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Keith manager Craig Ewen praises team for two wins and two draws in last four Highland League outings

By Craig Christie

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Eight points from their last four games show Keith are beginning to turn close contests their way and make a steady climb up the Highland League rankings.

Manager Craig Ewen, who celebrated his 100th match in charge in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against Forres Mechanics, was pleased to see his men defeat Rothes 2-1 in another Moray derby match on Saturday.

Having lost seven matches by the odd goal in the first half of the season, and again in the recent Aberdeenshire Cup defeat to Aberdeen, Ewen is seeing his men gain the upper hand when the margins are slim.

A 1-0 win over Turriff and goalless draw at Rothes was followed by the midweek stalemate against Forres and Saturday’s Kynoch Park success in a quick rematch with the Speysiders. The Keith manager is in no doubt that his team deserved their victory at the weekend.

“I watched the second half back and worked out we had ten efforts on goal and they had two, so on the balance I felt we did deserve to win, as I think we had more chances than I remembered at the time.

“Ryan Robertson should score when he hit the bar, (Craig) Gill had one narrowly over the bar, (James) Brownie had a volley wide and (Jordan) Cooper had a volley over the bar. Jake Stewart had a shot blocked and (Mikey) Ironside had two efforts. So when you go through it all you realise they had more of the game than you first thought.”

Ewen believes he is seeing progress at Kynoch Park. “Probably this season we have been slightly better as a squad than last season.

“You are sitting second-bottom of the league having lost seven games by one goal, and every one of those games bar one we could have got points but we didn’t.

“We felt some way along the line that we could go on a decent run and we are on one just now. Every one of these last four games have been very close, it’s just that the games at the start of the season when we were losing by the odd goal, we have turned those fine margins in our favour and that has made the difference for us.”

Injuries to Gavin Elphinstone and Josh Buchan are a concern ahead of Saturday’s home match against leaders Brechin City.

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