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Heaviest defeat of the season for Turriff Thistle

By Kyle Ritchie

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Blackburn 5 Turriff Thistle 1

Turriff Thistle suffered their biggest defeat of the season on Saturday against Blackburn – a team they beat at the Haughs only two weeks ago.

The final score could easily have been worse for the Jags as Blackburn missed several additional chances throughout the match, however, if Thistle had taken even half the scoring chances they created it could have ended 5-5.

Mistakes at the back, poor finishing and a few slices of bad luck were the Jags downfall on this occasion and they will need to sort themselves out at both ends of the pitch quickly if they are to maintain the gap between them and a relegation battle.

Thistle shot themselves in the foot again by conceding the first goal within two minutes of the kick-off then lost possession in 14 minutes to go two behind.

The Jags carved the Blackburn defence open on several occasions but competent finishing was sadly lacking until the 22nd minute when Michael Harris pulled one back, only to be caught napping five minutes later when Blackburn netted a third.

Thistle’s performance improved in the second half but Blackburn could have added a further three goals within the first 15 minutes, however, the Jags could easily have levelled the match if they had just converted their chances.

Blackburn added a final two goals in the last 15 minutes as Thistle continued to suffer bad luck at both ends of the park but the home team ran out worthy winners in the end.

With Greg Miazek, Dan Bruce, Kian Beaton and Andy Carder unavailable from the previous week, Mitchell Allan moved to the back three with Colin Bain and Jonny Buist returning to the left-hand side.

Neil Chapman moved forward to midfield alongside Joe Bisset, Mike McCombie, Ryan Morrison and Regan Fowlie and a new striking partnership of Paul Williamson and Michael Harris was introduced.

A depleted subs bench consisted of only Bruce Mair, Kyle Chalmers and Colin Bain Jnr.

It was a disaster for Thistle within two minutes of the kick-off as a slick passing move from Blackburn carved the Jags open and they took an early lead.

Thistle hit back immediately and a 20 yard snap-shot from Morrison, then a free kick by Williamson from the same distance were both saved by the Blackburn keeper.

The Jags fell further behind in 14 minutes when Bain was left isolated at the back with no-one making space for an out-ball. He was robbed of possession and Blackburn had a simple tap-in past Ogg for their second.

Thistle cut through the Blackburn defence several times from both the left and right sides and although quality crosses were provided on every occasion the chances were squandered. That was until the 21st minute when Morrison powered down the right and drove a low cross into the middle which was deflected into the path of Harris at the back post to side-foot the ball into the net.

Blackburn regained their two-goal lead only five minutes later when a through-ball put them free on the left in a borderline offside position, however, despite the Thistle claims, play was allowed to carry on and a third goal was conceded.

The Jags refused to fold and in 32 minutes a Harris free-kick from the left was brilliantly tipped over the bar by the Blackburn keeper then, from the resultant corner by Fowlie, Allan headed over the bar at the back post.

An unusual incident occurred in 37 minutes as Thistle were camped in the Blackburn half and exerting almost constant pressure on their hosts.

The ball ran out of play near the Blackburn bench and one of their subs attempted to hold the ball up and stop a Jags throw-in being taken. The referee had a word with the player who must have said something back to him as he was shown a straight red card.

The last action of the first half saw a Williamson through-ball slip Fowlie in behind the defence, however, the keeper was off his line quickly and down to block the shot at Fowlie’s feet at the edge of the box.

Blackburn should have extended their lead within five minutes of the restart when they broke through on the right of the Jags defence but the final shot was skied way over the bar.

Thistle hit back on 63 minutes with a low shot by Williamson from the edge of the box, which was well saved by the home keeper.

On 56 minutes a looping header at the back post from a Blackburn free-kick dropped just over the Thistle bar then, a minute later, a rocket of a shot from all of 40 yards cannoned off the Jags post.

Bruce Mair came on for Bisset before play continued.

Thistle kept probing at the Blackburn defence and in 63 minutes a Harris turn and shot from the edge of the box flew narrowly past the post.

Two minutes later and Harris was given an even better chance when a long ball forward from Allan was headed down to him, in the clear, eight yards out from goal but he lashed the shot over the bar when it seemed simpler to score.

Blackburn came back into the match and in 73 minutes another header from a free-kick was well held by Ogg just under his bar.

However, two minutes later, they broke free on the right and the winger smashed the ball high into the Jags net from an acute angle for number four.

In 78 minutes Williamson was replaced by Kyle Chalmers.

Thistle should have reduced the deficit in 83 minutes when Chapman was set free wide on the right and his low, driven cross was deflected towards the net by a covering defender, however, the pitch came to Blackburn’s assistance when the ball took a bobble and rolled narrowly past the post.

The pitch took a hand in Blackburn’s fifth goal in 85 minutes when a low cross from the left took another bobble and deflected the ball away from Bain as he slid in to clear then it flashed past Ogg, who had no time to adjust his body, and into the net.

A final substitution saw Colin Bain Jnr replace Fowlie but the damage had already been done and the score remained as it was until the final whistle.

Thistle have a free week on Saturday, however, they are hoping to organise a friendly match at the Haughs. Updates on a fixture will be posted on their Facebook page.

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