Teenage Terror’s Wonderful Winner
After the fine win over Nairn the Jags headed to Kynoch Park to face Keith in the Aberdeenshire Cup quarter-final and they knew this would be no gimme against an improved Keith side and so it proved as the Maroons battled hard and but for Kevin Main would have bagged a couple of goals themselves. Overall though there was no doubt that Thistle deserved their victory and they played some fine attacking football that always carried a threat to the home rearguard. The chief exponent of this was teenage winger Scott Adams who put on another great display and the Jags are benefitting from the talents of this precocious youngster so should enjoy it while it lasts. Scott had a superb match on the left wing, capped by a stunning clinching goal, but all the players put in a good shift with Shaun Wood increasing in stature game by game. Chris Hegarty returned after suspension and slotted in well at the back whilst in midfield the experience of ‘Spider’ Stewart and Donnie Munro allowed them to control the key are of the park. Up front Andy Low and Adrzej Kleczkowski worked well off each other again and both had chances but didn’t manage to find the net. There was one major downer though and that was the injury suffered by influential skipper Lewis MacKinnon early in the second half and at one point a stretcher was called for, he did get up but had to be carried off. It doesn’t look good and with another potential central defender, Darren Wood, also out injured Thistle are stretched in that area. Chris Angus can fit in at the back but you then lose his power and pace out on the wing.
A place in the semi-final with a daunting task away to Formartine United awaited the winners and the Jags made a bright start creating the first chance in the 2nd minute when Iain MacRae fed Scott Adam who held the ball up before finding ‘Spider’ Stewart but he shot over. Two minutes later Chris sent a great ball right into the path of Andy Low who was clean through but he then lost control of the ball and the chance was gone. Then in the 6th minute a superb cross from Chris Angus was just turned away by keeper David Dey. The Maroons first chance came in the 11th minute when Stuart Massie won the ball off of ‘Spider’ Stewart before firing in a drive but Kevin Main held the effort. 60 seconds on Thistle made the breakthrough with a well executed goal, the ball was fed out to Scott Adams on the wing and he weaved his way to the bye-line before dinking in a cross and there was Chris Angus to nod home. In the 14th minute the ball was fed through to Mike Ewen who eventually had a shot but this was deflected to Kevin Main. Four minutes later Stuart Massie found Mike Ewen who set up Matthew McDonald but his shot hit the side net. In the 21st minute a deep free-kick in by Iain MacRae was half cleared and fell to Andrzej Kleczkowski who tried an overhead kick but it went wide. Three minutes later Chris Angus made a great break before finding Andy Low who crashed in a fierce drive but David Dey pulled off a great stop. Moments after that Andy Low was in but was denied by a great block by David Dey, the ball broke for Scott Adams but he shot wide. Ten minutes before the break Sean Keith whipped in a great cross but the ball was superbly headed away by Lewis MacKinnon. In the 40th minute Keith looked set to draw level when Matthew McDonald whipped in a dangerous cross that fell invitingly to Mike Ewen just a few yards out and he hit the ball goal-wards only to see Kevin Main make a brilliant stop on the line. 60 seconds on the Jags should have taken advantage of this when Chris Angus fed Shaun Wood who delivered in a superb cross, the ball found Scott Adams about six yards out but he blazed it over the bar.
Half-time Keith 0 Buckie Thistle 1
Thistle suffered a major blow shortly into the second half when Lewis MacKinnon jarred his leg into the ground and had to be carried off. Chris Angus took over in the centre of the defence and some wondered if this would diminish the Jags threat. In all honesty it didn’t as they pressed on and in the 57th minute a ball in from Iain MacRae broke for Andrzej Kleczkowski who fired in a drive only to see David Dey pull off a fine save. 60 seconds later the ball was fed through to Scott Adams who raced in but he fired his shot wide of goal. On the hour though it was a different story as Thistle gave themselves breathing space with a peach of a goal. Shaun Wood played a magnificent cross-field pass to Scott Adams who moved forward before crashing in a stupendous 20 yard drive that flew into the top corner of the net, no keeper would have even got close to it. The Maroons never gave up and in the 74th minute they had a massive chance to pull a goal back and make matters a lot more interesting. A ball across from the wing was poorly defended and it fell to the unmarked Mike Ewen who fired it towards the bottom corner of the net only to see Kevin Main brilliantly turn the ball behind. Three minutes on Chris Hegarty sent a superb ball over the defence to Liam Baxter who raced in on goal but his drive was parried then held by David Dey. Four minutes from the end Jay Cheyne sent a superb ball through to Stuart Hodge who was clean in but he unselfishly tried to find Liam Baxter, the ball was cleared but when it came back in an attempted clearance went back to the keeper who picked it up and the referee deemed this to be a pass-back and thus awarded an indirect free-kick. From this the ball was played back to Liam Baxter but his shot was blocked. The final chance also fell to Thistle when Chris Angus clipped in a free-kick that was partially cleared to Donnie Munro but he shot over.
Full-time Keith 0 Buckie Thistle 2
A fine win for the Jags then but they face a difficult challenge in the semi-final away to Cammy Keith more so without two regular defenders and it will take some display to book a place in the final. In the recent league game though Thistle were as good as the Pitmedden side and only catastrophic defending led to a defeat. If the Jags can keep it tight at the back and win the midfield battle then who knows a second cup final within a year is possible. Before that Thistle head to Rothes for a league game but although the Speysiders are having a tough time of culminating in the recent resignation of manager Graeme Roy it would be foolish for the Jags to think of this is a certain three points and the fans also must be patient. Gary Hake has some interesting decisions to make, with a big squad he could make changes and rest some players with the semi-final in mind whilst still being able to put out a team that can win the game at MacKessack Park. We shall see!
Keith – Dey, Hutcheon, Ralton (Greig), Milne, Robison (Whelan), Strachan, Keith, Collinson (Smith), Ewen, Massie and McDonald
Buckie Thistle – Main, S Wood, MacRae, G Stewart, MacKinnon (J Cheyne), Hegarty, Angus, Munro, Kleczkowski (Hodge), Low (Baxter) and Adams
Referee – A Shepherd