Not A Happy New Year For Thistle by Easton Thain

For the second year running and to the same opponents to boot the Jags slid to a disappointing defeat but all credit to Lossiemouth who took full advantage of some poor defending by Thistle to send them crashing to their first league defeat under the guidance of Graeme Stewart and Lewis MacKinnon. It has to be said that the visitors benefitted from some decisions that went their way in this latest ‘Fisher Derby’ and the final score was a bit harsh but it was the poor defending that caused the Jags downfall. The positives were that Thistle played some good football at times and created chances and man of the match Chris Angus who scored for the fifth league game in a row was on fire again and he was denied a hat-trick by a decision that puzzled many.

Thistle could not have had a more disastrous start as they fell behind to a woeful goal in the 5th minute. The ball through the defence should have been cleared but was completely missed allowing Scott Dunn to run in and coolly slot the ball past the advancing Andy Burr. The Jags had a chance to draw level seven minutes on when great play set Chris Angus free, he fed the ball onto Drew Copeland who laid it off to Andy Low who controlled it but then shot wide. In the 16th minute Chris Hegarty sent a great pass through to Chris Angus who delivered in a wicked cross but Craig MacMillan didn’t throw himself at the ball and the chance was gone. Five minutes after that Shaun Carrol picked up a clearance from a corner and fed Shaun Wood who sent in another brilliant cross but once more there were no takers. Fine play by Scott Adams in the 23rd minute led to a corner which Donnie Munro met but headed behind. The pressure paid off two minutes later though as Thistle equalised when Connor Hall went for a ball through but missed it allowing Chris Angus to nick it by him then knock it into an empty net. On the half hour the Jags won a free-kick which Lewis MacKinnon took but hit the wall, the ball though was fed to Scott Adams but his shot was held. Four minutes later another Thistle corner was met first time by Donnie Munro but his shot flew wide. In the 41st minute Lewis MacKinnon sent in a harmless ball which the keeper should have held but he let it slip through his hands and it fell towards Craig MacMillan but he didn’t react quick enough and could only knock it wide. Two minutes later the ball fell to Scott Adams in the box his drive was parried by Connor Hall and Chris Angus knocked it home only for the assistant referee to give offside, just how the Jags player could have been offside when there was a Lossie defender on the line left everyone baffled. In injury time a Jags corner was met by the head of Donnie Munro but the keeper pulled off a great save.

Half-time Buckie Thistle 1 Lossiemouth 1

Thistle made a superb start to the second half by taking the lead with a super goal in the 47th minute. Shaun Carrol sent a brilliant diagonal ball over the full-back right into the path of Chris Angus who ran in and knocked it past Connor Hall and into the net. Five minutes later it could have been all over when a corner was headed back across the six yard area where Craig MacMillan was well placed to net but his header was somehow clawed away by Connor Hall. Lossie took full advantage of their let off two minutes on by equalising and it was another calamitous goal conceded by Thistle. Initially a free-kick into the box was missed by Lewis MacKinnon and the ball fell to Scott Dunn who should have scored but miscued his shot and Andy Burr diverted it wide. From the corner though the ball was knocked off the line but was not cleared and when the ball came across it was knocked home by ex-Jag Shawn Scott. Thistle responded when Shaun Carrol sent another great ball to Chris Angus who laid it off to Kyle Gauld but his shot went narrowly over. Controversy erupted in the 62nd minute when Lossie took the lead, it appeared to all and sundry that Chris Hegarty had been held back but nor free-kick was awarded. The Jags man didn’t play to the whistle allowing the visitors to play the ball into the box the defence still had chances to clear but got themselves in a complete fankle allowing Ryan Farquhar to fire his shot into the net. Five minutes later Andy Burr claimed a ball into the box but lost it and it fell to Shawn Scott but he shot over. The big keeper had taken a boot in the face in the process and play was held up for some time as he was tended to. The shoddy defending by the Jags continued and with seventeen minutes left another Lossie break led to Scott Dunn being clean through again but he contrived to shoot wide. Thistle tried to respond and a minute later a Shaun Wood cross broke to ‘Zico’ Davidson but his shot was blocked. The day then got worse as Lewis MacKinnon slid into the tackle which the referee deemed to be worthy of a yellow card, that was the skippers second of the game and the inevitable followed as he was sent packing. The final ignominy occurred with two minutes remaining when another Lossie break led to a chance in the box, Scott Miller pushed the ball well ahead of himself but was then sandwiched by two defenders and the referee pointed to the spot and up stepped Kevin Flett to drill the resultant penalty into the corner of the net.

Full-time Buckie Thistle 2 Lossiemouth 4

Games against Lossiemouth and similar teams are always potential banana skins for the Jags as they are expected to win but Lossie had fired out a warning in their last game by recovering from two down to Formartine United to bag a point. That showed they were going to be tough opponents and Thistle would have to be on guard if they wanted to see off their challenge. Sadly the Jags shot themselves in the foot with bad defending and they paid the consequences as a result. Okay decisions went against them that were crucial but that is football for you and you still have to defend even when you feel an injustice has happened. Now Thistle face a test of their character and mettle and they could not ask for two tougher challenges in their next two matches as they host Wick Academy and then head to face reigning champions Brora Rangers at Dudgeon Park. The Jags will simply have to play to their very best to stand a chance in either match, notably the latter, and any similar defending as happened against Lossiemouth could be catastrophic. These tend to be the matches though which Thistle relish and ones they raise their game in and if they do play to their full abilities then the Scorries and the Cattachs will be pushed all the way and positive results could be the outcome.

Man of the Match chosen by Murray Thain was awarded to Chris Angus.

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Match Photo’s courtesy of Allan Robertson

Buckie Thistle – Burr, S Wood, Carrol (D Wood), Munro, MacKinnon, Hegarty, Angus, Copeland (K Gauld), MacMillan (Davidson), Low and Adams Subs – G Stewart and Strong (GK)

Lossiemouth – Hall, Hector, Main (Mitchell), Bell, Flett, Miller, R Farquhar, Gordon, Scott (McBain), Dunn and Bailley (Trialist 2) Subs – Ross, Trialist 1, Green and C Farquhar (GK)

Referee – R Milne

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