Youngsters The Shining Light by Easton Thain
Anyone taking a quick glance at the final score against Brora Rangers may think that ‘oh well that was an easy win for the Sutherland side’, well they would be wrong and there is no doubt whatsoever that the final result was a bit harsh on the Jags who, for at least an hour in total of the game matched the reigning champions to the point where the dangerous ex-Thistle star Zander Sutherland was not allowed to rule the roost. It was one big difference that decided the outcome of this game a combination of some wayward defending by the Jags and the Cattachs ability to punish a team that does that. Brora simply converted their chances whereas Thistle passed up more than a few and the Jags only consolation was that they scored the goal of the game and hopefully that will boost the confidence of the scorer Liam Baxter. Once again though the shining lights in the Jags side were there youngsters with the likes of Jay Cheyne, Drew Copeland and Kyle Gauld showing their abilities and they were far from overawed. The return of Shaun Carrol to action is another boost and he has superb passing ability and delivery. The appearance of Darren Wood, albeit he came on up front, is another boost and hopefully he will be back to bolster the defence. Whilst defeat was disappointing the players should not be too downbeat about matters but in the next match they have to take their chances especially against the bigger sides.
Against the reigning champions it is imperative that you are switched on from the start but, sadly, the Jags weren’t and they found themselves a goal down in the 4th minute when a ball in was allowed to reach Steven MacKay and his drive was deflected home giving the wrong-footed Andy Burr no chance. Nine minutes later the Cattahcs looked to be on easy street as they doubled their lead and again poor defending contributed as a ball in broke for Martin MacLean and he drove it home from about 8 yards out. Brora’s dander was up and a minute later a poor kick out from Andy Burr landed at the feet of Scott Graham who controlled the ball but luckily he shot narrowly over. Thistle started to get back into the game and in the 17th minute a free-kick was delivered superbly into the box and Scott Adams dived to meet it but could only glance it wide. The Jags as just as much in the game as the Cattachs but the latter had a great chance in the 21st minute when they won a free-kick twenty yards out and only one man was going to take it and up stepped Zander Sutherland to blast in a drive only to see Andy Burr brilliantly tip the ball over the bar. Thistle responded seven minutes on when they should have pulled a goal back as Kyle Gauld sent a brilliant pass through right into the path of Chris Angus but unfortunately he thumped his drive over the bar. For the rest of the half the main chances fell to the Cattahcs. In the 33rd minute they had another free-kick which Zander Sutherland fired wide, three minutes on a break led to a drive from Dale Gillespie which went just wide, five minutes before the break Chris Angus’ attempts to cleverly get the ball away nearly proved fatal as Colin Williamson poked the ball away form him and into the path of Scott Graham who should have scored but he shot over and a minute before the break ‘Zico’ Davidson on half cleared and the ball fell to Martin MacLean but he drove over
Half-time Buckie Thistle 0 Brora Rangers 2
There was nearly a repeat of the start of the first half as four minutes into the second Brora had a great chance to make sure of their win when a ball in found Ross Tokely but somehow he contrived to head over. 60 seconds later though Thistle had a brilliant chance to pull a goal back as Jay Cheyne delivered a superb ball over the defence and onto the head of the inrushing Chris Angus but instead of angling his header away from the keeper the ‘Blonde Bomber’ sent it into the gleeful arms of Joe Malin. In the 54th minute Kyle Gauld put in a superb tackle to win the ball and again the man he set up was Chris Angus but it wasn’t the winger’s day as his fine drive was well saved. Five minutes later he had another chance when Jay Cheyne crossed the ball in but his header lacked any power. It went quiet for a spell with the Jags giving as good as they got and Brora were not being allowed to run the game but with fourteen minutes left it was ‘tatties ower the side’ for Thistle’s hopes when another ball in was not properly cleared allowing Scott Graham to set up Martin MacLean who duly drove it home. The Jags deserved something for their efforts and got it with a minute left with a quite stunning strike, Chris Angus found Liam Baxter and from fully thirty yards he bent a brilliant shot with the outside of his boot into the top corner of the net. Sadly a final kick in the teeth came in the final minute when a cross into the Jags box fell to Scott Graham and he duly thumped the ball past Andy Burr
Full-time – Buckie Thistle 1 Brora Rangers 4
Man of the Match chosen by Colin Murray is Andrew Greig.
Like I said the final score was harsh on the Jags and they can take some positives form the game, they matched the reigning champions in everything apart from taking their chances and if they play similarly in most games but take those chances then they will win more than they lose. The future looks good though as the young lads will only improve and with that ability it won’t be too long before Thistle will be a team challenging for trophies regularly – something to look forward too! Now though they face a really tough challenge in their next game which is away to Fraserburgh and it is a dress rehearsal for the upcoming Aberdeenshire Cup Final on October 18th. The Jags record in recent seasons at Bellslea is dire and it is absolutely crucial they make a good start at the game. The Broch will come flying at them from the start and this must be resisted. Fraserburgh have only once lost at home so far this season and that was to Brora so it will take a top performance from Thistle to stand a chance but there is little doubt the talent is there to unlock the Broch but chances must be taken!
Match Photo’s courtesy of Allan Robertson
Buckie Thistle – Burr, S Wood, Cheyne, Munro (Carrol), Davidson, Hegarty, Angus, K Gauld, Baxter, Copeland (D Wood) and Adams (S Gauld)
Brora Rangers – Malin, Houston, Williamson, Tokely, Munro, Graham, M MacLean, Gillespie, Sutherland (Morrison), S MacKay and Greig
Referee – D Watt