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Forres star puts on a treble set piece show

By Craig Christie

Forres Mechanics v Buckie Thistle, Forres Mechanics, Robbie Duncanson, Highland League
Forres Mechanics v Buckie Thistle, Forres Mechanics, Robbie Duncanson, Highland League

A SENSATIONAL hat-trick on Saturday helped Robbie Duncanson reclaim the role of Forres Mechanics' free kick specialist.

Maybe not even Messi or Ronaldo can lay claim to scoring three set piece strikes in the same game, but Duncanson did it – and in style – with three rocket shots in Cans' tremendous 7-2 win over Buckie Thistle.

The 34-year-old revealed how he was almost banned from taking free kicks after a woeful effort at Kynoch Park in his first campaign for the club.

But a 30-yard thunderbolt on Saturday earned him the right to take two more, which he whizzed into the Buckie net with similar venom and complete a unique scoring feat.

"I'm not actually one for taking the free kicks to be honest," he said. "In my first season at Forres I had a bad one away to Keith. I tried to do what I did on Saturday but put it miles high and wide so I took a fair bit of stick for that.

"I don't normally get on them with the likes of [Alan] Pollock in your team. You've got to fight for anything when a dead ball comes around. I think if the first one doesn't go in I probably wouldn't have got to take the other ones.

"The first one was about 30 yards, a good strike that's went in off the bar. That's the only one that's not made it on the social media on video. I don't think anybody was thinking I was going to shoot from there, so that's the only disappointment.

"The other two, the way the keeper had his wall set up he was always erring on the side that I would try and go over the wall. So I just decided to put the head down and blast it at his side.

"If you say you are actually aiming for the top corner then you are probably lying. You are just sort of looking to get it on target."

Duncanson didn't even expect to be playing against Buckie, having been benched for Mechanics' wins against Huntly and Turriff.

Boss Charlie Rowley employed a flat midfield three in those games, sacrificing Duncanson who tends to operate in the number 10 role just behind a lone striker.

"After getting two wins, I was thinking I am probably going to be sitting on the bench again," he said. "But Charlie went back to a formation that lets the more attacking players play with a wee bit of freedom. I think that showed, not only in my performance but in Andy Macrae's as well. It was good to see him back in amongst the goals again."

Macrae also plundered a hat-trick as the Cans ran riot against a Buckie side who had been climbing the league table after a good run of results.

Forres made the dream start, Stuart Soane nodding in his 15th of the season from a Duncanson corner on just two minutes.

Duncanson's first free kick made it 2-0 on 20 minutes and he repeated the feat from a more modest 22 yards on the half hour.

Macrae sped through to make it 4-0 on 37 minutes, and added two more in the second half, including a penalty kick.

Buckie enjoyed a good spell during which Callum Murray and Andy Skinner pulled two back, but Duncanson had the last say with another brilliant free kick into the top corner to wrap up Mechanics' most impressive victory of the campaign.

"We actually did a quiz on the bus on the way down to our Scottish Cup game recently and there was one about naming all our goalscorers," said Duncanson.

"Quite a lot of people were shocked – and it surprised me a wee bit – when I realised I hadn't scored in a competitive game.

"So it was nice to get rid of that and at least I got rid of it by scoring a few."

* Read the match report in this week's Forres Gazette.

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