Neither side could be faulted for the amount of effort put into the struggle to lift all three of the available points and although there was something of an overall sense that the home side had attacked their way to their share of the points while the visitors' reward was achieved on the back of persistent and dogged defending (particularly in the first half), the real beneficiaries of their respective efforts are Brora Rangers.
Broch started as one of table topping Brora's closest and most credible rivals while United currently inhabiting mid table terrain were desperately in need of a performance to lift them from a run of disappointments stretching back to defeat in the Aberdeenshire Cup Final at the start of October. On the basis that Broch's title challenge was in a much stronger place than United's and they were the home side, Formartine are likely to have been marginally the more content of the pair at taking a point from the game.
They started brightly enough with a foray down the left by Smith to feed Park at the edge of the box. He layed the ball back for Wood whose thumping shot slid just wide. After this early wee flurry from United, Broch began to impose themselves gradually ramping up the pressure until they could largely promote the rear 4 of their 4-3-3 formation to the edge of United territory and squeeze them from there. However with keeper Main in outstanding form and the back four of Crawford, Smith, McKeown and Kelly giving precious little away, Broch for all their territorial advantage never really achieved a level of persistent or sustained threat to the visitors who, although not entirely comfortable with the pattern of play, coped well with the defensive side of the challenge.
Barbour set off down the left to swing a cross over to Willox whose neat headflick to Campbell was even more neatly plucked from the striker's head by keeper Main in the 13th minute. Over the next 4 or 5 minutes longer range efforts by Young and Beagrie were calmly dealt with by the keeper. With United defending capably Broch stepped up the pressure but still struggled to unpick United's defensive lock. With Formartine's defence on song, Broch's forwards needed to be at their sharpest; they weren't. Slick interpassing between Barbour, Campbell and Willox in the 28th minute ended with the last named shooting wide from 6 yards. A rather tamely struck Campbell shot was easy meat for Main and five minutes later, just before the interval the same player headed the product of a Barbour corner over the top from the penalty spot.
The second half continued with Broch pressing hard; Full back Cairns was becoming increasingly influential and in the 56th minute clipped in a vicious ball to the base of Main's near post. He smothered it before any further danger developed. 3 minutes later CAIRNS was again the danger, sprinting down the right to collect a Cowie pass near the far post before skelping an unsaveable drive past Main.
The pressure was on and another tricky Cairns effort to the near post had to be smothered by Main. However United were showing, albeit intermittently that they could offer more than just resistance and proved that on the breakaway they were a goal threat. Gethins on as a 70th minute sub, proved the point. A Park attack delivered the ball to Wood on the edge of the box who cleverly played it on wide to GETHINS. The wee Irish striker left keeper LEASK stranded with a shot that was in the far corner of the net before he could do anything about it. It was enough to get a point.
It was a bit more even after that but neither side had what it took to break the deadlock.
Fraserburgh: Leask, Cairns, Hay, Cowie, G. Campbell, Willox, Beagrie, West (Butcher 80), P.Campbell, Young, S.Barbour. Subs: Watt, Buchan, Davidson, Simpson, Combe, Butcher, J.Barbour.
Formartine United: Main, Crawford, Smith, Anderson, McKeown, Kelly, Rodger [Lisle 78), Norris (Gethins 70), Wood, Park, Strachan. Subs: Lisle, Clark, Lawrence, Mackintosh, Gethins, Lawson, Watson