Bervie extend lead at the top of the table

After a well-observed minute’s silence from both sides, Bervie started strongly with Gordon putting in a good challenge to win the ball.

He fed Collie on the left and his cross found McLaughlin, whose left foot effort was saved.

Bervie were dominating the early stages and again it was good play from Gordon to win the ball that created the next break forward, Gordon finding Davies who fed Blacklaw but his cross was just a little too close to the keeper.

Good play from Anderson on the right give rise to him being fouled; Blacklaw took the resulting free kick and, with the ball scrambled clear by the defence. Bervie continued to have the better of the play.

Smith did well to win the ball and feed Avis, he found Anderson on the right whose cross was behind Collie and cleared.

Against the run of play it was Stoneywood who came closest to breaking the deadlock, a break forward resulting in Bervie conceding a free kick around 25 yards out which was firmly struck, beating Leisk hands down and coming back off the bar.

Bervie kept up the pressure and Montgomerie did well to beat his man, feeding Anderson on the left, his ball in found Collie who shot just wide.

Anderson then did well to win the ball in the middle, he again found Collie who beat his man and found Blacklaw, his ball in found McLaughlin who drove wide.

Bervie’s pressure finally paid off. Blacklaw was fouled after good play on the left, he stepped up and floated in a lovely free kick which Montgomerie rose highest for to flick home past the keeper.

Bervie got another free kick shortly after, Montgomerie brought down again and this time Blacklaw fired straight at the keeper.

Bervie’s goal and dominance had the home side rattled, and the referee had to intervene to calm things down after a few strong challenges from both sides. From the resultant free kick, Gordon found Anderson and he played in, found Avis who played in Smith who was supporting from the back but his effort went wide.

Entirely against the run of play, Stoneywood equalised on the stroke of half time after being awarded a free kick right on the edge of the box when McLaughlin was penalised for having his arms up. The ball was played in and, from the resultant scramble, Stoneywood poked home the equaliser.

Bervie had been the better team but were getting dragged into a more physical battle and were told at half time to allow their football to do all the work. They seemed to take heed of this, started positively and did well to win a corner. The ball came over and, just when it looked like it was going out, Smith did well to win it back and play it into the danger area. From the scramble, Collie was first to the ball to poke home and restore the lead. Bervie’s third and the decisive goal wasn’t long in coming. Some good build up play saw McLaughlin’s shot blocked but it found Collie on the edge of the box, he turned sharply and sent an unstoppable effort into the back of the net off the underside of the bar.

Bervie kept the pressure up and strong play from Blacklaw allowed him to win the ball and find Anderson who was, in turn, fouled for another free kick, Blacklaw swung the ball across, finding McLaughlin whose effort went narrowly wide.

Bervie brought on McHardy to help strengthen the midfield and he was immediately in action with a number of timely interceptions. However, Stoneywood were looking dangerous at set pieces and Leisk had to be alert to stretch and punch clear one of a number of corners which were coming in

He was beaten when Stoneywood sent in a ball to the back post where the forward got goal side of the defender to poke home from point blank range.

Despite having their lead pegged back, Bervie remained positive and Avis and McLaughlin were doing well to combine down the right with McLaughlin the architect of the fourth goal, receiving the ball from a throw and playing in Montgomerie whose quick feet saw him beat his man before firing home a left foot effort to seal the win.

Bervie continued to press Stoneywood looking for a fifth and were playing some fine football, Gordon starting the build up from the back and playing a neat one two with Collie before putting the ball through to the dangerous Avis. His pace took him clear of the defence but the keeper did well to smother his shot.

Webster had now switched to the right of the defence and was also pushing forward, his fine cross to the back post finding Blacklaw whose header went wide. Sawyer, on at left back, thought he had the fifth when he ran on to a neat flick from Blacklaw and lobbed the on-rushing keeper only to see his effort come back off the post and just evade Avis. This was a good result for Bervie Caley away from home and against a far bigger and more physical side and saw them extend their lead at the top of the table.

Bervie: T. Leisk, S. Smith, K. Webster, K. Gordon (Cpt), M. Davies, W. Montgomerie, H. Anderson, D. Blacklaw, D. Avis, J. McLaughlin, M. Collie. Subs: M. Morris, L. Carmichael, L. Sawyer, E. Boyd, G. McHardy.