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Could Buckie Thistle make a huge step towards Highland League title glory tonight as a five-goal win at bottom-of-the-league Strathspey Thistle will put them top going into the final weekend?

By Craig Christie

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Tonight, Buckie Thistle could take a huge step towards the Highland League title and ending their seven-year trophy wait.

Buckie Thistle manager Graeme Stewart could be closing in on the Highland League title. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Buckie Thistle manager Graeme Stewart could be closing in on the Highland League title. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

A five-goal victory at bottom-of-the-league strugglers Strathspey Thistle would put Jags top of the table for the first time since the start of October.

It would take them above leaders Brechin City, who could only manage a single goal victory at Keith last night when goal difference looks certain to determine who this season’s champions will be.

Kevin McHattie’s 67th minute strike at Kynoch Park edged Brechin three points ahead of Buckie and their goal difference is five better than Jags’.

The onus is now on Buckie to post a high-scoring win tonight in Grantown against a Strathspey side who they have already defeated 6-1 this week at Victoria Park.

There’s no doubt that Jags’ legs will be weary, as this is their fifth match in nine days - they have beaten Keith, Brora Rangers, Deveronvale and Strathspey in a determined run so far.

But Strathspey will also feel fatigue from Monday when Buckie gave them the run around, and Buckie’s superior squad depth should allow them to run up another high score.

The Grantown side has conceded an eye-watering 133 goals in 32 league outings this season, while Buckie are the highest-scoring team in the league with 90 goals netted in their 32 contests.

Graeme Stewart’s side could lay down a significant marker with a big scoreline to go top of the table with just Saturday’s fixtures left for both themselves and Brechin.

Jags even have the more favourable final match, being on home soil against Keith while Brechin have to make the long journey north to face tough opponents in Brora Rangers.

It’s clear that Buckie are now title favourites and if they can maintain their focus, a first honour since Stewart led the green and whites to Highland League glory in 2017 can be theirs.

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