Caley work for win against league rivals



After two free weekends, on-form Bervie made the long trip to Portsoy for this Scottish Cup tie against league rivals Devronvale.

Bervie started the match sharply and immediately took control of the game with Gordon making the first of many timely interceptions and playing a lovely ball down the inside right channel for McLaughlin who held off his marker only for the keeper to save well.

Undeterred Bervie continued to dominate play with Blacklaw, Anderson and McLaughlin linking well down the left hand side. Blacklaw linked with Thomson who played the ball to Anderson on the edge of the box; however his effort was well saved by the keeper.

Bervie suffered a setback after 15 minutes when Davies had to be withdrawn following a reoccurrence of his hamstring injury, Morris coming on and taking his place in midfield with Smith moving to right back. Morris wasted no time in testing the keeper after receiving the ball from Blacklaw and firing in a long range effort which the keeper saved at the second attempt.

Bervie took a deserved lead when Blacklaw intercepted a Devronvale free kick, the ball finding McLaughlin who went through one on one with the keeper only for the keeper to save well again, however this time the ball rebounded to Anderson on the edge of the box who fired home first time low into the corner to give Bervie the lead.

The lead was short lived, though, after dominating the first 20 minutes without Devronvale threatening the home side’s wide man went past the defence at pace and fired an unstoppable effort past Leisk from the edge of the box to level the match.

Bervie didn’t let this set back stop the neat football they were playing with Duggan applying pressure down the right hand side, forcing the homestersto concede a corner. Blacklaw’s ball in caused confusion and was eventually scrambled clear.

Bervie regained the lead when Blacklaw stretched to reach the keeper’s goal kick, playing McLaughlin in who this time when one on one with the keeper calmly rolled the ball under him to restore the lead. However, once again the lead was short lived, a long ball down Bervie’s left saw the wide player again outpace the defence to cross, Gordon’s headed clearance was met on the edge of the box by an unmarked midfielder who slotted home leaving Leisk little chance.

Bervie took this opportunity to make further changes, Thomson coming off and Sawyer coming on up front with McLaughlin moving into midfield.

Sawyer was quick to involve himself, running onto Anderson’s flick and winning a corner. Bervie were starting to lose their shape and instructions from the sidelines saw Smith move back across to the right and he wasted no time in taking advantage and playing in Duggan who won another corner.

Bervie regained the lead with the goal of the match. As the home side organised themselves to defend a free kick, expecting the ball to be dropped into the box, they did not notice Webster touch the ball short to Blacklaw who struck from fully 35 yards out into the top corner.

Bervie came out in the second half knowing they would have to score again to ensure their passage through into the fourth round of the Scottish Cup for the first time. Sawyer was first to threaten, running clear down the right, but rather than square the ball he took one touch too many and the danger was cleared.

Immediately Devronvale came forward and found themselves one on one with Leisk who stood up well and saved superbly. From the resultant corner Gordon strode clear and played the ball long to Sawyer who used his pace to race clear and calmly place the ball past the keeper to extend Bervie’s lead.

Devronvale almost got a goal back immediately from the restart, their pacy wide man cutting inside Smith and firing off the underside of the bar and Leisk saving well from the follow up header. Devronvale did get a goal back, however, Bervie’s defence claiming a foul which went unheard allowed the forward to cut inside and fire past Leisk to narrow the lead.

Another Bervie change saw Thomson reintroduced to tighten up midfield. He immediately combined with McLaughlin to set Sawyer away who won another corner. Bervie were pressing for their fifth goal which surely would wrap up the game and Anderson played a nice ball through to Sawyer who raced clear to fire home only to see the referee disallow the goal for offside – a very tight call.

McLaughlin and Anderson were combining well down the left, Anderson drawing tackles and playing short passes into McLaughlin who used his strength to hold off the home defenders and look for Blacklaw who then rolled the ball to Webster who fired narrowly wide.

With Bervie looking to run the clock down there was time for one last attack from the home side, a long ball over the top beat Gordon and Webster and with the forward bearing down Leisk pulled off a great save.

Strong performances all over the pitch saw Bervie through and into the fourth round of the Scottish Cup for the first time.

T.Lesik, M. Davies, K. Webster, K.Gordon (Cpt), A. Wood, C. Thomson, S. Smith, D. Blacklaw, J. McLaughlin, B. Duggan, H. Anderson

Subs: M. Morris, J. Karpsinki, L. Sawyer,