- Created: Saturday, 07 February 2015 18:36
- Published: Saturday, 07 February 2015 18:36
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