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Forres Mechanics 0 Rothes 7: Gordon Connelly's debut ends with Moray derby drubbing


By Jonathan Clark

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AS far as managerial debuts go, Gordon Connelly's at Forres Mechanics was not one to remember.

The new boss was in the dugout on Wednesday night – along with assistant managers Steven Macdonald and Brian Macleod – to see the Cans crushed 7-0 by Moray rivals Rothes at Mosset Park.

Forres Mechanics' new management team. Gordon Connelly (centre) is joined by Steven Macdonald (left) and Brian Macleod (right). Picture: Becky Saunderson
Forres Mechanics' new management team. Gordon Connelly (centre) is joined by Steven Macdonald (left) and Brian Macleod (right). Picture: Becky Saunderson
Gordon Connelly checking his watch after the second goal, as a shocked Steven Macdonald looks on. Picture: Becky Saunderson
Gordon Connelly checking his watch after the second goal, as a shocked Steven Macdonald looks on. Picture: Becky Saunderson

It was always set to be a tough task for Connelly and co against Rothes, who ran out 3-0 winners in Forres earlier this season in the North Cup, but the manager was less than pleased with what he saw.

He said: "Rothes were pretty dominant throughout. You can see they are well drilled and you can see why they are so high up the table.

"We knew we had a tough job on our hands with the squad – it's limited and there's a rebuild needed – but we're not hiding from that fact.

"The players need to go home and reflect on what they've been doing for the past four or five months.

Forres' new manager Gordon Connelly. Picture: Becky Saunderson
Forres' new manager Gordon Connelly. Picture: Becky Saunderson

"Fitness levels looked short, sharpness looked short, and you can see they're lacking confidence.

"We've got a lot of work to do. We need to change their mentality."

The game started evenly, before Rothes took the lead out of the blue on 24 minutes as former Forres midfielder Alan Pollock got in down the right and drilled the ball across for Jack Brown to tap in at the near post.

Jack Brown puts Rothes 1-0 up, turning in Alan Pollock's cross at the near post. Picture: Becky Saunderson
Jack Brown puts Rothes 1-0 up, turning in Alan Pollock's cross at the near post. Picture: Becky Saunderson
Rothes players celebrate going 1-0 up. Picture: Becky Saunderson
Rothes players celebrate going 1-0 up. Picture: Becky Saunderson

The next chance brought about the next goal for the visitors on 40 minutes, with Jack Brown doing well to evade two tackles in the middle of the park before playing in Gary Kerr to slot home calmly, again at the near post.

Gary Kerr races through on goal and slots away to make it 2-0 to Rothes. Picture: Becky Saunderson
Gary Kerr races through on goal and slots away to make it 2-0 to Rothes. Picture: Becky Saunderson

Rothes had the ball in the net for a third time before the break as Fraser Robertson's shot deflected in off Gary Kerr – but the big striker was in an offside position.

The floodgates well and truly opened on 66 minutes. Pollock was again the provider, playing a neat ball in behind the defence for Lewis Hyde to clip over stand-in Forres keeper Ruardhri Nicol.

The fourth followed five minutes later as the outstanding Jack Brown fired in from 16 yards, with a fifth added by substitute Aidan Wilson, who raced through on goal and slotted home.

Another substitute Greg Morrison almost scored the pick of the bunch as he raced through the entire Forres midfield and defence on 85 minutes but prodded just wide.

Forres' Martin Groat and Rothes' Greg Morrison challenging for the ball in the air. Picture: Becky Saunderson
Forres' Martin Groat and Rothes' Greg Morrison challenging for the ball in the air. Picture: Becky Saunderson

The sixth came from a corner with two minutes to play through a bullet header from Michael Finnis, with Alan Pollock's deflected shot in the last minute sealing a 7-0 win for the Speysiders.

The emphatic victory moves Rothes up to second in the table. There's only one team left above them – and that's Fraserburgh, who are the visitors to Mosset Park on Saturday afternoon.

Mechanics are likely to be without central defenders Ruari Fraser (chest) and Graham Fraser (back), who went off last night, for this weekend.

Alan Pollock under pressure from Forres defender Ruari Fraser. Picture: Becky Saunderson
Alan Pollock under pressure from Forres defender Ruari Fraser. Picture: Becky Saunderson

Connelly added: "It's gone now. We need to regroup and take a look at the Broch on Saturday.

"It doesn't matter who we are playing, we have to regroup very quickly.

"We have to look at the shape, look at the injuries and start to stamp our own authority on the team.

"Hopefully Graham will recover. If not we'll be very short at the back for Saturday."

Forres' Allan Macphee, who returned to the squad having been transfer listed, and Alan Pollock. Picture: Becky Saunderson
Forres' Allan Macphee, who returned to the squad having been transfer listed, and Alan Pollock. Picture: Becky Saunderson


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