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Buckie Thistle and Inverurie Locos get ready for first part of this week's Highland League Cup and Highland League double header - if Victoria Park passes pitch inspection

By Craig Christie

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BUCKIE Thistle manager Graeme Stewart would rather not be facing former club Inverurie Locos in a double header this week, but he is relishing the challenge.

Graeme Stewart, manager of Buckie Thistle FC...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Graeme Stewart, manager of Buckie Thistle FC...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Jags are due to host Locos in the quarter finals of the GPH Builders Merchants Highland League Cup tonight, with a pitch inspection being held at noon.

The clubs are set to meet on league business at Harlaw Park on Saturday.

“Playing them twice in a week is not ideal,” said Stewart. “We did it before, the year we won the league (2016) when we beat them 6-0 in the cup then drew with them in the league.”

The Jags boss wasn’t too unhappy to see his team’s league game at Forres postponed last weekend due to a snowbound pitch.

Although their idle Saturday meant losing ground on leaders Fraserburgh – who won 3-1 at Lossiemouth – it allowed Buckie’s squad to get some extra rest after a hectic run of games.

“We will go in fresh and we want to win this cup as well as doing our best in the league, so it’s hopefully two games we can win,” he said.

“As frustrating as it is not having a game on a Saturday, the positive is that we have these two big games against Inverurie this week.

“Playing three games in a week, we saw how hard it was the week before so it gives us a bit more rest for the games this week.”

Stewart has served both Buckie and Inverurie as a player and is well aware of the dangers posed by his old team.

However, he is keen to see his Jags build on the momentum of a 14-match winning league run to continue their quest for silverware.

“Locos have a lot of pace in the team, they are very direct and play to their strengths. In the wide positions they have the boy (Robert) Ward and(Nathan) Meres who are dangerous and (Kieran) Shanks is a big player for them, but I believe he is suspended on Wednesday.

“They have experience at the back with Chopper (Ryan Broadhurst) and Mark Souter, Andy Reid in goal means they are very experienced through the middle.

“We just need to make sure we can match them which we have done in the past.

“We are in a good place in terms of confidence and we just want to keep it going. We know things can change very quickly but as long as we keep winning, the confidence remains and it gives us a better chance.

“All runs come to an end eventually but let’s hope this one comes to an end next season. We want to keep it going as long as we can and every game that comes our way is a cup final now.

“We need to try and win them all because if we don’t do that I think we will probably come up short.”

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