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Moray's all-Highland League Scottish Cup tie between Forres Mechanics and Buckie Thistle at Mosset Park is being eagerly anticipated

By Craig Christie

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Forres Mechanics manager Steven MacDonald is excited by the prospect of hosting Buckie Thistle in this weekend’s only all-Highland League Scottish Cup tie.

Forres Mechanics boss Steven MacDonald (right) will battle it out with Buckie counterpart Graeme Stewart for cup glory.
Forres Mechanics boss Steven MacDonald (right) will battle it out with Buckie counterpart Graeme Stewart for cup glory.

The Moray pair meet at Mosset Park in a second round clash, with MacDonald urging his young side to push their more fancied opponents to their limits.

Mechanics led Jags at half time in a league meeting between the sides this season, before Buckie hit back for a 3-1win at Victoria Park.

“We will try and cause them problems,” said MacDonald. “We took the lead down there in the league and went in 1-0 up at half time, so it does give us optimism that we can hurt them.

“But it will be about putting the whole game together, as in the second half Buckie found another level and that caught us out.

“I’m pretty positive that we can cause problems for them and there’s optimism for us ahead of what is a big game for the club.

“It should be an exciting game. The fact that we are at home is certainly an advantage for us. Hopefully we can take it to them.”

Forres’ home game against Huntly on Saturday was postponed along with the entire Highland League programme, a measure taken to protect anyone travelling when Storm Babet had caused major disruptions across the north.

MacDonald saw his men survive a scare in the last round when they were taken to penalties by North Caledonian hosts Golspie Sutherland. Now the Cans will be the underdogs, facing a Jags’ side who are again strong title contenders.

“I’m sure if we can take the initiative against them and get that first goal it can make a big difference,” MacDonald added.

“It’s all on the day and Golspie showed that in our last game. We knew they would make it difficult on their big cup day and things can happen within that 90 minutes - in our case we got a player sent off.

“That’s what the excitement of the cup is all about and we are looking forward to Saturday.”

That sending off will cost Forres a player, with Jack Grant suspended for Saturday due to his red card.

Goalkeeper Lee Herbert is battling to be fit to face his former club after injuring his shoulder in his team’s last outing, the 1-1 league draw with Clach. Aiden MacDonald, currently on loan at Burghead Thistle, is on stand-by to deputise.

Herbert would have missed Saturday’s Huntly game, and his manager drafted in Caley Thistle youngster Corey Paterson as one of three youngsters taken in on loan from the Inverness club.

Centre backs Jack Walker and Sam Nixon have also joined Cans to bolster their defensive options - Walker played one game for the Mosset Park side at the start of the season.

“They will give us something different and I’m looking forward to seeing what the boys can do,” MacDonald said.

Summer signing Samba Badjana has left the club.

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