New signing Jack Grant impresses as Forres Mechanics return to football action with a closed doors friendly against Elgin City at Borough Briggs
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FORRES Mechanics new boy Jack Grant impressed manager Charlie Rowley in Tuesday night's 4-1 friendly defeat at Elgin City.
The Cans returned to action after the six-month Covid-19 break with a closed doors match at Borough Briggs.
It was the first opportunity for boss Rowley to see summer signings Grant and defender Dale Wood in a match situation, and he was pleased by what he saw.
"Dale and Jack were real positives," he said. "Jack, particularly when we gave him a wee bit more freedom in the second half, certainly came into his own and caused them a lot of threats particularly with his running power, he was a real handful.
"Dale is calm and composed and once we get him back to competitive games he will be a real asset to the club."
Mechanics' long time of inactivity and a later return to training than their opponents showed in the first half hour when they conceded three goals.
Josh Peters powered home a header from a corner on ten minutes and added a second from close range with the Cans defence appealing for offside.
Joel MacBeath's lofted effort over keeper Stuart Knight found the net via the post on 27 minutes to make it 3-0.
Forres settled after that and when captain Stuart Soane was fouled in the box by Matthew Cooper, veteran Simon Allan slammed home a penalty to reduce the deficit on 31 minutes.
New boy Wood was penalised for a foul on Aiden Sopel at the other end, giving City a penalty which Sopel took but Knight saved comfortably.
The second half was a story of numerous substitutions and little in the way of clearcut chances.
Mechanics had some openings to reduce the deficit but couldn't find a way through, and conceded the final goal late on when Ross MacPherson stuck out a boot to deflect a home effort and could only watch the ball rocket into his own net.
"It was a really tough workout for us," said Rowley. "Everybody could see they were a fair bit ahead of us in terms of fitness levels."
"But the longer the game went on, the stronger we got so I was really pleased with our fitness in comparison.
"The main objective was a fitness exercise and if you get something positive out of it, then it's all good."
Forres still have several players to come back into their team.
Scott Miller and Joe Gauld were late call-offs on Tuesday due to illness, striker Lee Fraser is carrying a thigh injury and wasn't risked while James Ross is expected to return to training next week.
Cans have another friendly at Nairn St Ninian on Saturday.
Forres team: Knight; Wood, MacPherson, G Fraser, Allan (Hamilton 53); Farquhar (Brady 63), Groat (Paterson 46), Grant, Macphee (Johnston 46); Duncanson; Soane. Sub: L Fraser.