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Thistle lose out to Alford's efforts

By David Porter

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Alford 6 - Turriff Thistle 2

Turriff Thistle’s pre-season programme took a slight wobble when they were comprehensively beaten by an impressive Alford side who were sitting in fifth place of Division 1 East when the previous season came to an end in March.

The Jags found themselves three down within 15 minutes as Alford threatened to run riot but they pulled one back from the penalty spot, courtesy of Dylan Buxton, just before the half-hour and began to compete a bit better in the match without creating many clear-cut scoring chances.

Thistle started the second half with a bit more urgency in their play but Alford were always the more dangerous team and added three more goals in a 10 minute period midway through the half to end the game as a contest.

The Jags added the obligatory consolation goal 4 minutes from the end with an individual effort from Mitchell Reid although they should have pulled back a couple before then with more accuracy, confidence and composure in front of goal.

Thistle had a depleted squad with Mike McCombie, Michael Williams and Regan Fowlie all unavailable, however, welcomed back defensive stalwart Andy Paton to the starting line-up.

Alford started the match with much more enthusiasm and urgency and within three minutes broke through the Jag’s defence but Jordan Ogg spotted the danger and was off his line quickly to block the shot at the edge of the box.

A minute later and the big keeper was back in action as he tipped a fierce 20 yard rocket over his bar.

The resultant corner was headed on at the near post and the ball glanced into the net but the Alford player was standing on the line clearly offside.

It was all Alford at this time and in seven minutes they burst through on the left but Ogg was out again and forced the striker to shoot past the back post.

Alford took the lead a minute later when some close, neat play just outside the Jag’s box put them in the clear and the ball was slotted behind Ogg and into the net for the opener.

Thistle went two behind in 12 minutes, more by bad luck than good play, when a looping cross from the right soared high over everyone in the goalmouth and dropped into the net at the back post.

The Jags created their first scoring chance in 14 minutes when Lewis Hendry floated a free kick into the Alford goalmouth to be challenged by both Dylan Buxton and Greg Miazek who seemed to get in each other’s way and the ball was cleared for a corner.

Alford added a third goal a minute later when they drove up the left and the low cross flew past everyone in the middle to an unmarked player at the back post for a simple tap-in to the empty net.

Thistle battled to get into the game and in 24 minutes a long range effort from Buxton flew over the Alford bar.

Alford immediately hit back and a clever one-two in the Jag’s box put them in the clear again and brought another superb block from Ogg.

Thistle pulled one back in 26 minutes when they were awarded a penalty for handball and BUXTON stepped up to blast it deep into the net.

The Jags were competing a bit better at this stage but Alford were still proving to be dangerous and Ogg was called on to deal with an angular shot from the edge of the 6 yard box which he palmed over the bar.

The final action of the first half saw Neil Chapman penalised for a severe body-check on an Alford player who had to leave the pitch, however, the free kick was blasted off the Jag’s defensive wall.

The second half began with Mitchell Reid, Dan Bruce and Jay Robertson coming on for Greg Miazek, Joe Bisset and Mitchell Allan.

Thistle upped the pace at the start of the half but Alford created the first chance in 50 minutes when a snap-shot was beaten away by Ogg.

In 55 minutes Chapman was pulled down as he drove forward but Hendry fired the free kick over the bar.

On the hour mark an Alford cross from the right was volleyed back across the Jag’s goal and scraped the back post.

In 64 minutes a crisp passing move involving three Alford players carved open the Thistle defence to score a fourth goal then five minutes later they burst through in numbers and racked up number five.

The Jags should have pulled one back in 72 minutes when a poor kick-out by the Alford keeper was fed forward to Dan Bruce who managed to get his foot to the ball before he was challenged by the keeper, however, the ball rolled past the wrong side of the post.

Alford added a sixth and final goal in 74 minutes as they burst through the middle and poked the ball past Ogg from close range.

The Jags battled on and in 75 minutes Mo Morrison blasted a shot over the bar after robbing a defender.

In 85 minutes Alford could have added a seventh but the post came to the Jag’s rescue.

A minutes later Thistle scored a second when a long clearance forward put Mitchell Reid through and he brilliantly flicked the ball over the advancing keeper then chased it in with two defenders to head it into the empty net.

The final minutes saw Mitchell Allan replace an injured Daryn Bruce as the match ended without further incident.

This was a poor performance by any standards but is the main reason for pre-season fixtures to build up match fitness, to rack up playing time and to try new tactics and formations.

Turriff Thistle: Jordan Ogg, Mitchell Allan (Dan Bruce 45), Neil Chapman, Andy Paton, Daryn Bruce, Mo Morrison, Lewis Hendry, Ryan Morrison, Greg Miazek (Mitchell Reid 45), Joe Bisset (Jay Robertson 45), Dylan Buxton.

Fixture News - Next up for Turriff Thistle is a home match against F.C Polska on Saturday, October 17 at the Haughs is at 2pm.

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