Welfare football season gets underway in Moray
BRANDER marked their return to the Moray welfare league with a 2-2 draw at home to Elgin’s only hopefuls, Bishopmill Rovers.
In Sunday’s opening day games, Bish took the lead over their Lossiemouth hosts when Jordan Mackie scored from the edge of the area.
Brander equalised before half time through Ryan Taylor’s lobbed shot, with Rovers regaining their lead when Gary Burchell’s effort went in off the bar.
The home side struck late for a share of the spoils, Fraser Hayter pinging a shot into the bottom corner.
Champions Burghead United had to dig deep for a single-goal success at home to neighbours Hopeman.
They started well with David Ross firing over while Hopeman defender Connor Macarthur headed against his own post. United keeper Sandy MacPherson kept his team on level terms either side of the break with good stops from Kyle Coutts, Graeme Ingram and Marc Connolly.
Gary Burr then hit the bar for Hopeman with MacPherson saving the rebound.
Burghead took the lead when John Harrold’s free kick found the roof of the net. the same player couldn’t hit the target when Steven Shand picked him out in front of goal after a swift break.
MacPherson had several more great saves to ensure his team held on for victory.
Buckie United were the day’s highest scorers, scoring six times in the first half at Portsoy on their way to a resounding 7-1 success.
Declan Clark pounced for a 10th minute opener after home keeper Chris Chappel failed to hold on to a corner. Five minutes later ‘Soy were awarded a penalty for a foul on Craig Bruce but Mick Smith’s kick was saved by Ryan Brindle.
Paul Mellon scored at the second attempt to double Buckie’s lead, Sean Petrie broke for number three and Darren Thain soon nodded in a fourth. The visitors didn’t let up there, with Clark making it 5-0 and Mellon also got his second, cutting in to beat several players for a great solo effort.
Portsoy tightened in the second half, with Chappel denying Callum McGregor with a brilliant save before Clark set up Petrie for his second and Buckie’s seventh.
Smith made up for his earlier penalty miss by netting Portsoy’s consolation goal from a tight angle.
Cullen and Aberlour Villa fought out a goal-less first half of few chances, before Cullen took charge in the second half.
On 55 minutes Cullen’s Leon Morrison sent in a pinpoint cross for Marcus Flett, who volleyed in their opening goal with an excellent finish. Kieran Ferguson’s 40 yard was saved by keeper Paul Robertson, who was then beaten on 75 minutes by Iain Mair’s header from a Tony Greig cross.
Greig also teed up Ferguson for the final goal to seal a 3-0 success.
RAF Lossiemouth opened with a 2-0 win at home to Tomintoul. Ryan Fleming and Fraser Macindeor scored for the airmen, who had Albert Clarke sent off for disputing a Tomintoul penalty, which they missed.
Fixtures, Sunday (2pm), league: Bishopmill Rovers v Portsoy; Brander v Buckie United; Hopeman v Cullen; Tomintoul v Burghead United.