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Forres Mechanics 0 Rothes 1: Late Speysiders goal decides Moray derby


By Jonathan Clark

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Rothes' Jake Thomson plays away from Forres full back Mark McLauchlan...Forres Mechanics FC (0) vs Rothes FC (1) - Highland Football League 23/24 - Mosset Park, Forres 25/11/2023...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Rothes' Jake Thomson plays away from Forres full back Mark McLauchlan...Forres Mechanics FC (0) vs Rothes FC (1) - Highland Football League 23/24 - Mosset Park, Forres 25/11/2023...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

A BATTLING performance from Rothes saw them pick up all three points in a Moray derby against Forres Mechanics at Mosset Park on Saturday.

The Can-Cans had the majority of the first half opportunities, before the Speysiders grabbed the only goal in the 79th minutes after an end-to-end second period.

Aidan Wilson knocked in at the back post after Greg Morrison's drilled cross to secure victory for the visitors.

Rothes manager Ross Jack said: "Both teams created a lot of chances. Forres were on top first half, we were on top second half.

Rothes forward Greg Morrison gets a foot on the ball to stop Forres' Jack Grant advancing up the park. ..Forres Mechanics FC (0) vs Rothes FC (1) - Highland Football League 23/24 - Mosset Park, Forres 25/11/2023...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Rothes forward Greg Morrison gets a foot on the ball to stop Forres' Jack Grant advancing up the park. ..Forres Mechanics FC (0) vs Rothes FC (1) - Highland Football League 23/24 - Mosset Park, Forres 25/11/2023...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

"We knew exactly was going to happen when we came here and it worked out the way we expected it to work out. We worked extremely hard for it that was for sure.

"We kept believing that we would get a chance and we had to take it so I'm delighted. Another clean sheet and three points at a very tough place to come."

Forres had the first chance when on-loan Brora Rangers midfield Gregor MacDonald saw his effort from the edge of the box come back off the post.

The ball bounced off the post to Ethan Cairns who drilled across the face of goal for Shaun Morrison, but he failed to turn home from close range with the goal gaping.

Forres Mechanics' forward Ethan Cairns after a missed chance for the home side. ..Forres Mechanics FC (0) vs Rothes FC (1) - Highland Football League 23/24 - Mosset Park, Forres 25/11/2023...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Forres Mechanics' forward Ethan Cairns after a missed chance for the home side. ..Forres Mechanics FC (0) vs Rothes FC (1) - Highland Football League 23/24 - Mosset Park, Forres 25/11/2023...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Rothes were a threat from corners and went close when Charlie Macdonald nodded wide from six yards.

Forres had a chance to take the lead five minutes into the second period when a great through ball from Craig Mackenzie found Morrison, but he was denied by Sean McCarthy at the near post.

Forres' Craig MacKenzie on the ball. ..Forres Mechanics FC (0) vs Rothes FC (1) - Highland Football League 23/24 - Mosset Park, Forres 25/11/2023...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Forres' Craig MacKenzie on the ball. ..Forres Mechanics FC (0) vs Rothes FC (1) - Highland Football League 23/24 - Mosset Park, Forres 25/11/2023...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

That sparked an end-to-end period, with Greg Morrison blasting through the centre of the park and clipping an effort over Lee Herbert and off the inside of the post.

Callum Haspell kept Rothes level with a remarkable clearance on the hour mark. Morrison was denied by McCarthy but the ball fell to Cairns – but his powerful strike from 10 yards was somehow turned over from underneath the crossbar by Haspell.

The visitors almost immediately took advantage as Morrison charged 60 yards down the pitch and played the ball across for Jake Thompson, but he was denied by a great Herbert save, before Gary Kerr's follow-up was blocked away.

Rothes centre back Charlie MacDonald looks to play the ball away from Forres forward Shaun Morrison. ..Forres Mechanics FC (0) vs Rothes FC (1) - Highland Football League 23/24 - Mosset Park, Forres 25/11/2023...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Rothes centre back Charlie MacDonald looks to play the ball away from Forres forward Shaun Morrison. ..Forres Mechanics FC (0) vs Rothes FC (1) - Highland Football League 23/24 - Mosset Park, Forres 25/11/2023...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

The winning goal arrived on 79 minutes when Morrison's low cross was turned in at the back post by Aidan Wilson for 1-0.

Forres Mechanics manager Steven MacDonald was left ruing his side's bad luck – and backed his forwards to continue scoring soon.

"It's incredible the way it is going for us," he said. "I thought the boys did really well, I was really pleased with them. The performance was really good but we have got nothing from it again. It's painful.

"We are not scoring enough goals. It's obvious to see. You can't question the commitment from the boys and the way we played was great, we just need that end product – that's the difference.

"It's too easy to say we need a 30-goal striker – everyone wants one of them – but that would be disrespectful to the boys that are playing because they did really well.

"On another day they would have had a couple of goals each. It's just highly annoying and frustrating. We just have to keep doing the right things and hope that we turn the corner soon."


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