Buckie Thistle manager targets winning run to reignite league challenge
BUCKIE Thistle will need points aplenty in 2020 to muscle back in on the Highland League title chase.
But after finishing the old year on a winning note, manager Graeme Stewart is challenging Jags to put together a victorious run of results to keep the pressure on the leaders.
Buckie head for Formartine United on Saturday, buoyed by confidence gained from the 4-0 success at home to Wick on the previous weekend.
Stewart is eager to secure three more points to trigger a sequence of results which could propel the Victoria Park men back in the championship mix.
“It’s going to be very difficult for us to win the league,” he said. “To do it we are going to have to go on a run of seven or eight wins in a row to get ourselves back up there.
“We can’t afford to go win, lose, draw. We need that big run and Saturday is really important to carry on the good work from the Wick game.
“Formartine beat us on penalties in the cup recently and we know it will be a hard game.”
Stewart was satisfied by a comfortable home win last week to complete a league double over Wick.
It was Jags’ first league victory since October 12 when they beat Nairn, though the wet weather and problems with the Buckie pitch drainage meant they played just three league fixtures in ten weeks.
A nod-down by new signing Kyle MacLeod set up Joe McCabe for the early opener and Sam Urquhart scored his second penalty in two games after he had been tripped in the area.
Jack Murray added number three after the break, before Buckie keeper Lee Herbert, standing in for the suspended Daniel Bell, saved a penalty to preserve his clean sheet. Captain Kevin Fraser finished off the scoring in stoppage time.
“We definitely needed the game, and we looked fitter on Saturday,” said Stewart. “That will put us in good stead for Formartine on Saturday. We kept going to the 90th minute.
“It should probably have been one or two more. But I can’t really complain with a 4-0 win especially when it was the least we deserved. The clean sheet was probably the best thing and having four different scorers was really encouraging.”
Defender Sam Morrison is back in full training and could return to action soon from a hand injury.