Nap Hand Nobody Wanted by Easton Thain

In their latest match the Jags made a nap hand that nobody wanted as they lost their fifth game in succession and the tale of conceding poor goals continued against the Locos albeit the visitors were probably the deserved winners in the end. You try and look for positives from a defeat and there were some notably the good performances again by Ben Stewart and Harry Noble with the latter getting a deserved man of the match award. The return of Iain MacRae and Chris Angus from injury was also a boost but conversely the absence through illness of skipper Lewis MacKinnon was a blow. On the down side Thistle never really got going in the match and was flat for most of the 90 minutes but they also had bad luck which always seems to happen when a team is on a bad run. The goals conceded were very avoidable and opponents’ do not have to work for their goals against the Jags at the moment making Thistle vulnerable. What wouldn’t gaffer Gary Hake give to have a fully fit squad at his disposal right now but the cards have been dealt differently of late and everyone will have to now dig deep to try and get a winning hand again. The law of averages says that Thistle’s luck will change and hopefully that is sooner rather than later or they will slide down the table at an alarming rate.

It was Locos to the fore for most of the first half and in the 6th minute Martin Bavidge hit the bye-line and set up Neil McLean but his low shot was held by Andy Burr. Four minutes later ex-Jag Dean Donaldson moved forward but his final shot went wide. Nothing much happened after that until the Harlaw Park side took the lead in the 26th minute with a poor goal from Thistle’s point of view. A cross was swung into the box and there was the unmarked Ross Anderson to power home a free header. Locos pressed on and eleven minutes later Neil McLean fed David Ross who shook off Harry Noble before firing in a drive but Andy Burr held this well. 60 seconds later the Jags had their first real chance of the game when they won a free-kick. Andy Low floated the ball into the box and Darren Wood rose highest to meet the ball but his header flew over. In the 42nd minute luck deserted Thistle big time. Initially Iain MacRae set Liam Baxter free and the latter fired in a first-time shot which was turned behind by Scott Matheson. The corner fell to Chris Angus whose shot was blocked, the ball was not cleared though leading to Locos giving a direct free-kick away in dangerous territory, cue Andy Low who stepped up and cracked in a superb strike only to see the ball crash down off the bar and be cleared.

Half-time – Buckie Thistle 0 Inverurie Locos 1

The Jags started the second half in lively fashion but just five minutes in shot themselves in the foot when David Ross got free before crossing to the unmarked Neil McLean, the one person you don’t want to leave unmarked, and he duly crashed the ball past Andy Burr. Thistle then had an escape in the 52nd minute when a Martin Bavidge effort was only half cleared and the ball reached David Ross who fired in a shot only to see the ball hit the post. It went quiet for about twenty minutes but in the 73rd minute when a Jags throw-in led to Liam Baxter feeding Drew Copeland but he shot wide. A minute later Thistle won another free-kick but Andy Low curled this wide as well. In the 76th minute at the other end a deep cross into the box was met by Dean Donaldson but his effort was parried then held by Andy Burr. 60 seconds on the Jags had a glorious chance to pull one back when a deep corner from Andy Low found Chris Angus at the far post, he sent across the six yard line, hooped attackers threw themselves at the ball but none made the vital touch. Five minutes before the end Andy Low sent a great ball out to Drew Copeland who sent in a fine low cross but, once again, no hooped attacker got on the end of it and that about summed the day up for Thistle. The Locos had a late chance in injury time when Martin Bavidge set Jordan Leyden free but he shot just over the bar.

Full-time Buckie Thistle 0 Inverurie Locos 2

Another desperately disappointing day for the Jags then and the faithful fans are beginning to wonder just when Thistle will win another match. Everyone’s spirits are low right now with everyone hurting over this run of defeats but you have to keep the faith and have to believe that fate will eventually turn the Jags way again. Now more than ever the players have to give it everything for only they can change the situation. They have to keep believing, keep trying 100% in every match and support each other no matter what. They cannot dwell on the last five games nor for one minute think what could have been done or what might have been because you cannot focus on the past in this game only the future. Thistle have a chance and a decent one at that to get back to winning ways when they face Aberdeen University in the Aberdeenshire Shield and then take a trip to face a Huntly side who were thumped at the weekend. Hopefully more of the injured players will be back making the team stronger and they have the ability to win both matches and what a tremendous fillip that would be for them and everyone at the club. However, lose these games and even darker clouds will descend, let us all hope that it is sunshine we see after the games ahead (well moonlight in the case of the University match!).

Match Photo’s courtesy of Allan Robertson

Buckie Thistle – Burr, MacRae, Noble, G Stewart, D Wood, B Stewart, Angus (S Gauld), Copeland, Baxter (Kleczkowski), Low and Adams (Munro)

Inverurie Locos – Matheson, Mitchell, Maitland, Begg, Anderson, Broadhurst, Ross (Leyden), McLean (Keir), Donaldson (Michie), Bavidge and Young

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