair, McNaughton, Winter, Smith, Clark, Liversedge, Milne, Kesson.
Subs used: Garden on for Kesson, McCartney on for Liversedge, Berry on for Winter.