Bervie travelled to Banchory for this match with a squad of 13 players, which was better than the previous week when the game was cancelled owing to a lack of players for varying reasons.
This was Stuart Smith’s first game this year after a return from a four-match ban after a disputed sending off. The team found out that they had the same referee as his last match!
Bervie only have three matches to play, including this one, and were advised to keep up the work ethic as previous matches but to relax and enjoy their football. The sun was shining, but there was a strong cross wind to contend with.
Bervie had to change sides after losing the toss as Banchory opted to play with the cross wind in the first half, but this seemed to work against them as the long balls were running out of play.
Bervie were playing the ball on the deck and had had started brightly with a few chances early on and eventually got the first goal after seven minutes. S. Smith worked hard through three tackles then fed the ball out to Bellu on the right who went past his marker then his pace got him past the defender and he swung in a cross to the far side of goal just inside the box. Bervie had a couple of players running in but M. Smith was there first and volleyed a great strike into the far side of the goal.
Bervie kept pushing but the ball was not breaking for them. . Banchory were tackling continually and then scored after 20 minutes following some poor defending. A Banchory player ran across the face of goal, avoiding various half-hearted tackles, then after a poor touch the ball broke to another Banchory player who turned a defender then another and shot low into corner.
Bervie then pushed up the park trying to regain the lead but Forbes lost the ball when he should have passed and the defender’s long clearance was collected by the big Banchory striker who forced his way into the box and fired home from close range. Bervie took off Beedie at this point and put Meston on up front and dropped M. Smith back into midfield.
The game then settled down as Bervie were advise to consolidate and play it tight rather than lose another goal, and this was working well and won a few free kicks after Banchory were getting frustrated at the Bervie passing.
Banchory were defending the poor free kicks with ease until the 44th minute when a Morrison free kick found Bellu running into the box and his stretched leg made just enough contact to direct the ball goalwards for the equaliser.
Half time Bervie were advised to be careful of the wind and keep playing football as they were dominating the midfield.
The second half then produced five goals in 10 minutes with Bervie getting off to the best possible start; a throw by Bellu on the left was touched on by S. Smith through to the right of the box for M. Smith to run onto and slot home back across the keeper into the right side of the goal in the 46th minute.
The joy was short lived as Banchory scored the equaliser after poor defending and alack of good tackles once again. Bervie continued their passing play and a pass from Forbes in the centre went out to Bellu on the left who went past a couple of players and his cross was nodded in by Meston about one yard from the line.
Bervie then scored again when a ball from midfield found Forbes on the left who passed first time to S. Smith and he turned one player on the left of the box to give himself space, took a couple of steps and fired low into far right of the goal with the keeper stranded at the left.
It was end to end at this moment and Banchory scored after 55 minutes when a shot was re-directed by the now stronger gusty wind and crept just under the bar after it looked like it was going over.
Bervie kept going at Banchory and had two penalty claims waived over by the ref, the first on Forbes as he was running into the box and the second on M. Smith who beat the goalie and was away to strike the ball into goal when a defender took him down from the back, thereferee claiminghe was unsighted!
Banchory then scored the equaliser after 68 minutes when a long ball was headed out by S. Smith only to be chested by a home player who then volleyed a cracking shot over the goalie.
Bervie then had another penalty claim waived away by the ref, again M. Smith beat a player down in the right corner and was running in the box towards goal and was about to cut back to Forbes when, again, he was tackled from behind. The referee awarded a goal kick!
Bervie Line up - S. Walker, L. Frater, K. Brown, K. McCombie, A. Maclod, S. Smith, M. Smith, C. Morrison, L. Beedie, K. Bellu, A. Forbes. Subs: F. Smith & S. Meston