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Buckie Thistle manager Graeme Stewart: We have to bridge gap to beat Highland League champions Brora Rangers

By Jonathan Clark

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BUCKIE Thistle manager Graeme Stewart hopes his side can “bridge the gap” to Brora Rangers when they meet in the Highland League Cup semi-final on Sunday.

The Jags boss believes his side have a chance of progressing to the final – where they would meet either Formartine United or Rothes next weekend – but knows they’ll have to be at their best to defeat last season’s Highland League champions on their own patch.

“Obviously we think we have a chance,” he said. “But Brora showed last season that they are the best team in the league so we know it will be difficult.

"They will go into the game as favourites and we have to bridge the gap to them.

Buckie Thistle manager Graeme Stewart.
Buckie Thistle manager Graeme Stewart.

“Pre-season has gone really well for us, we have won every game and have only conceded a couple of goals.

"Brora will be two or three levels up on Sunday, but I always fancy my team’s chances.”

Buckie finished their pre-season preparations on Saturday with a 3-0 win against Bridge of Don Thistle, having beaten Islavale 6-0 last week.

Brora, meanwhile, have been in Betfred Cup action, losing 3-1 to Premiership side Hibernian and 2-0 to Championship side Dundee. The Cattachs face Cove Rangers tonight.

Stewart added: “If you are asking if the Betfred Cup will give them an advantage then I would say yes.

“But there are two schools of thought: they will have the sharpness, but they will also have to play three games in a week. That’s a lot early in the season.”

While Jags fans won’t be able to watch Sunday’s game in person, it will be available to watch live online. Details are on the Highland League’s website.

Stewart added: “It’s quite exciting. Hopefully there will be a couple of thousand tuning in.

"Our fans will be a big miss. We have a really good fan base, probably the league’s largest, and we hope they will support us from home.”

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