Forres Mechanics 1 Turriff United 1: Cans salvage points against strugglers ahead of Bonnyrigg Rose clash
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FORRES Mechanics assistant manager Nathan Sharp has described Saturday’s cup clash with Bonnyrigg Rose as a “free hit” and a “welcome distraction” from league action.
Bonnyrigg currently sit top of the Lowland League and will come into the match at Mosset Park as favourites to progress to the second round.
Sharp, who has taken the team for the last two weeks in the absence of quarantining manager Charlie Rowley, said: “They are definitely a good side, but it’s the Scottish Cup. It’s a good day out, and we should have a couple of boys a bit fitter coming back from injury.
“It’s like a free hit, a bonus sort of game. It will give boys that are chapping at the door and looking to get into the team an opportunity to show what they can do.
“It’s a welcome distraction.”
The Cans go into the Scottish Cup first round tie off the back of a 1-1 draw with struggling Turriff United at Mosset Park on Saturday.
Substitute Stuart Soane spared Forres blushes with a 91st minute equaliser - which denied second-bottom Turriff their maiden Highland League win of the campaign.
Forres started the game brightly and could have been ahead within a minute had Lee Fraser got on the end of Paul Brindle’s low cross.
It was Lee Fraser again on 22 minutes, this time he was inches away from netting after Turriff goalkeeper David Dey tipped Brindle’s effort away.
Fraser’s third chance of the opening half hour was his biggest - played in behind by a Turriff touch, he clipped the ball over the keeper but couldn’t get it out of his feet quickly enough and was denied on the line by defender Ethan Smith.
Turriff had a couple of opportunities of their own in the first half, with Murray Thompson’s shot from 12 yards blocked away on 42 minutes.
Then, on the stroke of half-time, the visitors took a shock lead when a ball in from the left-hand side was let run by Ruari Fraser and hammered home by Thompson at the back post.
Into the second half and Luke Kinsella had a chance to double Turriff’s lead when he was found free in the box - but a superb save from Stuart Knight denied him.
Forres tried to ramp up the pressure, with Robbie Duncanson the first to go close when his toe poke was cleared off the line on the hour mark.
Just as it looked like Turriff would secure their first three points of the season, Lee Fraser raced in behind and fired a scuffed cross-cum-shot which was bundled in by sub Stuart Soane from six yards.
Forres almost won the game deep into injury time as Owen Paterson and Owen Loveland were both denied by Dey in the visiting goal.
Sharp said: “I thought we played well in the first half. We were 1-0 down but they had one chance. We could have been five or six up with the chances were created but our final pass, decision making and quality in the final third was poor.
“At Forres Mechanics, we aren’t happy drawing with teams below us in the league. We shouldn’t be happy with a point, we should be winning these games.
“It’s tough at the moment but everybody needs to stick together and hope we can turn the corner.”