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Moray welfare football latest: Aberlour Villa, Buckie Rovers and Thunderton hit six while Ugie stave off Rothes A comeback and late drama at Craigellachie

By Craig Christie

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Aberlour Villa and Buckie Rovers strengthened their Moray welfare title bids with convincing victories on the road on Friday night.

Reece Cooper (left) and Craig Watt scored for Aberlour Villa in their 6-1 win at Cullen. Picture: Bob Crombie
Reece Cooper (left) and Craig Watt scored for Aberlour Villa in their 6-1 win at Cullen. Picture: Bob Crombie

Villa made the journey to Cullen and raced into a 2-0 lead with Gary Morrison making it nine goals in four games with a well-taken double.

Cullen caused more self-inflicted pain, with a square pass across the edge of the box intercepted by Reece Cooper to run clear through on goal and make it 3-0.

The home side pulled a goal back through Elliot Findlay, and almost found a second minutes later through Calum MacLeod, but his header was well saved by Shaun Robertson in the Aberlour goal.

Just as Cullen looked to have a glimmer of hope, Aberlour found a fourth before half time through Ruari Watt.

Villa extended their lead early in the second half, with Craig Watt flicking the ball up and volleying from the edge of the box for a spectacular goal.

Substitute Struan Kelly topped off an excellent performance for the visitors, by making it 6-1 towards the end.

Four goals by Jordan Bisset helped Buckie to defeat Portsoy by six goals and continue their undefeated start.

Rovers punished defensive errors to go 2-0 up inside the opening eight minutes, adding two more by the 35-minute mark and another on half time to lead 5-0 at the break.

‘Soy made three changes at the interval and competed far better, conceding just one more goal midway through the second half.

As well as Bisset’s four-goal salvo, the visitors had William Morrison and Owen Morrison on the scoresheet.

Latest standings
Latest standings

There was a thriller in Keith, where Ugie just staving off a Rothes A comeback to get all three points.

Ugie striker Mikey Simpson turned on the style with a Ronaldo-like ‘chop’ to deceive the Rothes defence before smashing home the opener from the edge of the box.

A second home goal soon followed with Lewis Milton getting past two defenders before teeing up Ewan Milne to stroke the ball home.

Ugie were really in command when Cammy Thomson met a Milton cross with a scissors kick to net another spectacular home goal.

The contest looked all over when Thomson fired home his second of the game to give the Keith side a 4-0 lead after just half an hour.

One player was a particular thorn in Ugie’s side to trigger a revival from the visiting team.

Matthew McConachie got the Speysiders back in the game from the penalty spot after Ryan Dyer brought down Reece Davies in the box.

The visitors still had a lot to do after the break but straight from kick off, McConachie turned David Preston inside out and tucked the ball beyond keeper Dyer to bring it back to 4-2.

Rothes were now in the ascendency and piling all the pressure on, with McConachie completing his hat-trick when he broke through and rounded Dyer to score.

Ugie were hanging on desperately and Dyer needed to make a series of clearances and saves to deny Rothes an equaliser as their heavy pressure was resisted, and the home team just managed to cling on for victory.

Craigellachie and Lhanbryde United have both started the campaign well and a closely-fought encounter was expected when they met in Speyside - with a dramatic finish ensuing.

Both sides created chances in an even start and Lhanbryde thought they had scored an opener with an effort which seemed to beat everyone but Tom Henderson raced back to make a spectacular goal-line clearance.

That stop was all the more important when Craigellachie took the lead a minute later, Brad Mills whipping in a cross for James McPherson to slide in and score.

Five minutes later United levelled when Craig Sim finished well from a cross.

Craig keeper Finlay Ross made a fine save to keep his team on terms, but only for a short while as Lhanbryde’s Sim broke through again and rounded him for his second goal of the night.

Colin Coutts saw a home free kick saved as Lhanbryde held their advantage until the break.

It was back to all-square early in the second half as Lhanbryde failed to clear their lines and Jordan Gray continued his fine start to the season by driving the ball under the keeper for his seventh goal of the campaign.

Both teams had chances to grab a third goal but it stayed 2-2 until time added on when Lhanbryde pounced on the break to win a corner, from which Craig Harrold steered the ball home for what looked like a winner.

Craigellachie responded when Charlie Anderson launched a free kick into the box, player manager Mark Thomson flicked it on and Mills got the final touch to level the game again.

Home keeper Ross then produced a fantastic save right at the end to deny Lhanbryde the most dramatic of winning goals as a pulsating match finished 3-3.

Thunderton proved too strong for bottom side Seaforth in the Elgin derby.

Both teams had opportunities for an opener before Thunderton were awarded a penalty for a foul on Raymond Anderson, who took the kick himself as scored with the Seaforth keeper unlucky not to stop it.

Just before half time, the home side were awarded their second spot kick of the game - their fifth in three matches - when Warren Orford was upended and this time Jon Mallinson stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way.

Thunderton made some subs for the second half and got an impact when Ethan Matthew, who had only been on the pitch less than five minutes, set up Warren Orford to make it 3-0.

Four minutes later the super sub provided another assist to set up Anderson for his second goal of the game.

Orford also got his second from a Scott Ross pass and a third Thunderton player doubled up in the closing stages when Mallinson collected a good kick from his keeper Darren Wood down the left wing and and he cut inside to drill the ball low to the keeper’s right hand side from 20 yards to seal a 6-0 victory.

Hopeman’s match against RAF Lossiemouth was postponed, with Hopeman awarded a 3-0 victory.

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