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Buckie Thistle edge six goal thriller against spirited Rothes

By Ewan Malcolm

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BUCKIE Thistle edged a pulsating encounter against Rothes at Mackessack Park this afternoon.

Andy MacAskill (left) proved to be the difference maker for the Jags. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Andy MacAskill (left) proved to be the difference maker for the Jags. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

The Jags emerged as 4-2 victors against the Speysiders who rallied from 3-0 down before Graeme Stewart's side secured the victory with a late breakaway.

Stewart was pleased to see his side claim a victory which sees them remain just three points behind league leaders Brechin City. However, he conceded that Rothes had been the better team.

"I thought Rothes were better than us in both halves," Stewart said.

"I thought they were braver than us so I had a go at them at half time.

"We got the three goals because of Andy's brilliance and an own goal so I was really annoyed with the first half.

"Second half, I thought Rothes were brilliant so the only positive from my point of view is the three points.

"They looked fitter than us, stronger than us, braver than us so a lot of things I wasn't happy with today.

"We just weren't keeping the ball. There wasn't much in the first half but there was in the second half.

"I think if we play like that again then nine times out of ten we'll get beat."

The Jags got off to the perfect start straight from kick off when referee Duncan Nicolson awarded the visitors a penalty when he adjudged Ben Johnstone to have fouled MacAskill in the box.

MacAskill made no mistake from the spot to fire his side in front.

The hosts responded well and very nearly equalised when a fine team move saw Aidan Wilson's effort smothered in front of goal after Matheus Machado's clever cutback.

Buckie doubled their advantage against the run of play when MacAskill danced his way into the area before coolly slotting past Sean McCarthy in the Rothes goal.

The lead was three just before half time when Marcus Goodall's cross found it's way into the back of the net fortuitously via a slight deflection off Ryan McRitchie.

Rothes boss Ross Jack sent on former Buckie player Ally Mackenzie at the start of the second half for Ewan Neil.

The move paid off with Mackenzie setting up Machado for a six yard tap-in after finding the Brazilian with a pin point cross from the left wing.

Mackenzie was at it again moments later when he stole the ball from under the nose of Jags keeper Balint Demus before rolling the ball across for Machado to bury his second goal of the afternoon.

Matheus Machado's second half brace had the Speysiders dreaming of an unlikely comeback. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Matheus Machado's second half brace had the Speysiders dreaming of an unlikely comeback. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

The Speysiders poured forward in search of an equaliser and very nearly had it when Wilson's sweetly struck effort from outside the box struck the crossbar.

The Jags could count themselves lucky again when a long ball over the top found second half substitute Jake Thomson only for the Rothes winger to fire wide with only Demus to beat.

The visitors dealt the sucker punch, however, with five minutes to play when Max Barry broke clear of Rothes' defence before pulling the ball back for Kyle MacLeod to tap in the clincher.

Jack was left to rue another slow start but bemoaned what he felt was a soft penalty award in the first minute.

"We started the game shockingly again," Jack said.

"However, it was never a penalty in a million years.

"I can't believe it was given when Ben had poked the ball away. Andy goes down and the referee buys it.

"It's a shocking decision and from there we're on the back foot.

"The second is a brilliant goal from Andy but if the penalty wasn't given then someone might have tackled him because they thought it could have been same again.

"Third goal is a couple of deflections but we've done this so often. Three down within 28 minutes.

"We had a really positive performance and attitude second half and we had a great chance for the equaliser with Jake Thomson.

"Chances like that turn games but fair play to them, they continue to move on and be challengers."

The Jags welcome Open Goal Broomhill to Victoria Park for their Scottish Cup second round tie next weekend.

Meanwhile, Rothes will be looking to bounce back at home to Keith in the league.

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