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Forres will have just one footballing representative in competitive action this season, and it will be the junior league Forres Thistle flying the flag for the town.

By Staff Reporter

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While Forres Mechanics sit out the Highland League season, Forres Thistle are taking part in the north junior campaign and host Deveronside in their opening Grill Cup match on Saturday.

Owen Paterson has joined Forres Thistle for the season. Photo: Daniel Forsyth
Owen Paterson has joined Forres Thistle for the season. Photo: Daniel Forsyth

Mechanics absence has helped their junior neighbours out, with the Cans loaning out midfielder Owen Paterson to Thistle to team up with his brother Ross at the club.

The demise of Mechanics under-20s team has led to Jags recruiting promising youngster Logan Ward.

It won’t be a full junior season for Jags, as they are set to take part in a regionalised mini-league beginning in January after the cup competition is concluded.

Manager Tony Ross says the one-off format will allow him to experiment with players and tactics in a less pressurised environment.

“It’s competitive football that the boys are looking forward to getting back to,” he said.

“It is going to be different and gives us a chance to try some different things, selections and formations. You always want to do as well as you can, but it’s not the same pressure on us as we would have in our own league.

“The Grill Cup is going to be the only normal thing about the season, and I think we’ve qualified from our group in the past two seasons, so it’s a competition we seem to do well in.

“We beat Deveronside in one of the cups last season, and we also have New Elgin and Whitehills in our section.”

Jags warmed up for their competitive opener in some style last weekend, taking the scalp of Highland League Clachnacuddin in a friendly at Logie Park.

It didn’t start too well for the home side as young Lossiemouth goalkeeper Rian Wilson, Matty Milne and Stewart Hunter all went off injured in the first 20 minutes. Clach took the
lead before Matty Fraser equalised, then missed a penalty.

Matty Fraser netted in Jags win over Clach.
Matty Fraser netted in Jags win over Clach.

A superb solo effort by Charlie Beck edged Thistle ahead and after Clach scored for a second time, former Nairn St Ninian trialist Robbie MacDonald was in the right place to knock in the winning goal.

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