Another Tale Of Woe For The Jags by Easton Thain
After the massive disappointment of the outcome at Pitmedden in midweek the Jags were looking to bounce back against Turriff United and the feeling was that if Thistle could recapture the form of the first 25 minutes at North Lodge Park and at other points in that game they could achieve a positive result. It was never going to be easy as the Haughs side were in excellent form going into the game and if the Jags failed to perform as they could then United had every chance of winning the match. Sadly the latter was more or less the case on a day when everything that could go wrong for Thistle did and it is going to take some effort to get back to winning ways and that will not be easy as the next opponents are Cove Rangers away and Inverurie Locos at home. As I said everything went wrong for the Jags against Turriff United, they simply never got into their stride and few players caught the eye, Jay Cheyne and Chris Hegarty probably being the best for them on the day. The game saw a debatable penalty awarded against Thistle and they also finished with nine men thanks to Darren Wood getting sent off and then, after all the substitutes had come on, Chris Angus was carried off as well. They also had no real luck with their one big chance of the day.
The wind was feisty at the game and certainly put paid to any creative play but what there was of that mainly came from Turriff with ex-Jags keeping legend Kevin Main hardly tested and few could argue United were worthy winners. The match was devoid of any real action until the 19th minute as the play was bitty and unimaginative. On that mark though the visitors were awarded a direct free-kick which Gary McGowan drove under the wall but Andy Burr got down well to hold the ball. Five minutes on Thistle had their first chance when Lewis MacKinnon delivered a deep free-kick into the box which Jay Cheyne missed and when the ball fell to Liam Baxter he knocked it wide, to be fair he probably was not expecting it. On the half hour the Jags had a huge escape when Andy MacAskill raced clear of Lewis MacKinnon before hitting the bye-line and delivering a cross right into the path of the unmarked Nicholas Gray but from a few yards out he managed to sclaff a shot wide. The ball was transferred to the other end of the park and was fed through to Andy Low but out came Kevin Main to deny his former colleague, the ball came out to Liam Baxter but his shot was blocked. Soon after there was disbelief all over the face of manager Gary Hake when a cross from Gary Harris struck Chris Hegarty on his shoulder but the referee deemed it to be handball and a penalty was awarded. Thankfully the resultant kick from Gary Harris was very poor and Andy Burr saved easily. United had another chance in the 38th minute when a corner was half cleared and fell to Gary McGowan but he drove over. On half-time luck went totally AWOL for the Jags when Lewis MacKinnon delivered in another deep free-kick, this time ‘Spider’ Stewart met the ball and his glancing headed left Kevin Main standing but it clipped the post and was cleared.
Half-time Buckie Thistle 0 Turriff United 0
Into the second half and Thistle had a chance in the 49th minute when Andrzej Kleczkowski fed Stephen Gauld but his drive was saved by Kevin Main. The course of the match changed completely two minutes later when the ball was fed through the Jags defence and Darren Wood bundled an attacked down in the box and was sent off. This time Gary McGowan took the penalty only to see Andy Burr pull off a brilliant save and the big keeper superbly blocked the follow-up away for a corner. Such is the life of a keeper though as he went from hero to villain, hardly had the joy died at his double save then he missed the ball from the resultant corned and there was Artjoms Kuznecovs to head in the opener. It was a blow Thistle never recovered from and eight minutes later it really was ‘tatties ower the side’ for their hopes as Turriff doubled their lead. A corner in was met by Andy MacAskill and Andy Burr could only block this away with his feet right into the path of Stuart Cumming who blasted the ball home. It could have got worse in the 68th minute as United broke up a Jags attack and counter-attacked at pace eventually leading to Gary Harris setting Craig MacAskill free, he bore down on goal but Andy Burr superbly blocked to deny the striker. The remaining chances all revolved around Craig MacAskill and with nine minutes left he saw a drive held by Andy Burr. A minute later his free-kick in was half cleared and fell to Gary Harris but his effort was blocked away by Jay Cheyne. However, with a minute left the substitute wrapped up United’s win in a bow when a ball pumped up the park was missed by Chris Hegarty allowing Craig MacAskill to run in a coolly net past the advancing Andy Burr
Full-time Buckie Thistle 0 Turiff United 3
Match Photo’s Courtesy of Allan Robertson
Buckie Thistle – Burr, Cheyne, D Wood, Stewart (K Gauld), MacKinnon, Hegarty, S Gauld (Angus), Carrol, Kleczkowski, Low and Baxter (Adams)
Turriff United – Main, Davidson, Herd, Cumming, Bowden (McKenna), Kuznecovs, Gray (Allan), Young, Harris, A MacAskill and McGowan (C MacAskill)
Referee – Morag Pirie
Dejection again for the Jags and their troubles have intensified for the next game at Cove Rangers with Iain MacRae and Chris Angus out injured and Darren Wood suspended meaning the only out and out defender left is skipper Lewis MacKinnon! Facing a likely lively Rangers attack it is going to take something special to take something from the game but Thistle can look back to the Aberdeenshire Cup game at Allan Park for inspiration and if they dig deep like they did that night then they can take something from the game, a draw would be no mean feat as it stands!