BUCKIE Thistle assistant boss Lewis MacKinnon wants Jags to keep beating their closest rivals in the Highland League title battle.
Jags take on one of the challengers to their league crown on Saturday when they visit Brora Rangers.
It was Buckie’s record in fixtures against teams from the chasing pack that helped them win the Highland League last season, though they did suffer a rare defeat at Dudgeon Park during the campaign.
MacKinnon would like his team to knock a dent in their Sutherland hosts aspirations, and believes Jags have the firepower to do it.
“Our form against the so-called better teams has been top drawer,” said Buckie’s centre back and assistant to manager Graeme Stewart. “But we didn’t win at Brora last year, and I think that was our only poor result against the challenging sides.
“We’ve already beaten Formartine this season and we would obviously like to do the same against Brora. They are a tough side to play against but we have identified areas where we can get at them on Saturday. “With the players we have going forward we know we can trouble them and we are always confident we can score goals against anybody.”
Jags will also have captain Kevin Fraser and defender Craig Dorrat fresh for the Brora trip, as both were suspended for Wednesday’s Aberdeenshire Cup defeat at home to Fraserburgh.
Dorrat and Fraser were red-carded in their side’s brilliant win over Cove in last season’s final, where they fought back with nine men to win on penalties at Turriff.
Buckie won’t be repeating that trophy success as first half goals by Greg Buchan and Gary Harris earned Broch a deserved 2-0 win at Victoria Park.
It was Jags’ second cup exit in a week, though last Saturday’s 3-0 home loss to Championship leaders Dunfermline Athletic in the Irn Bru Cup was more expected. A double by ex-Rangers attacker Nicky Clark and another by Andy Ryan had the Pars 3-0 up before half time, with good saves by home keeper Daniel Bell needed to prevent any further damage.
“Dunfermline were the top ranked team in the draw and they’re flying high so we knew it would be really tough,” said MacKinnon.
“But we’ve done well this season in games against Dundee United, Dundee and now Dunfermline where the scorelines were very reasonable.”