Forres Thistle 6 Islavale 1: Jags hammer 'Vale in big win
FORRES Thistle tightened their grip on the North Region Juniors Second Division with a thumping 6-1 victory over Islavale at Logie Park on Saturday.
The comfortable success makes it nine wins out of nine in the league for Thistle this season and moves them ten points clear of fifth place Islavale, who were seen as title contenders before a ball was kicked this season, although ‘Vale have a game in hand.
Jags manager Tony Ross said: "“It was comfortable in the end. In the first half we were a bit ropey at times and gave away silly fouls. We were a bit nervy but once we got the players in at half-time we settled.
“In the second half we upped it and they couldn’t really live with us.”
Neil Moir gave Forres the lead within five minutes with a fine strike, but ‘Vale were level on 10 minutes courtesy of a header from Scott McIntosh.
Thistle keeper Dan Mcleod had to be on form to deny Richard Henderson and keep out a McIntosh free-kick in a fairly even first period.
Forres took the lead right on the stroke of the break as Mattie Davidson’s free-kick was fired towards the front post and turned in by Grant Duguid.
The second half was one way traffic as Thistle ran over their visitors.
Brandon Hutcheson won a penalty as he was clattered by Owen Christie on 50 minutes, and captain Davidson calmly stroked the ball into the bottom right corner for 3-1.
It was four almost immediately as George Knight’s outrageous effort from the tightest of angles looped over ‘Vale keeper Elliot Gordon and in. Impressive, if deliberate.
Thistle were cruising to victory and their task was made simpler as ‘Vale’s Richard Henderson was given quick-fire yellow cards – first for complaining and then for what the referee deemed to be sarcastic applause.
After being booked for diving, substitute Charlie Beck fired an effort in from the edge of the box with five minutes to go for 5-1, before the man who started the scoring rounded it off in stoppage time as Neil Moir bagged his second of the afternoon.
Tony Ross has overseen a vast improvement on last season since arriving in summer on the back of a relegation – although he credits the squad for that.
He added: "It's all about getting a squad together that is going to be there most Saturdays.
"We have 24 signed players, and have 16 most weekends. Last season there was 11 or 12 which wasn’t ideal.
"We are fitter and have brought in some experience as well.
"A lot of people have said we (the coaching staff) are doing a great job but the players have done everything we have asked of them. It's them that go out to play, score and win."
Thistle are back in league action on Saturday when they visit New Elgin looking for ten league wins a row.