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Matchday Summaries Saturday 24th August: Status Quo at the summit

For the third week running, the Highland League summit is a four-way split between the quartet who maintained maximum points. They did it in style too – with Formartine United, Wick Academy and Brora Rangers all hitting four goals, while Inverurie Locos struck Rothes for five at MacKessack Park with Dean Donaldson netting twice.

 

Michael Ewen’s double helped Formartine to a 4-2 victory over Keith, with Cammy Keith having netted against his old club. Brother Sean netted a late consolation which came too late for the Maroons.

 

Wick Academy ran out 4-0 winners at Princess Royal Park, and remain on top of the pile on goal difference having still not conceded. Brora Rangers notched a fine 4-1 win over Fraserburgh at the Bellslea meanwhile, with Steven Mackay and Andrew Greig both on target twice.

 

An entertaining but heated encounter at Victoria Park saw the points shared in 2-2 draw, with Cove twice fighting back to take a point back to Aberdeen. Both sides were reduced to ten men in stoppage time.

 

Clachnacuddin and Huntly also came from behind to win their respective home clashes, with Clach seeing off Forres Mechanics and Huntly eventually succeeding through two Daniel Stewart goals having twice trailed to a spirited Fort William side.

 

Nairn County saw off Lossiemouth 2-1, while Turriff United overcame Strathspey Thistle thanks to Aaron McKenna’s second-half goal between two injury-hit sides.

 

Full match summaries are below:

 

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Weekend Preview Saturday 24th August 2013: Cammy on fire but braced for emotion ahead of Keith clash

Formartine United forward Cammy Keith is approaching Saturday's clash with his former side Keith in a rich vein of scoring form, topped off by his 10-minute hat-trick in United's 5-1 Ramsdens Cup win over Elgin City on Wednesday.

Keith's treble is already his second since he joined the club in the summer, and with two other strikes to his name his goals tally is an impressive eight from five games, failing to hit the net in just one United match so far.

The statistics are impressive but a shock to nobody following his prolific spell with Keith, where he netted 182 goals in 222 prior to joining Steve Paterson's side.

Tomorrow, the forward lines up against the Maroons for the first time as former manager Darren Still prepares to take his side to North Lodge Park.

It is sure to be an unusual experience for Keith, but once on the park the Newmachar-born forward will treat them like any other opposition.

"It'll be a strange experience playing against my old team I spent many happy years with, and the boys I'm still very close friends with. Stilly as well, and my brother plays there too. It probably won't be as emotional as when I go back to Keith later in the season.

"It'll be strange but I'm happy at Formartine and things have gone well so far. With eight goals in five games I couldn't have asked for a better start and I'll be doing my upmost on Saturday to try and score again and beat Keith."

Keith's hat-trick in Wednesday's Ramsdens Cup third round clash set up another crack at League Two opposition, with Formartine gunning for a semi-final slot when they face Annan Athletic at Galabank in a fortnight. Keith highlighted his penalty kick which made it 2-1 – coupled with City being reduced to ten men – as a turning point in the match.

"They started off the better team the first ten or fifteen minutes or so were quite scary for us. They got their noses in front early doors, but we probably scored against the run of play and were happy enough going in at 1-1 at half-time as we weren't really playing all that well.

"We started the second-half really brightly and got the break with the sending off. In football you've got to take the breaks that come your way, and I just had to make sure I slotted the penalty away and that would put us 2-1 up against ten men. It was a pressure moment but I knew if I scored it was a long way back for them. Thankfully I put the ball in the net and got the hat-trick quite quick after that, so we were able to finish them off there and then. It's two great wins against two League Two teams.

"We actually started our pre-season quite late and we've had quite a lot of games. The Ramsdens Cup has got the boys' fitness up, playing against higher level teams. Everyone seems fit and sharp at the moment and that's now five wins out of five – we couldn't have asked for a better start to the season."

Starting with the North Lodge Park clash between Formartine United and Keith, http://www.hflhub.co.uk has a full round-up of the weekend team news.

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Groat joins Jags

 Strathspey Thistle have added to their squad ahead of Saturday's game with Turriff United, with the addition of former Fort William midfielder Martin Groat.

Groat was on loan at Claggan Park from Ross County last season, and although Fort were keen to retain him for this campaign he has elected to sign on at Seafield Park.

Jags assistant manager Brian Grant was delighted to land the player when he spoke to http://www.hflhub.co.uk this afternoon, with Groat set to go straight into the squad to face United.

"We're over the moon, we actually tried to sign Martin earlier in the summer. He signed for Fort William to play for them in a cup game, but Danny Conlon agreed after the game they would release him if he found another club, and to be fair to him he stuck to his word.

"Martin is just a young lad, he has a lot of years in front of him. At the moment we have that many guys out injured, we're just going to have to throw him straight in. He is more than capable of handling it.

"He is from Dingwall, and I think going back to Fort the travelling was becoming too much for him. Mark McKernie travels from Dingwall, along with a few other lads so he travels with them. He's enjoying the banter around the club."

Midweek Preview: Wednesday 21st August 2013

A night of cup action awaits us on http://www.hflhub.co.uk, so stay tuned for updates from the two Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup ties, as well as Formartine United's Ramsdens Cup encounter with Elgin City at North Lodge Park.

Ramsdens Cup Second Round

Formartine United v Elgin City (7.30pm)

The hosts go into this encounter with momentum on their side having recorded straight wins in their opening four games. They overcame East Stirling 2-0 in the first round to get to this stage, thanks to goals from Daniel Park and Cammy Keith. Incidentally, Ross Jack's City side were defeated 3-0 by the Shire on Saturday.

Form Guide

Formartine United: W W W W

Elgin City: W L L L

Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup Quarter-Finals

Buckie Thistle v Cove Rangers (8pm)

Buckie Thistle and Cove Rangers contest the first half of a double header this week, vying for a semi-final slot at home to either Formartine United or Turriff United who play next week. The two sides meet again at Victoria Park on league duty this Saturday.

Form Guide

Buckie Thistle: L W W L

Cove Rangers: D W L

Huntly v Fraserburgh (8pm)

Huntly will be looking to continue their fine start to the season against the competition holders. The Broch came from 2-0 down to level up last year's final against Formartine United,  before taking the cup on penalties. Kris Hunter's men have suffered losses away from home in their last two games and will look to make it third time lucky this evening. The winner of the tie will take on Inverurie Loco Works or Banks O'Dee away from home in the semi-final.

Form Guide

Huntly: D W D

Fraserburgh: W L L

Ambitious non-league clubs deserve chance, says Doncaster

An interested specator at last night's Ramsdens Cup encounter was SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster, there to witness history in the making. Formartine United were the first ever non-league club to play in the second round of the competition, and were emphatically successful in progressing to round three with a 5-1 defeat of Elgin City.

Former SPL chief executive Doncaster was elected ahead of SFL counterpart David Longmuir following the summer merger between the two bodies, and the Englishman has been impressed with United's handling of two ties against League Two opponents already in this season's competition.

Doncaster was upbeat about the future ambitions of both Formartine - as well as the non-league game as a whole when he spoke to http://www.hflhub.com reporter Andy Skinner after last night's game.

"Any team that wins 5-1 in a cup competition is impressive. It's nice to be here, it's my first time at North Lodge Park, my first time seeing Formartine. I didn't know what to expect but clearly it's a very tidy set-up and a club that people here are rightly proud of.

"I think Formartine doing well is great for the competition, it's clearly great for the SPFL and very good as well for Ramsdens as sponsors. The more stories that can be made in any cup competition the better, and I'm sure there will be a lot more people now looking out for the draw and wondering what it will bring.

"Clearly there are a number of ambitious clubs in the Highland League and the Lowland League now, and they deserve the chance. Ultimately it's about creating a pathway so that ambitious clubs can make the way through to the SPFL. We haven't seen that in the past, but I think with the new set-up we may see it in the future.

"Ultimately delivering play-offs for the top two divisions, the pyramid structure, re-distribution, one club one vote all within a single league is what people have been telling us they've been wanting. I'm delighted it's finally been delivered."

Team of the Week 17th August 2013: Macadie the maestro

For the third week running there is a 3-4-3 formation with an equal measure of defensive strength as attacking firepower.

In the attacking midfield area, Richard Macadie's 9 out of 10 made all the difference for Wick Academy against Fraserburgh. Our latest Player of the Week sits alongside Pawel Nowacki who opened his Huntly account, as well as Daniel Moore who claimed an assist in Nairn County's comeback against Cove Rangers.

Given the respective scorelines, an interesting fourth choice sees David Ritchie of Strathspey Thistle pip Formartine's Joe Hamill to the final midfield spot. The decision comes on the basis that his individual Star Man performance leading up to Strathspey's contentiously disallowed equaliser - which he scored – was not hindered by the loss of three late goals which took the shine off the team's display.

The man who set up two of Deveronvale's goals at Seafield Park was Kevin Adams, who slots into a defensive three beside Clach Man of the Match Andrew Skinner, while Turriff's Robbie Allan slots back into the left-sided defensive position he occupied for parts of last season. Stuart Knight was a close contender for Macadie's award for his goalkeeping heroics in Forres' 1-1 draw with Huntly.

Stuart Leslie earns SuperSub award after coming off the bench and immediately help Nairn turnaround a reverse against Cove. Meanwhile, Wayne Cusiter earns the golden whistle for his performance at Claggan Park.

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Matchday Summaries and Reports 21st August 2013

Goals galore tonight with Formartine thumping Elgin City 5-1, Huntly coming back to beat the Broch 4-2 and Cove running out 3-2 winners at Buckie.  Scroll down for the short reports with the full reports and sayings being available in the hours to come.  Please note to access these you must click on the result of the game you wish to gain further details of.  See results section on the right hand side of the screen.

Ramsdens   Cup
  Second Round

     

Wednesday 21st   August 2013

     

Full time

     

Formartine United

5

Elgin City

1

Scorers: Michael Ewen (15) Cammy Keith (50 pen, 56, 61) Craig McKeown   (90)

 

Scorers: Sean Crighton (6)

 

Andy Shearer, Stephen Jeffrey, Stuart Smith, Craig McKeown, Mark   Smith (Hamish Munro 70), Gary Clark (Paul Napier 80), Daniel Park, Neil   McVitie (Calum Bagshaw 64), Cammy Keith, Michael Ewen, Joe Hamill

 

Ray Jellema, Brian Cameron, Graeme Beveridge (Ally Mackenzie 70),   Sean Crighton, Jamie Duff, David Niven, Craig Gunn (Darryl McHardy 84), Paul   Harkins (Adam McLeod 87), Dennis Wyness, Shane Sutherland, Ross Mackinnon

 

Subs: Stuart Soane, John Calder

 

Subs: Cieran McLean, Stuart Black.

 

Booked: Gary Clark (46) Daniel Park (76)

 

Booked: Jamie Duff (36) Brian Cameron (82) Darryl McHardy (89)

 

Sent Off:

 

Sent Off: Sean Crighton (50)

 

Referee: D Somers

     

Evening   Express
  Aberdeenshire Shield Q Final

     

Wednesday 21st   August 2013

     

Full Time

     

Buckie Thistle

2

Cove Rangers

3

Scorers: Neil Davidson (45, 87)

 

Scorers: Jordan Leyden (32,   75) Jamie Lennox (81)

 

Kevin Main, Shaun Wood (Chris Angus 46), Harry Noble, Chris Hegarty (Sean   Carrol 77), Lewis Mackinnon, Iain Macrae, Aaron Conway, Graeme Stewart, Craig   Macmillan, Jordan Sutherland ( Fraser Forbes 77), Neil Davidson

 

Greig Sim, Scott Webster (Scott Burke 26), Dean Lawrie, Roy McBain,   Alan Redford, Eric Watson, Conor Scully, Blair Yule, Jordan Leyden, Jamie   McLachlan (Jamie Lennox 62), Ryan Stott

 

Subs: Nikki Smith, Daniel Bell

 

Subs: Barrie Stephen, Stirling Smith, Craig Reid

 

Booked:

 

Booked:

 

Sent Off:

 

Sent Off:

 

Referee: Andrew Milne

     

Full Time

     

Huntly

4

Fraserburgh

2

Scorers: Andrzej Kleczkowski (5, 90) Michael Hart (56) Neale Davidson   (79)

 

Scorers: Steven Main (11) Courtney Cooper (25)

 

Shaun Barney, Michael Clark (Mark Gray 70), Sam Mackenzie (Alex Thoirs   73), Michael Hart, Craig Dorrat, Pawel Nowacki, Russell Guild, Neale   Davidson, Andrzej Kleczkowski, David Booth, Marek Madel (Petr Stepanek 73)

 

Paul Leask, Marc Dickson, Russell McBride, Neil Main (Graham Johnston   68), Ryan Christie John Chalmers, Courtney Cooper, Willie West (Steven   Davidson 82), Grant Noble (, John Willox 82), Mark Cowie, Steven Main

 

Subs: Daniel Stewart, Rhys Leiper

 

Subs: Ryan Cowie, Zac Conway

 

Booked: Craig Dorrat (71)   Michael Clark (75)

 

Booked: Steven Main (56)

 

Sent Off:

 

Sent Off:

 

Referee: Graham Beaton

     

 

Formartine United v Elgin City

An outswinging corner from Paul Harkins was met at the fat post by Sean Crighton who bulleted home a header to give the League Two outfit a sixth minute lead.

It was all square on the quarter hour when Jamie Duff’s attempted clearance was charged down by Neil McVitie who bore down on goal before unselfishly squaring the ball for Mike Ewen to sidefoot into the empty net.

The ball fell for Dennis Wyness and his angled shot beat Andy Shearer but came back off the far post. It fell kindly for Jamie Duff but his sidefooted finish was cleared on the line by Stephen Jeffrey. From the resulting corner Shane Sutherland and from virtually the same spot as Dennis Wyness his shot also came back off the far post before the home side cleared.

Half time 1-1

The SHFL side were in the driving seat in the 50th minute when a Joe Hamill free kick was initially cleared but reloaded by Daniel Park. It was controlled by Neil McVitie who squeezed a shot past Ray Jemella but Sean Crighton handled on the line. He saw red while Cammy Keith stepped up to slot the penalty into the keepers bottom left corner.

City hit the woodwork with a glancing header from Jamie Duff but on the counter attack Daniel Park ball in from the right was met by Cammy Keith at the near post and he flicked it across the keeper and into the net.

Mike Ewen released down the left and he took the ball to the byeline with a lightning burst of pace and he pulled the ball back to Cammy Keith who took a touch to set himself up for a drilled finish that flew low past the helpless keeper to complete an 11 minute hat trick.

Formartine rounded off the night by completing their nap hand in the final minute when Craig McKeown’s 25 yard free kick was deflected past Ray Jemella to put a broad smile on the face of former Elgin City manager Steve Paterson

Full Time: Formartine United 5 Elgin City 1

Buckie Thistle v Cove Rangers

Jordan Leyden opened the scoring for Cove when he skipped past Graeme Stewart before unleashing a strike into Kevin Main's top right corner, giving the keeper no chance from 25 yards just after the half hour. Neil Davidson grabbed a leveller with the last touch of the half. He rose highest to meet Graeme Stewart's deep cross to convert past Greg Sim.

Jordan Leyden grabbed his second in the 75th minute. Main dove in at the attackers feet and Leyden casually lobbed it over the body after a neat ball from Blair Yule then Jamie Lennox converted past Kevin Main after loose defending in the Buckie penalty area gave the substitute plenty time to pick his spot.

Neil Davidson grabbed a life-line in the 87th minute for The Jags, his low strike squirmed through the legs of Sim and into the back of the net for his brace, but it proved fruitless as Cove held on to book a home tie against either Turriff or Formartine.

Full Time: Buckie Thistle 2 Cove Rangers 3

Huntly v Fraserburgh

Fraserburgh had an early chance but Shaun Barney used his legs to deny Grant Noble. At the other end Huntly proved to be that bit more clinical as Neale Davidson down the left wing and his cross was headed in off the far post by Andrzej Kleczkowski in the fifth minute.

The game was all level on the eleventh minute when a free kick won by Steven Main saw the veteran get up to place the ball over the wall and into the top corner of the net to the delight of the travelling support.

It was the Broch’s turn to go ahead in the 25th minute when a low cross-come-shot by Mark Cowie and it was bundled over the line by Courtney Cooper

Half Time: 1-2

Steven Main had scored a free kick in the first half but a foul by the same player eleven minutes into the second period gave Huntly the chance to level. Michael Hart stepped forward and placed a similarly impressive set piece effort past Paul Leask to put the game back in the balance.

Russell Guild headed the ball down the line for Andrzej Kleczkowski delivered the cross to the far post where Neale Davidson was able to squeeze it home from a tight angle to put Dave McGinlay’s side back in front.

The icing was on the cake in the final minute when Petr Stepanek’s delivery was headed goalwards by Russell Guild, although it was initially kept out Andrzej Kleczkowski was on hand to hook a volley home from close range to send the Black and Golds planning a trip to either Inverurie or Spain (Park) in the semi finals.

Full Time: Huntly 4 Fraserburgh 2

Sayings Snippets 17th August 2013

We now round up the weekend's reaction to the nine Press and Journal Highland League games played.

Brora Rangers 1-0 Buckie Thistle
Davie Kirkwood
In the first-half we played quite well in large spells of the game, but in the second-half it was really scrappy. Maybe it was just the opposition trying to break up our play because we're such a free-flowing side.

Gary Hake

Disappointed, especially just being 1-0 down at half-time. They had a lot of balls in the box in the first-half as we were against the wind, but we defended really well. We came out well in the second-half and took the game to Brora, and I think we deserved a couple of goals at least.

Cove Rangers 1-2 Nairn County
Kevin Tindal
We started the game well but it eased itself out. There were decisions either way but we were still on top at half time, had our noses in front. I was more concerned that we just lost all shape in the second half. For 15-20 minutes, Nairn were on top, capitalised and got their two goals. But we still had chances.

Les Fridge
We came here against the League champions, never winners at Allan Park and come away with a great result and three points. It is going to be the hardest League in my time here, a lot of twists and turns from the off, you cannot guarantee anything.

Forres Mechanics 1-1 Huntly
Charlie Rowley
I am really disappointed with our performance but if I can take any positives out of the game it is that we have managed to get a draw while playing well below our best, so that is very pleasing. We didn't deserve to win the match by any stretch of the imagination so a draw is probably the best we could have hoped for.

Dave McGinlay
Both teams tried to play football, both teams looked a threat in what were challenging conditions but Stuart Knight was by far Forres' best player and that gives you a good idea of the pattern of the game.

Fort William 0-5 Formartine United
Danny Conlon
We played quite well in the first-half but our defending was poor for the first two goals, and against a side like Formartine you will pay the price for that. Going forward we kept Andy Shearer busy with a couple of good efforts.

Steve Paterson
I was glad to get the three points in the end. Fort worked hard but once we got the first goal we went on and made it comfortable in the end.

Inverurie Loco Works 4-3 Turriff United
Kenny Coull
It was an eventful game with plenty of talking points, although there wasn't a great deal of entertaining football on display.

James Duthie
The game was locked at 1-1 when Mike McKenzie got sent-off, so with ten men we did brilliantly to then go 3-1 up after that. 

Keith 5-0 Rothes
Darren Still
We played some good stuff in the first-half, and our finishing was ruthless. In the second-half though we didn't play nearly as well, we lacked the same spark.

Graeme Roy
It was a disappointing way to come off our win against Fort William the week before. We tried to stop Keith playing in the first-half but it didn't work for us.

Lossiemouth 1-1 Clachnacuddin
Stevie Dunn
We were put under the cosh in the last ten minutes or so but held firm. It was a deserved point in the end. It was a great finish by Matt Davidson, and it changed our team talk altogether as we were struggling a bit in the first-half but once we got the goal it was totally different.

Ian Polworth
Things are definitely not running our way at the moment. We had enough chances to win the game but they're not falling to the right people, or we're not sharp enough. One ball over the top has cost us. We're missing a few boys but that's no excuse.

Strathspey Thistle 0-4 Deveronvale
Brian Grant
We said to the lads at half-time that at 1-0, the next goal was all-important. We thought we had got it, but Vale went up the park and scored near enough after. I'd have liked to see what happened if the goal had stood. We were on a high at that point.

Charlie Charlesworth
I thought the shape of Strathspey was the best I've seen it in a while and they had a real go for 20-25 minutes in the second period. Our one goal lead looked a bit fragile at that point from a great individual goal from Craig Simpson. We were just about to change formation to give a bit of protection when Rodge scored with an assisted free kick.

Wick Academy 3-0 Fraserburgh
Barry Wilson
Fraserburgh put us under a bit of pressure in the first 15 minutes or so. We then made a few changes to our set-up that worked. We scored a great first goal, and then finished the game off in the spell before half-time.

Kris Hunter
We created chances in the game but couldn't finish them, while Wick had three chances and took them all. We didn't make their goalkeeper work. It was too easy for them. 

League Table

Rank Teams Played Points Current form
1 Cove Rangers 20 56 WWWWW
2 Fraserburgh 21 48 WLWWD
3 Inverurie Locos 23 48 WWLWD
4 Formartine United 21 43 LWWWW
5 Forres Mechanics 21 42 WWWWW
6 Buckie Thistle 23 42 WWLDW
7 Brora Rangers 19 41 WWWLD
8 Huntly 22 38 LWWLL
9 Rothes 21 31 WWLDL
10 Deveronvale 21 29 WWLDL
11 Nairn County 20 29 LWLWD
12 Clachnacuddin 22 28 DWWLW
13 Turriff United 21 24 LLLLL
14 Wick Academy 18 23 LDDWW
15 Keith 23 11 WLLLL
16 Lossiemouth 24 11 WLWLL
17 Strathspey Thistle 20 3 LLLLL
18 Fort William 20 1 LLLLL

Recent Results

20-01-2018 15:00 - Scottish Cup Fourth Round
East Fife 0 : 1 Brora Rangers
13-01-2018 15:00 - SHFL Week 25
Huntly 1 : 2 Buckie Thistle
Turriff United 0 : 4 Cove Rangers
Wick Academy 2 : 0 Keith
Lossiemouth 0 : 6 Formartine United
Inverurie Locos 2 : 2 Fraserburgh
Fort William 1 : 9 Forres Mechanics
06-01-2018 15:00 - SHFL Week 24
Fraserburgh 7 : 0 Fort William
Buckie Thistle 2 : 2 Brora Rangers
30-12-2017 15:00 - SHFL Week 23
Buckie Thistle 0 : 2 Cove Rangers
Lossiemouth 1 : 2 Wick Academy
23-12-2017 15:00 - SHFL Week 22
Deveronvale 2 : 3 Cove Rangers
Wick Academy 1 : 1 Nairn County
Fort William 3 : 4 Lossiemouth
Fraserburgh 7 : 0 Huntly
Inverurie Locos 5 : 0 Strathspey Thistle
Forres Mechanics 3 : 2 Brora Rangers
Keith 0 : 3 Clachnacuddin

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Next Fixtures

31-01-2018 19:45 - Scottish Cup Fourth Round
Fraserburgh - : - Rangers
31-01-2018 20:00 - Scottish Cup Fourth Round
Formartine United - : - Cove Rangers

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