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RAF Lossiemouth hit Hopeman with double blow to Moray welfare football trophy hopes

By Craig Christie

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Hopeman took a double hit to their league and cup hopes in the Moray welfare league, both inflicted by coast rivals RAF Lossiemouth.

Ryan Fiske scored Hopeman's opener in a cup thriller with RAF Lossiemouth. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Ryan Fiske scored Hopeman's opener in a cup thriller with RAF Lossiemouth. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

The airmen won a marathon penalty shoot-out against Hopeman in the Mike Simpson Memorial Trophy to book a place in the final against FC Fochabers.

Just four days later in a swift rematch between the teams, Lossie inflicted a dent on Hopeman's Abbeyside League aspirations with a 3-0 victory at the airbase.

Last Friday's cup clash produced a six-goal thriller in 90 minutes and a memorable shootout where both sides scored each of their opening nine penalties.

The tie was played at a fast pace with Hopeman's goalkeeper producing long kicks to trouble the RAF defence.

Once such clearance saw Hopeman's Ryan Fiske gamble on the bounce of the ball to nick in behind and score a neat finish on six minutes.

Within six minutes another huge launch up the park led to Dan Davidson doubling the home advantage.

RAF Lossie needed to come up with a response and they did so in emphatic fashion with a great free kick from top scorer Logan Buick.

Hopeman had chances to restore their two-goal cushion but their failure to find the net proved costly when Rhys Blackwood scrambled in a 38th minute leveller for Lossie.

The game had completely spun round by the time Ryan Woods nodded Lossie in front from a corner in the second half.

Hopeman brought on the experienced Scott Wilson as sub and the move paid off when Wilson scored to make it 3-3 with 15 minutes to go.

RAF Lossie's defence soaked up some late home pressure to force the shootout.

After 18 successful conversions. Hopeman's tenth kick was saved and Lossie's perfect ten was enough to progress them to the final.

There they will play on-form Fochabers who won 4-2 at Cullen, also last Friday.

Two goals by Warren Orford, who has netted in each of Fochabers last five outings, set up the win with team-mates Alex Milne and George Duncan chipping in with one each.

Moray welfare top goalscorers

10 - Logan Buick (RAF Lossie)

8 - Ethan Blanchard (Cullen)

7 - David Blackhall (Aberlour Villa)

7 - Iain Lunan (Hopeman)

7 - Warren Orford (FC Fochabers)

6 - Chris Greene (Hopeman)

Fochabers are now unbeaten in seven matches and firmly in contention for the league title as well as through to a final.

Ethan Blanchard's eighth goal of the season and a Calum Risk counter were not enough for battling Cullen.

Tuesday's league rematch between RAF Lossie and Hopeman was crucial, with the visitors needing a win to close the five-point gap between them and leaders Aberlour Villa.

Abbeyside League standings
Abbeyside League standings

Lossie are well off the title pace but looked the livelier side early on with a couple of chances.

That quickly changed and Hopeman started to dominate the game, being awarded a penalty for a Josh Kirby foul put the kick was put wide of goal.

Play became scrappy with Hopeman having the best of the opportunities but it finished goal-less at half time.

RAF Lossie were a strong force in the second 45, playing some neat football although Hopeman were still creating the better of the chances.

The scoring breakthrough arrived for the airmen when Callum Devine was played through to go past the last defender and slip the ball past the keeper.

Some solid home defending kept Hopeman at bay and soon Lossie were two goals to the good, as a goalkeeping error saw Devine nick the ball and play in Buick to find the net.

With Hopeman deflated, the home side took full advantage and the deadly Buick scored his third consecutive free kick strike to wrap up the scoring.

Hopeman's misery was completed when they had a player sent off near the end.

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