Highland League round-up: Buckie Thistle boss pleased with victory over Inverurie Locos, Fraserburgh stretch gap at top and Rothes hit five at Keith
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BUCKIE Thistle manager Graeme Stewart said work on the training ground paid off in his team's victory over Inverurie Locos on Saturday.
Jags won 3-0 thanks to goals by Sam Pugh, a Craig Gill own goal and a Sam Urquhart penalty.
"Sam's (Pugh) goal was a corner routine that we work on," said Stewart. "It dropped down to him and he put it into the bottom corner with his right foot, a good finish.
"The second one, Marcus Goordall will claim it but I think it was an own goal.
"It was a terrific goal, played from goalkeeper to centre half to centre midfielder, out wide and crossed into the box.
"I think Marcus hit it off the goalie and it hit off a defender and went in. An outstanding goal, right from our goalkeeper into their goals. That was something else we work on and I was delighted with that.
"The third goal was a penalty. We put Kyle MacLeod on who did excellently to win the penalty and Sam Urquhart, who is very consistent from the penalty spot, put it away.
"It was an important game on Saturday because we haven’t got as many results against the better teams as I would have liked.
"We got beat at Rothes, Brechin and Brora so we had to even up the balance a bit. The fact that we’ve beaten Inverurie and Formartine, drawn with Fraserburgh, we probably need one more result against a top team and we’re back even stevens.
"These are the games that will dictate where we finish up at the end of the season. We’ve had it before, finishing sixth or seventh because we’ve not won against the top teams and we need to put that right.
"We’ve played all the top teams now and we should have got more points. We should have beaten Fraserburgh and Brechin, we could have got results at Brora and Rothes.
"We are the kind of team who can win the reverse fixtures, so we just need to stay within touching distance."
Fraserburgh moved ten points clear after a Scott Barbour double and an Owen Cairns strike earned a 3-0 win at Turriff United.
With second-placed Locos slipping up, Rothes and Brechin are just two points behind the Harlaw Park side with two games in hand.
Rothes jumped into third on goal difference, winning 5-0 at Keith thanks to goals by Aidan Wilson (2), Fraser Robertson, Gary Kerr and Jack Brown.
A Max Kucheriavyi goal on the rebound from his saved penalty was the only strike in Brechin's 1-0 success at home to Huntly.
Lossiemouth were denied what would have been a superb win at home to Formartine United by Scott Lisle's last minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw.
Brodie Allen and Ross Elliott had twice put the Coasters ahead with Kevin Hanratty grabbing United's other goal.
Four goals were also shared at Mosset Park and Station Park.
Forres twice led Deveronvale with efforts by Owen Loceland and Paul Brindle - an 85th minute goal which looked to have won it for the Cans.
But Vale, who had levelled at 1-1 through Matt Jamieson's second goal of the week, grabbed a well-deserved point through Robert Scott's last-gasp spot kick.
Draw specialists Wick Academy landed another point at Nairn County, twice levelling through Steven Anderson and Gordon MacNab after Ciaran Young got Nairn noses in front with a double.
Brora Rangers thumped Strathspey Thistle 8-1, aided by two own goals and doubles for Gregor MacDonald and Matthew Wright, with Mark Nicolson and Colin Williamson also on target and Craig Mackenzie scoring for Jags.
There was plenty drama at Grant Street Park where Clach came from 3-1 down to defeat Fort William.
Fort lost a two-goal lead at Strathspey Thistle in midweek and did it again in Inverness.
After Liam Taylor's early Clach opener, three Fort goals in a ten-minute spell by Robbie Foster, Blessings Tshibikubula and Connor Moore stunned the home side.
Top scorer James Anderson pulled it back to 3-2 before half time and added his 15th of the season for a late winner after Eachainn Miller made it 3-3.