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New signings and trialists impress Forres Mechanics manager Steven MacDonald as young Cans test SPFL Elgin City at Mosset Park


By Craig Christie

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Fresh faces have brought positivity to Forres Mechanics after a difficult few months at the Mosset Park club.

Forres Mechanics' manager Steven MacDonald...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Forres Mechanics' manager Steven MacDonald...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Manager Steven MacDonald gave a raft of new signings and trialists their first pre-season outing against Elgin City on Tuesday.

He took great encouragement from his young side’s first half performance in particular as they deservedly led a strong City side at the break.

Forres midfielder Tom Brady puts a tackle in on Elgin’s Owen Cairns. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Forres midfielder Tom Brady puts a tackle in on Elgin’s Owen Cairns. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

The match turned after the break when Mechanics’ SPFL neighbours introduced a string of established players and powered on to a 5-2 victory.

“I was pleased,” said MacDonald. “It was our first game and Elgin have had a couple before this. I thought we did really well in the first half and a lot of positive signs.

“Elgin took on the big guns at half time and it changed a bit. They got two quick goals which changed the game.

“We were obviously down to the bones at the end and it’s difficult when they are taking on a whole new team and some of our boys were feeling a bit weary in the second half.

“But in the first half you could see that the boy look fit and played a lot of good football, so there’s a lot of positives. Elgin showed their class in the end.

Mechanics new boy Aidan Cruickshank on the ball. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Mechanics new boy Aidan Cruickshank on the ball. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Cans have so far brought in ex-Clach midfielder Shaun Sutherland, attacker Aidan Cruickshank from Elgin, former Ross County full back Kaiden Connolly and goalkeeper Corey Patterson, captured from Caley Thistle after impressing on loan at Forres last term.

MacDonald has since added teenage forward Calum Brown on loan from Ross County, having played as a trialist on Tuesday.

He will lose stopper Ryan McRitchie later this year, as the former Rothes centre back has signed a pre-contract agreement to join Brora Rangers in October at the end of his current Mechanics deal.

MacDonald was also running the rule over left back Darren Mota, currently on a scholarship at Delta State university in Mississippi, USA, who went off in the match with a suspected broken collar bone.

Another former County player, Josh Taylor also came off the bench in the midweek bounce match.

“Corey is a really good goalkeeper and he had a couple of good saves in the second half so I’m really pleased with him.

“Aidan is a player who can make things happen and showed a lot of good skill in the first half and he was unlucky with a couple of opportunities. On another day we could have got a couple more goals in the first half.

New Cans’ signing Kaiden Connolly challenges Elgin’s Matt Jamieson. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
New Cans’ signing Kaiden Connolly challenges Elgin’s Matt Jamieson. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

“It was Kaiden’s first game and he did really well. His first half performance was excellent, and in the second half it got a bit overloaded down his side and he perhaps got a bit weary but it was a very positive performance.

“Shaun looked really good but he got a wee niggle in the first half, he was struggling a bit with his knee but he will be OK.

“Young Darren is over in America doing a scholarship over there and he is back just now. He did really well, I thought he was brilliant in the first half and unfortunately we got caught by a quick counter for the second goal and he got a really nasty one. They think it could be a broken collar bone, so he’s gone to hospital.

“He is going to go back to America for a wee while and we will see what happens after that.

“The big lad Calum Brown is coming on loan from Ross County until January.”

Mechanics will continue to play McRitchie in defence until he joins Brora, while Calum Howarth has missed most of pre-season due to injury but made a return as a sub against Elgin.

“Craig Mackenzie was working and Shaun Morrison is on holiday, Andrew Skinner has a wee ankle problem but we should have a couple back for Islavale on Saturday (kick off 1pm in Keith).

“There’s two or three things in the pipeline so we will see how things work out. You can see there’s something there but we need more strength in depth by adding to our squad.”




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