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Watch highlights as Rothes manager Ross Jack admits his team got 'battered' by Brora Rangers for their first defeat of the Highland League season

By Craig Christie

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‘BATTERED’ by Brora – that’s how Rothes manager Ross Jack described the end of his team’s proud 15-match unbeaten run.

Rothes manager Ross Jack will react to his team’s first defeat of the Highland League season with a reshuffle of the pack.
Rothes manager Ross Jack will react to his team’s first defeat of the Highland League season with a reshuffle of the pack.

The Speysiders tasted defeat for the first time in all competitions this season on Wednesday night, losing 3-0 to the same Brora Rangers side they beat in the recent North of Scotland Cup final.

Watch highlights below on Brora Rangers' Youtube channel.

Jack said his side could have lost by an even greater margin but for some fine goalkeeping by Sean McCarthy on the night.

He plans to regroup his squad and reshuffle the pack in an effort to stay on the shirt tails of league leaders Fraserburgh.

“The boys have done remarkably well but it was a poor way to lose it, out with a whimper against Brora who were excellent on the night,” he said. “They absolutely battered us and we were very, very fortunate that it was only three.

“If it wasn’t for Sean McCarthy it could have been a lot more.”

A Rothes reversal had to happen one day, such is the competitive nature of this season’s Highland League.

The Mackessack Park side won 11 and drew four of their 15 fixtures before Brora – including their North Cup glory run and a Scottish Cup success, as well as strong league displays.

The Rothes unbeaten run:

July 24 - Rothes 3 Fort William 0 (league)

August 4 - Forres Mechanics 0 Rothes 3 (North Cup)

August 7 - Rothes 2 Nairn County 2 (league)

August 14 - Brechin City 2 Rothes 2 (league)

August 18 - Rothes 2 Elgin City 0 (North Cup)

August 21 - Rothes 2 Buckie Thistle 0 (league)

August 25 - Inverurie Locos 1 Rothes 1 (league)

August 28 - Huntly 0 Rothes 2 (league)

September 1 - Strathspey Thistle 1 Rothes 4 (North Cup semi-final)

September 4 - Rothes 1 Wick Academy 1 (league)

September 11 - Strathspey Thistle 1 Rothes 4 (league)

September 18 - Blackburn United 1 Rothes 2 (Scottish Cup)

September 25 - Rothes 4 Clachnacuddin 1 (league)

October 2 - Rothes 2 Brora Rangers 1 (North Cup final)

October 6 - Rothes 4 Turriff United 1 (league)

October 9 - Keith 0 Rothes 5 (league)

Rothes now have the North and Highland League Cups on their sideboard, and Jack is keen to maintain a league challenge over the coming months and not let one league defeat damage team morale.

“It’s coming to a time when conditions will get worse, pitches will get heavier so we just need to make sure our preparation is correct for each game, and that the players get some time to recover and regenerate between games.

“It will be a hell of a run-in and that’s what happens. I would like to be successful again and that means more games, and we would like to have a hectic spell of fixtures to help us crack on again.”

Rothes were on good form last Saturday, winning 5-0 in the Moray derby at Keith. Two Aidan Wilson goals and one each for Fraser Robertson, Gary Kerr and Jack Brown pushed Jack’s side up to third in the table.

Wednesday’s defeat saw the Speysiders slip a place, but they will aim to bounce back when they welcome Deveronvale to the Mackessack tomorrow.

Former Rothes man Ali Sutherland was among Brora’s scorers as the north side exacted revenge on their cup final conquerors.

“Too many boys had an off-night at the same time, which is nothing I could accuse them of over these last few months,” said Jack.

“It may be time to rest one or two. It’s been a tough slog for some, they have coped manfully but it might be a time to freshen things up.

“It’s not to say we are resting players because we are playing Vale or anybody else, it’s just the next game after a defeat and we need to make sure we put our freshest and fittest players forward for Saturday.”

Wayne Mackintosh and Gary Kerr made sub appearances this week and are nearing full fitness, but Alan Pollock is unavailable.

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