Still smarting following the previous week’s defeat, Bervie were pleased to get this match against the league leaders on Sunday.
They also welcomed back Wotherspoon after almost five months off owing to injury.
Bervie started positively, with Boyd feeding the ball to Anderson on the left, his turn beat his man and he moved forward, winning a throw level with the box which was played in but scrambled clear.
McLaughlin then did well to win a free kick, which Webster played with Balmedie scrambling the ball away for a throw.
Wotherspoon’s throw into the box caused confusion and McLaughlin’s effort hit the junction of the bar and post.
Bervie’s next chance came when Anderson and Blacklaw combined to set McLaughlin free with his effort from distance going wide. Bervie were awarded a free kick deep inside the Balmedie half, this time Blacklaw played the ball in to the penalty spot area where it broke to Smith but his effort was saved.
After Bervie’s bright start, Balmedie started to come into the game more and it became something of a battle in midfield with a Balmedie man marking McLaughlin and limiting his ability to get control of the ball.
Bervie were next to create something, with Anderson and McLaughlin combined again for the latter to win a corner. Andersons ball in fell nicely at the back post to Wotherspoon but his effort went wide.
Balmedie’s first real chance came when a lobbed ball into the box caused all sort of confusion among the home defence but the forward’s effort went wide.
With 10 minutes left in the half, the returning Wotherspoon was withdrawn and Duggan was introduced up front with Anderson slotting into the midfield role and he had to be alert immediately tracking back and getting an important block in.
Duggan was immediately involved when he pulled out wide and played a lovely ball forward for Smith, however he just couldn’t reach the ball before it went out for a goal kick.
On the stroke of half time, Balmedie were awarded a free kick wide on Bervie’s right, the resultant ball in was only bettered by Boyd’s wonderful clearing header when it would have been easier to head into his own net.
Bervie started the second half switching McLaughlin into midfield and Anderson back up front in order to try and get more control of the ball, and the home side were immediately on the attack, with Blacklaw finding Thomson who played in McLaughlin down the right, however the keeper was out sharply to smother the ball. Bervie’s next chance came following Leisk’s clearance, Anderson flicking the ball on to Thomson who fed Blacklaw but the keeper saved his effort from distance. Bervie then had to withstand a period of pressure when Balmedie were awarded a series of free kicks wide on Bervie’s right hand side. However, Leisk was dominating his box and did well.
Smith then found Duggan wide on the left on the break but his pull back was well taken by the visitor’s keeper. Bervie were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position when Anderson was fouled, Blacklaw lined the strike up but his effort was blocked.
Bervie were struck a blow with around 15 minutes to go when captain Gordon had to come off with an injury, Morris slotting into midfield and Smith moving back into defence with Webster.
Leisk had to once again be alert when the visitors’ dangerous number four finally eluded Webster only to find Leisk in fine form as he saved well.
Balmedie were pushing with 10 minutes to go and a throw-in found a forward who did well to turn his man but once again Leisk saved well. However, it was Bervie who nearly grabbed what would have surely been a winning goal with the best chance of the game, Anderson doing well to beat his man on the right and cross to the back post.
Duggan moved the ball onto his right foot and fired in a good effort only for it to come off the post but find the normally deadly McLaughlin who, on the stretch, couldn’t keep the ball down and the chance went over.
Buoyed with that chance and with five minutes to go, it was Bervie who were pressing for a winner and this time it was Thomson who was fouled. However, Blacklaw’s curling effort was saved by the keeper.
The last effort was a result of a good run down the right from Avis, his ball half cleared to Duggan whose right foot effort was saved by the keeper.
On reflection, it was probably a fair result and Leisk produced three top saves to keep Bervie in the match. However, the home side hit the woodwork twice and had the best chance of the game.
This was avast improvement on the previous week’s showing with some good football and movement on show.
The challenge will be to take this level of play into each of the remaining matches.
Bervie lined up T. Leisk, K. Webster, K. Gordon (Cpt), D.Avis, E. Boyd, D. Blacklaw, S. Smith, C. Thomson, H. Anderson, J. McLaughlin, L. Wotherspoon
Subs:, A. Wood, B. Duggan, M. Morris
Devronvale U-15’s v Bervie Caley Youth U-15’s Sunday 9th February 2014
Bervie Line up
T. Leisk, M. Davies, K. Webster, K. Gordon (Cpt), D.Avis, D. Blacklaw, S. Smith, C. Thomson, M. Morris H. Anderson, J. McLaughlin
Subs: E. Boyd, J. Garden, A. Wood, B. Duggan
Bervie made the long journey to Portsoy to face Devronvale for the third time this season on Sunday, February 9, having beaten them on the two previous occasions and with the previous week’s win confidence was high and buoyed further with the return of captain Kyle Gordon.
However, despite a hard-fought battle the homesters were victorious, defeating Bervie by four goals to three.
Bervie returned to action after a six-week break with an away trip to Kemnay, winning by three goals to one despite missing captain Kyle Gordon.