Three And Easy For The Jags by Easton Thain 

Thistle got back to winning ways with a comfortable and at times impressive victory over Aberdeen University in the 1st round of the Aberdeenshire Shield to set up a quarterfinal away to Fraserburgh or Huntly. The Jags will face far sterner opponents than the Varsity in the weeks ahead but take nothing away from Thistle who played some excellent football throughout notably in the first half and the game was over by half-time. Gary Hake tweaked the team a bit giving Drew Copeland and Scott Adams a chance to shine and they played very well with Ben Stewart and man of the match Andy Low also standing out. The Jags were totally dominant and could have won by a bigger winning margin but the main thing was end the run of defeats and they did so in some style.

Prior to the match a minutes silence was impeccably observed in memory of all those who fell in the Great War and subsequent conflicts this being particularly appropriate as the date was November 11th, Remembrance Day and also the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. Particularly in the minds was the Buckie Thistle players who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the two world wars, Alex ‘Charlie’ Davidson and Alex Low (World War I) and John Geddes, Charles Lobban and George ‘Kitchy’ Cormack in World War II.

 Thistle came flying out of the blocks and in the very first minute Scott Adams set off on a great run before delivering in a superb cross but the ball just evaded Andy Low. The fans didn’t have long to wait for the opener though as the Jags struck the first blow in the 10th minute. Donnie Munro set Andy Low free and he sent a sublime pass through to Liam Baxter and as the keeper advance the striker calmly slotted the ball into the far corner of the net. Four minutes later Lewis MacKinnon found Drew Copeland who exchanged passes with Donnie Munro before firing in a drive but the ball went narrowly over. In the 17th minute though the lead was doubled as Chris Angus found Drew Copeland who sent in a low cross, Liam Baxter cleverly stepped over this allowing the ball to run into the path of Andy Low who cracked it into the far corner of the net. Thistle were rampant and three minutes on a superb pass set Liam Baxter free and he set up Scott Adams who fired in a low drive but this was held by Chris Ryan. In the 22nd minute the ball was fed through to Andy Low who saw the keeper off his line and tried a chip but the effort went wide. Two minutes later a cross from Scott Adams dropped down near Donnie Munro but the ball was cleared. In the 26th minute another attack led to Scott Adams finding Andy Low but his effort was blocked away. Eleven minutes before half-time a brilliant move saw Drew Copeland find Andy Low who set up Liam Baxter who placed a curling shot towards the corner of the net only to see Chris Ryan turn the ball behind for a corner. Shaun Carrol sent in a superb flag kick which found Chris Angus unmarked a few yards out but he somehow headed over. In the 36th minute a ball in was helped on to Drew Copeland but his drive was held. Two minutes on the Jags had their only real escape of the night as Chris Angus was nut-megged and the ball went through to David Lawrence but as he bore down on goal Andy Burr came out and bravely blocked the chance away. A minute on superb play by Scott Adams led to a cracking drive which was well saved by Chris Ryan but a mysterious offside was given. Three minutes before half-time a brilliant deep cross in from Donnie Munro was met first-time by Chris Angus but the ball went narrowly wide. On half-time though the Students goose was cooked and sautéed as Thistle bagged a killer third when Lewis MacKinnon fed the ball wide to Liam Baxter whose cross caused panic, the ball fell to Scott Adams who drove it home

Half-time Buckie Thistle 3 Aberdeen University 0

 Sadly the Jags failed to add to their tally in the second half and their play was not as intense but chances kept on coming. Seven minutes in Liam Baxter fed Drew Copeland who sent a great ball in and Scott Adams flew in but glanced a header wide. In the 58th minute Liam Baxter broke and fed Scott Adams who fired in a drive but the ball was parried and cleared. Five minutes later Scott Adams broke and sent in a cross which Donnie Munro met first time but his effort went wide. Then in the 65th minute Scott Adams went off on another run before crossing to Liam Baxter who sent in a clever first time effort but this was just held by Chris Ryan. Four minutes later Scott Adams had another super run but his cross was turned behind. The corner fell to Chris Angus who cleverly beat a defender but he then shot over. 60 seconds after that Chris Hegarty played the ball through to Liam Baxter who fired in a drive which the keeper parried, Shaun Wood got hold of the ball but his effort was blocked away for a corner. In the 74th minute the ball was fed to Andy Low who turned but it was just cleared, it fell to Liam Baxter but his shot was deflected over. Three minutes later Thistle won a direct free kick in Andy Low territory, he stepped up and crashed in a brilliant trademark drive only to see the ball smash down off the bar and get cleared. In the 79th minute Andy Low sent in a free-kick which Lewis MacKinnon brilliantly controlled and fired home but he was offside. A minute on a clearance was picked up by Chris Angus but he drove just wide. With seven minutes left Chris Hegarty found Andy Low who cut in but his cross was turned behind. The final chance came in the 88th minute with another direct free-kick but this was not one of Andy Low’s better efforts as he blasted it behind.

Full-time Buckie Thistle 3 Aberdeen University 0

 All in all a very good night for the Jags and they showed the kind of football they are capable of which makes the recent run frustrating! They showed neat touches throughout and attacked at will which is a great sign. It was good to see the return from injury of the likes of Shaun Wood and the team looks stronger again. Next up Fort William are in town and for some reason Thistle seem to find ‘lesser’ sides a tough nut to crack. The Jags clearly have the better players but find these sides stubborn and difficult to break down. Play like they did against the Varsity though and three vital points should be secured.

 Buckie Thistle – Burr, Angus, Noble, Munro (Cheyne), MacKinnon, B Stewart, Copeland (S Wood), Carrol (Hegarty), Baxter, Low and Adams Subs – Hodge, MacRae, K Gauld and Fraser (GK)

Aberdeen University – Ryan, Christmas, Tubby (Monteith), Pearson, Laidlaw, Harkness, Spence, Smith (McIvor), Lawrence, Workman (Hardie) and MacDonald Subs – Doherty and McLennan (GK)

 Referee – A Shepherd

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