Buckie Thistle beat Inverurie Locos and boss Graeme Stewart is impressed by young striker Marcus Goodall on his return from Huntly loan spell
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MARCUS Goodall is making a big contribution to Buckie Thistle’s revival, much to manager Graeme Stewart’s delight.
The former Ross County striker found himself loaned out to Huntly earlier this season after a period of Covid-19 isolation saw him fall behind on fitness levels.
The 19-year-old local lad netted his first Highland League hat-trick at Huntly, prompting a quick return to Victoria Park where he has seized his opportunity in the starting line-up.
Goodall scored in Jags 3-1 win over Forres Mechanics last Wednesday and laid claim to another in Saturday’s 3-0 success at home to Inverurie Locos – though it is likely to go down as an own goal.
“He’s a goal threat, but more importantly for Marcus, his performances have been really good,” said Stewart. “He’s been one of our best players in these last two games, and he deserves his opportunity.
“He had to isolate for 10 days, and he missed two weeks of training at the start of the season because he went to the Scotland v England (Euros) game. If it wasn’t for that he would have had much more of an opportunity, but it knocked him back and people got in ahead of him.
“He’s waited patiently and we put him on loan to get some games and he came back full of confidence.
“You can see that in his overall performance, keeping the ball, his intelligence, we are delighted with him and he is probably going to play a larger part between now and the end of the season.”
Buckie’s back-to-back home wins have strengthened their league position following a run of five tough games which garnered a total of just four points.
“It was an important game on Saturday because we haven’t got as many results against the better teams as I would have liked,” Stewart added.
“We got beat at Rothes, Brechin and Brora, so we had to even up the balance a bit. The fact that we’ve beaten Inverurie and Formartine, drawn with Fraserburgh, we probably need one more result against a top team and we’re back even stevens.
“These are the games which will dictate where we finish up at the end of the season. We’ve had it before, finishing sixth or seventh because we’ve not won against the top teams and we need to put that right.
“We’ve played all the top teams now and we should have got more points. We should have beaten Fraserburgh and Brechin, we could have got results at Brora and Rothes.
“We are the kind of team who can win the reverse fixtures, so we just need to stay within touching distance.”
Sam Pugh got Buckie’s opener against Locos from a corner kick routine straight from the training ground with 90 seconds on the clock. Craig Gill’s own goal and a Sam Urquhart spot kick sealed the victory.
Jags are at home to Fort William on Wednesday night before travelling on Saturday to face Huntly, who Buckie have struggled to beat in recent seasons.