Team Effort Brings Success by Easton Thain
After the midweek triumph at Keith the Jags faced a stiffer test at Harlaw Park but a superb all-round team effort brought a notable and deserved victory over Inverurie Locos and what a boost for the team’s confidence that is. In the first half Thistle’s midfield to front was to the fore controlling the game and constantly threatening the home defence. The Jags suffered a half-time blow though with Donnie Munro going off injured and with no midfield cover on the bench the onus then turned to the defence as Locos exerted a lot of pressure but Lewis MacKinnon & co stood firm and a clean sheet looked on, however, in the dying seconds Inverurie pulled a goal back but it was too late to effect the outcome. Once again the Jags young players came to the fore with Kevin Fraser, Kyle Gauld and Drew Copeland all outstanding in midfield with the former showing what a class act he is. Elsewhere Darren Wood was a veritable rock in defence and up front Chris Angus and Andy Low worked their socks off, the latter in particular as he had to fall back into an unfamiliar central midfield role for the second half. The former showed he has a real liking for Harlaw Park netting his fourth goal in two games at this venue.
Thistle showed their intent in the 8th minute when Kevin Fraser freed Andy Low who fired in a fizzing drive which Andy Reid appeared to touch over but no corner was given. Locos responded five minutes later when Jordan Leyden fired in a shot which Matthew McGinley turned away and the follow up from Gordon Forsyth was cleared. Just 60 seconds later the Jags struck the first blow, they won a free kick on the edge of the box which was whipped in by Andy Low and from nowhere Kevin Fraser appeared to turn the ball home. The homesters won a free-kick of their own in the 25th minute but Jordan Leyden’s effort was held by Matthew McGinley. It was a case of de ja vu as, for the second time after denying Locos Thistle netted sixty seconds later and it was a superb goal to boot. Andy Low found Shaun Carrol who slid a brilliant pass through to Chris Angus who bore down on goal and as the keeper advanced he struck a beautiful shot home with the outside of his boot. Another chance came the Jags way in the 32nd minute when the ball was fed through to Kevin Fraser in the box but Andy Reid made a fine blocking save.
Half-time Inverurie Locos 0 Buckie Thistle 2
The pattern of the game changed in the second half although Thistle still posed a threat on the break. Little happened before the hour but just after that a Jags free-kick was broken up and Locos shot off up the slope and Jordan Leyden got through only to be denied by a great tackle from Chris Angus. The corner caused consternation and was not properly cleared allowing Andy Hunter to fire in a drive which David Ross met but he diverted it wide. In the 66th minute Inverurie won another corner which was met by Kieran Adams but his effort was held by Matthew McGinley. Thistle responded with a couple of chances within a minute the first saw Kevin Fraser break and feed Chris Angus who bore down on goal but Andy Reid made a great block and a minute later a free-kick in was half cleared and fell to Andy Low but his drive was deflected wide for a fruitless corner. With 16 minutes left a ball through saw Liam Baxter shake off the attention of two defenders but his cross shot went wide of the far post. The Jags had a massive escape in the 78th minute when Jamie Michie left Shaun Carrol for dead before crashing in a thunderous drive which beat Matthew McGinley all ends up only for the ball to crash down off the underside of the bar before being cleared. Two minutes later another Locos break ended with the ball being fed through to David Ross but his shot was deflected away for a corner. With eight minutes left David Ross got in a again but his shot towards the near post area was turned behind by Matthew McGinley. In the 88th minute another home break led to a drive by Ryan Broadhurst but Darren Wood blocked this superbly. The Locos late pressure at last brought a goal in the final minute when a ball in was half cleared and fell to John Maitland who drilled an unstoppable low drive right into the corner of the net. Fortunately there was no time for Inverurie to mount another serious attack and Thistle held on for a huge three points.
Match Photo’s courtesy of Allan Robertson
Inverurie Locos – Reid, Maitland, Forsyth (Michie), Young, Adams, Broadhurst, Leyden, McLean, Ross, Donaldson (Laing) and Hunter (Keir) Subs – Begg, Crisp and Mathieson (GK)
Buckie Thistle – McGinley, S Wood, Carrol, D Wood, MacKinnon, Copeland, Fraser, Munro (Baxter), Angus, Low and K Gauld Subs – MacMillan, MacRae and Strong (GK)
Referee – M Stewart