This clash between two unbeaten teams proved to be a close, tense affair, with the Bluebells running out narrow winners.
Broughty started strongly and had a chance to go in front after only four minutes when Stephen McNally headed back to his keeper with Fed forward Kevin Milne lurking just behind him. Milne strode forward and shot for goal only to see Mark Stewart deny him with a point blank save.
Good work by Milne again saw him create a chance for Fraser Smith but his effort was deflected behind for a corner.
Lochee hit back and a Grant Lawson cross was just missed by the head of the inrushing Connor Birse. Birse grabbed a hat-trick against Sauchie but was to find the Broughty defence a lot meaner.
Good interplay between Scot McComiskie and Birse saw McComiskie fire in a shot that just whizzed by Iain Ross’s left hand post.
However, the breakthrough came in the 20th minute when a Dougie Cameron corner was headed in by Greg Kirk. Kirky’s header was cleared off the line but Aaron WHITEHEAD was there to knock the ball home.
There was a bit of a dust-up at one point which saw Lochee’s Kirk and Cameron and Broughty’s Ross booked. A further five bookings followed during the course of the game, but it was never dirty, just fiercely competitive.
Former Lochee favourite Graham Hay partnered Garry Kenneth in the visiting defence and it was Kenneth who almost grabbed the equaliser with a header that was well saved by Stewart.
Cameron then fired over a beautiful cross for Bryan Deasley who headed the ball wide of the target.
Minutes before half time there was another scare for the home side when Milne beat Stewart to a through ball but it was scrambled behind for a corner.
The second half started with the Bluebells on the attack and after good work by Lawson and Deasley, McComiskie fired just wide.
Whitehead almost doubled his and his side’s tally when he rose to head in a McNally cross but unfortunately he directed his header into the arms of Ross.
The Fed then sent on Derron Kesson for Jamie Winter and the youngster injected some enthusiasm into the visitors, with Stewart having to save at the feet of Milne.
Thomson Park boss George Shields replaced Birse with Paddy Deane in an attempt to unsettle Hay and Kenneth as Broughty went all out for the equaliser.
There was a close call when Kirk was forced to back header the ball towards his own goal and he was relieved to see Stewart tip the ball onto the bar.
Former Lochee player Brian Clark was enjoying a good spell so it was a surprise to see him substituted with 12 minutes to go.
Four minutes later, Lochee brought on their second sub, Cammy McMahon, replacing McComiskie.
Scott Webster and Deane relieved the pressure on the defence with a fine run by the full back into the Broughty box. He squared the ball to Deane but Ross brought off a fine save.
Some terrific crosses by left back Ryan Blair were thrown into the Lochee penalty area but Danny Millar and Whitehead repelled them all and kept Broughty at bay.
However, the Fed almost grabbed a point at the death when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Lochee penalty area. Paul McLellan took the kick which grazed the top of the bar before going over.
So Lochee remain unbeaten but this was a close call and Broughty are due a lot of praise for the way they took the game to Lochee, particularly in the latter stages.
Man of the match for me, and not just because of his goal, was Aaron Whitehead, who repelled everything that was thrown into the Lochee penalty area.
FT: Lochee United 1 Broughty Athletic 0
Lochee United: Stewart, Webster, Whitehead, Millar, McNally, McComiskie (McMahon 82), Cameron, Kirk, Lawson, Birse (Deane 70), Deasley. Subs not used: Fotheringham, Montgomery, Lunan.
Broughty Athletic: Ross, Suttie (McNaughton 81), Kenneth, Hay, Blair, McLellan Winter (Kesson 65), Smith, Clark (McConnachie 78), Milne, McWalter.
Match report by Deeman
Written on 16 August 2017