Rose Blooms On Smaller’s Big Night
An opportunist goal by the young Dons Michael Rose was enough to win the Kevin Small testimonial match but in all reality the result was not important as the Jags and their fans paid homage to a great club servant who skippered Thistle to numerous glories as captain none more so than the first title in 52 years in 2010 and a successful defence of that a year later. On a perfect evening at Victoria Park the teams lined up a guard of honour to welcome Kevin onto the park, the man himself walking with daughter Hannah and holding baby Chloe. He then took the applause of the fans before the teams’ line up for a photo shoot. The pleasantries were not over yet as Buckie Thistle President, Garry Farquhar, along with Testimonial Committee member Kevin Will, who was the manager that signed Kevin for the Jags, presented him with a silver plate from the football club and members of the Supporters’ Club presented a cheque for the testimonial fund. Finally a pennant was handed over to Aberdeen to mark the occasion. As said the final score was irrelevant and it was also a time to see some former players, some now a bit more portly than others, pull on the hops and make their appearance, Jamie Shewan started but later on came Zander Sutherland, Stephen ‘Marra’ Bruce, Colin ‘Kinger’ Milne and David ‘Ginge’ Angus which brought the memories flooding back. One of them is very much lithe and supple namely Zander Sutherland who the Jags would love to take back to Victoria Park! The main man himself managed to get through the first 45 minutes and then made another ‘cameo’ appearance with two minutes left. It was, all told, a memorable occasion for ‘Smaller’ and his family and the Jags have to thank him for his tremendous service through the years.
In all honesty there was not a lot to shout about for most of the first half but Thistle did well to match the sprightly young Dons who never got the upper-hand. 17 year old Scott Adams, who has now joined on loan from Peterhead, caught the eye again and in the 11th minute he sent in a superb ball which ‘Franny’ MacMillan went for but keeper Robbie Mutch got there first. Aberdeen responded three minutes later with a low shot from Kieran Gibbons but this didn’t test Kevin Main and in the 16th minute a corner for the Dons led to a chance for Marcus Campanile but he shot over. Donnie Munro did well to clear a corner away in the 24th minute and four minutes later the Jags created a great chance as super play saw ‘Franny’ MacMillan feed Iain MacRae who sent the ball through to Andy Low who flashed in a drive but Robbie Mutch superbly turned this away. Aberdeen responded in the 35th minute when they won a free-kick but this was curled just wide by Scott Wright. Four minutes before the break another super move saw Donnie Munro play the ball into ‘Franny’ MacMillan who laid it off to Andy Low but his fin al shot went just wide. 60 seconds on at the other end Cem Felek fed Michael Jones but he drove just over.
Half-time Buckie Thistle 0 Aberdeen U-20’s 0
The only goal of the game arrived six minutes into the second half and it was a sloppy one from the Jags viewpoint as they failed to clear a free-kick in and when Shaun Wood tried to get the ball away he mis-hit it and Michael Rose dove to head home. In the 53rd minute another free-kick was won by the Dons and up stepped Cem Felek but he curled it wide. Three minutes on Jay Cheyne sent a great pass to Chris Angus who sent in a fine cross but this was deflected for a fruitless corner. Zander Sutherland wasted no time in making his presence felt as on the hour he delivered in a great free-kick which Jamie Shewan challenged for but the ball was cleared. The Dons replied three minutes later when they scythed through the midfield allowing Jamie Henry to run in and fire in a drive but Kevin Main pulled off a fine save. In the 66th minute Zander Sutherland showed his class again with a brilliant corner which curled in and was just cleared off the line. Six minutes on trickery in the box by the wee man ended up with a drive but the keeper held this as ‘Marra’ Bruce challenged. Then in the 74th minute Zander Sutherland fed Shaun Wood who sent in a great cross to ‘Marra’ Bruce but from close in he shot over. With ten minutes left the Jags luck went totally AWOL when Kyle Gauld superbly set up Drew Copeland who promptly thundered in a raging drive only to see it crash off the bar. 60 seconds later ‘Spider’ Stewart sent a fine pass through to Liam Cheyne who ran in and hit a right-foot shot but it went wide and that was basically that.
A good night all round then well run by the Testimonial Committee and their helpers and hopefully the last event for Smaller, a dinner in November will be a roaring success.
Match Photos Courtesy of Allan Robertson.
Buckie Thistle – Main, S Wood, Shewan (Small), J Cheyne (K Gauld), MacRae (D Angus), Small (L Cheyne), C Angus (Sutherland) (Milne), Munro (G Stewart), MacMillan (Copeland), Low (Bruce) and Adams (Duncan)
Aberdeen – Mutch, Robinson (Robinson), Kelly (Harvey), Gibbons, McKenna, Rose, Felek (Dunbar), Petrie (Henry), Jones (Norris), Campanile and Wright
Referee – D Ross