A Burr-fect Derby Victory by Easton Thain

Deveronvale 0 Buckie Thistle 4

Both teams went into this latest derby desperately needing a win to boost their confidence and get them back on track. A close encounter was therefore expected but what transpired was very different as a jubilant Jags side left their hosts demoralised thanks to a superb display, notably in the first half, and there is no doubt that the burgeoning talent in the ranks shone through like a beacon and instilled great hope for the future. The youngsters were superb on the night starting with 18-year old trialist keeper Andy Burr an absolute giant of a goalie who plucked everything out of the air with consummate ease but who also showed his agility with some great stops, on top of that he commanded the area continually barking at his defence. In midfield the unfettered abilities of Kyle Gauld and Drew Copeland stood out with the latter looking very comfortable sitting off main striker Andrzej Kleczkowski and he got his reward with a cracking goal. Out on the wing Scott Adams again tormented an opposing defence and he helped himself to a brace of goals albeit these had a bit of fortune to them. The young guns apart the other players all put in a shift with ‘Zico’ Davidson slotting in comfortable in central defence in place of the unavailable Iain MacRae, in the boiler house of midfield Donnie Munro worked his socks off and up front Andrzej Kleczkowski played cleverly with some neat touches and he got his reward with a goal.

The early chances which fell to the Jags were of the half variety starting in the 4th minute when a corner found Chris Angus but it was an awkward opportunity and he shot wide. Four minutes later Andy Burr launched a massive kick down the park which cleared the defence and fell towards Andrzej Kleczkowski who hit the ball first time but wide of goal. Vale forced a couple of set pieces which came to nothing before Thistle had another chance inthe 16th minute when a deep cross from Jay Cheyne found Drew Copeland who set up Kyle Gauld, the latter tried to place a curler into the top corner of the net but his effort went wide. Thistle won a free kick two minutes on which Scott Adams took and curled in but Darren McConnachie made a routine save. In the 22nd minute the Jags pressure paid off with a stunning opening goal. Jay Cheyne was the creator as he sent a superb pass across to Drew Copeland who promptly looked up and struck a sweet drive into the corner of the net. On the half hour Kyle Rae delivered a free-kick into the Thistle box but Jay Cheyne effected a fine clearance. The Jags responded three minutes on with a corner but from it the chance for Donnie Munro was awkward and he headed wide. Vale replied with a break from Colin Charlesworth that ended with a low cross in but Andy Burr showed his ability with a fine smothering save. The Jags then killed the game off with a double-whammy to sink the Vale. In the 36th minute Chris Angus set off on a fine run before finding Drew Copeland, he saw his shot blocked but it was not cleared properly and found Scott Adams who drove it goal-wards, the keeper probably should have got to the effort but went down too early and the ball bounced up and into the net. Three minutes later a Jags corner was only half cleared allowing Donnie Munro to feed Scott Adams, he cut across before thumping drive which flew home albeit with the aid of a deflection. Vale was not completely done and late in the half Thistle had a couple of narrow escapes. Two minutes before the break a home free kick was fed to Graeme Rodger whose crashing drive beat Andy Burr but the ball smacked into the post, it came back to Martin Charlesworth but his effort was blocked away for a corner. Then, in injury time, a free kick in by Kyle Rae was met by Graeme Rodger but he shot wide.

Half-time Deveronvale 0 Buckie Thistle 3

Vale tried hard at the start of the second half but never really threatened Andy Burr’s goal and play got a bit bogged down as a midfield stalemate took over. There was no real chance of note until the Jags made absolutely sure of the points by bagging a fine fourth goal in the 64th minute. Scott Adams sent a great ball in from a corner and this was expertly headed home by Andrzej Kleczkowski. Five minutes later Shaun Wood found Chris Angus who lost control but got the ball back and he set up a good chance for Liam Baxter but he drove wide of the target. The Vale then had a spell of pressure and in the 73rd minute Graeme Rodger got free but his effort was comfortably saved by Andy Burr. Three minutes later though Graeme Rodger got free again and this time delivered in a stunning drive only to see Andy Burr go full length to pull off a super diving save at the expense of a corner. In the 78th minute a ball into the Jags box fell to Martin Charlesworth but his effort was blocked as was the follow up from Graeme Rodger. Then, with six minutes left, Alexander Jack burst forward and cracked in a fierce shot only to see Andy Burr pull off a brilliant save. Thistle responded a minute later when Stephen Gauld and Chris Angus showed great interplay before the former sent in a low cross which reached Kyle Gauld, he set up a chance for himself but his shot was touched away. The final chance also fell to Thistle, in the 87th minute, and they probably should have gone nap as Jay Cheyne sent the ball over the defence allowing Liam Baxter to run in but as he reached the six yard area Darren McConnachie smothered the ball.

Full-time Deveronvale 0 Buckie Thistle 4

On the night the superb play of the young lads in the team was a joy to behold and bodes well for the future. There is genuine talent there and when that is bolstered experience gained the Jags will have some team. It will already be enough to win Thistle games but there is no doubt stiffer tasks await. That starts immediately as reigning champions Brora Rangers are in town and, of course, they took the Jags to the cleaners in the corresponding game last season with ex-Thistle star Zander Sutherland unstoppable. The Jags will somehow have to nullify him whilst also putting pressure on the Cattachs experienced defence and that won’t be easy. Most folk will give Thistle little chance of beating Brora but if the Jags play to their full ability they can push them all the way. The interesting dilemma for the gaffer is what team he puts out – go for the youthful, skilful enthusiasm of the game versus the Vale or bolster the team with experience – ah decisions!

Match Photo’s Courtesy of Allan Robertson

Deveronvale – McConnachie, Rae (Aitken), Simpson, Henry, Hutchinson, Quill (Jack), Cowie, Watt, M Charlesworth, Rodger and C Charlesworth (Presly)

Buckie Thistle – Burr, S Wood, Cheyne, Munro (Carrol), Davidson, Hegarty, K Gauld, Kleczkowski (Baxter), Copeland (S Gauld) and Adams

Referee – T Shaw

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