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Sat 7th Feb - Forres 7 Rothes 1

Forres Mechanics ruthlessly dismantled neighbours Rothes at Mosset Park, beating their hapless opponents 7-1 to reach the second round of the Highland League Cup.

Weeks of postponements due to a waterlogged and frozen pitch meant that the Can-Cans had been without a competitive home game since they lost 0-3 to Nairn on January 3. The high intensity and the fight that Forres showed in the opening minutes indicated just how determined they were to get a positive result after such a lengthy period of inaction.

Despite the poor state of the Mosset Park pitch, the home side got off to a flyer with Ross Archibald opening the scoring for them in the ninth minute, seven minutes after Lee Fraser had had his close-range effort cleared off the line. The former Lossiemouth frontman rolled a precise 18-yard shot underneath the body of Speysiders' keeper Craig Ferguson into the bottom right-hand corner of the net to score his first goal of the season.

The Can-Cans doubled their advantage two minutes before the half-hour mark. A Simon Allan right-wing cross fell straight to the feet of Forres midfielder Stuart Soane, who was unmarked a few yards from goal. Soane struck the ball high into the back of the net at the second attempt after he first failed to connect properly with the ball.

Soane then struck twice more in the first half to bag his hat-trick and ensure that his team went in for half-time with a commanding and unassailable 4-0 lead. His second goal, seven minutes before the half-time whistle, was a powerful 10-yard header from an Allan right-wing corner which just managed to beat Ferguson, despite the keeper getting one hand on the effort. To complete his hat-trick, Soane blasted a no-nonsense penalty straight down the middle of the goal, sending Ferguson to his left.

In the second half, the home side picked up from where they left off, scoring a fifth goal on 49 minutes. Forres’ Georgian winger Dachi Khutsishvili took the ball to the byline on the right wing, before playing it through the legs of Speysiders' left-back Michael Dunn. Seeing the left hand side of Ferguson’s goal unguarded, Dachi then bent a brilliant left-footed shot into the bottom left hand corner of the Rothes goal from an acute angle.

On 56 minutes, striker Lee Fraser got in on the act to put his team 6-0 up. The youngster took one touch of the ball 20-yards out before firing a brilliant left-footed 18-yard shot across Ferguson, which rifled into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

However, the home side were not finished there and Soane grabbed his fourth goal of the afternoon, with still over 20 minutes of the game remaining, to heap even more misery onto the Speysiders. Archibald clipped a right-wing cross into the six-yard box which was emphatically nodded into the top right-hand corner of the net by Soane, who connected with the ball at the near post.

The one disappointment from the home side’s point of view will be that they didn’t manage to keep a clean sheet, with Rothes’ Calum McIntosh netting a consolation goal in the 90th minute. A lapse in concentration from the Can Cans rear-guard allowed McIntosh to walk the ball into the back of the net.

The reward for Forres’ emphatic victory is a tricky encounter away to high-flyers Turriff United in the second round of the Highland League cup.

Reporter: Daniel Breerton

League Table

Rank Teams Played Points Current form
1 Cove Rangers 34 90 WWLWL
2 Formartine United 34 79 WWWWW
3 Inverurie Locos 34 78 WLWWW
4 Fraserburgh 34 73 LLWWW
5 Forres Mechanics 34 73 WWWWW
6 Brora Rangers 34 63 LWLWW
7 Buckie Thistle 34 51 LDDLW
8 Deveronvale 34 51 LWDWW
9 Nairn County 34 51 DWWLW
10 Rothes 34 49 LLWLW
11 Huntly 34 49 LLDWL
12 Wick Academy 34 46 DLLLL
13 Clachnacuddin 34 41 LLWLD
14 Turriff United 34 37 WLLWL
15 Keith 34 16 LDWLD
16 Lossiemouth 34 15 LLDLL
17 Strathspey Thistle 34 14 LLDLL
18 Fort William 34 5 DLLLD

Recent Results

12-05-2018 14:00 - SPFL Pyramid Play-off Final
Cowdenbeath 3 : 2 Cove Rangers
05-05-2018 15:00 - SHFL Week 39
Turriff United 0 : 2 Brora Rangers
05-05-2018 15:00 - SPFL Pyramid Play-off Final
Cove Rangers 0 : 0 Cowdenbeath
02-05-2018 20:00 - SHFL Week 38
Fort William 3 : 3 Keith
01-05-2018 19:45 - SPFL Pyramid Play-Off
Spartans 2 : 1 Cove Rangers
28-04-2018 15:00 - SHFL Week 38
Formartine United 2 : 1 Wick Academy
Fort William 3 : 7 Turriff United
Strathspey Thistle 0 : 7 Brora Rangers
28-04-2018 15:00 - SPFL Pyramid Play-Off
Cove Rangers 4 : 0 Spartans
25-04-2018 20:00 - SHFL Week 37
Rothes 3 : 1 Brora Rangers
Deveronvale 5 : 0 Fort William
24-04-2018 20:00 - SHFL Week 37
Strathspey Thistle 1 : 4 Fraserburgh
Cove Rangers 0 : 3 Nairn County
21-04-2018 15:00 - SHFL Week 37
Wick Academy 1 : 3 Cove Rangers
Brora Rangers 1 : 0 Huntly
Deveronvale 2 : 1 Nairn County
Formartine United 12 : 0 Fort William
Forres Mechanics 5 : 0 Lossiemouth

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