The first match day of the Press and Journal Highland League season saw Rothes face Lossiemouth at Mackessack Park on a brilliant day for a game of football.
A lot of work has been done by the devoted committee and volunteers of Rothes this summer and the pitch was looking the best it has done for a long time.
Rothes came into the game on the back of finishing bottom of the league last year, picking up only four points in the process. The home side were missing their recent signing from Dufftown, Sean McIntosh; and defenders Rory Cooke and Scott Davison. Lossiemouth were almost at full strength and included last year's Rothes loanee Nathan Smith, who recently signed from Deveronvale.
Before kick off both teams gathered round the centre circle for a minutes applause to remember Lossiemouth committee member Lorna McIntosh, who sadly lost her battlewith cancer this summer.
Three minutes in the first chance of the game came for the home side Rothes, a good passage of play opening up the Lossiemouth defence and Craig MacMillan's shot from just outside the box flew over the crossbar.
Lossiemouth’s first chance came in the fifth minute when Rothes stand-in goalkeeper Scott Riddoch’s attempted clearance from a passback was intercepted by Scott Miller, and his side-foot effort looked goal bound until Rothes left back Blair McDonald came across to deflect the shot wide for a corner.
After an entertaining opening nine minutes, the first goal of the match came when Martin McMullan took a quick free-kick, playing the ball through a gap in the Rothes defence to Shawn Scott, who took the ball round Scott Riddoch to break the deadlock.
In the 41st minute a miskick by Harry Noble was latched onto by Rothes loanee Kyle Gauld and his shot was parried away by Lossie goalkeeper Darren McConnachie, then eventually cleared by Chris Ross.
Both teams had their chances in the first half and Rothes played some great football without threatening enough in the final third of the park. Both managers would've been happy enough going into the break, but obviously Charlie Charlesworth was the happiest of the two at the interval.
Three minutes into the second half MacMillan had an opportunity to level when his volley just went past the post after another good passage of play from the home side.
On the hour mark Lossie had a chance to double their lead when a great delivery from debutant Harry Noble across the face of goal just evaded the inrushing McMullan.
The second half wasn't as full of action as the first, but in the 81st minute Lossiemouth doubled their lead and sealed the game with an early contender for goal of the season. Harry Noble blasted a free-kick into the top corner of the net from 25 yards to cap a dream debut.
Overall two-nil was maybe a fair reflection on the game In terms of chances created, but Rothes should take a sense of pride from this as they weren't at full strength and maybe on another day the points could have stayed at Mackessack Park.
Reporter: Kyran Dyer