Forres end Fraserburgh's winning start
A FORRES Mechanics side missing key players pulled off a surprise on Saturday to end Fraserburgh’s winning start to the Highland League campaign at Bellslea Park.
League leaders Fraserburgh raced into a two goal lead after half an hour thanks to a Paul Campbell double, but Andy Macrae reduced the deficit before half-time.
Sean Butcher made it 3-1 on 52 minutes but again Forres came back with goals from Andy Macrae and auxiliary striker Aaron Hamilton securing a point late on.
Considering Mechanics were without top scorer Allan MacPhee (work), Stuart Soane (calf injury), Martin Groat (wedding) and Callum Johnston (pre-booked holiday) – the draw is a top result.
Manager Charlie Rowley was full of praise for his youngsters. He said: "There was a wee bit of apprehension going into the game but we felt we were more than capable of getting something. The young ones came in and did what was expected of them. They showed great attitude and good quality so it was a really positive result."
Joe Gauld, Owen Paterson and Aaron Hamilton came into the line-up to replace Soane, Groat and MacPhee. Logan Ward also made his first team debut late on, while Ross MacPherson returned from injury and is expected to continue his recovery at home to Wick Academy on Wednesday.
Rowley added: "Joe just turned 17 a couple of weeks ago and has next to nothing in terms of experience at this level but we have high hopes for him. He is shining in training.
"Owen has been with us a good few years and continues to improve. Technically they are both more than capable and the physical aspect will come with experience. I’m absolutely delighted with their impact on Saturday.
"Aaron has got two goals playing up front now – so maybe that's something we'll look at further down the line!
"Logan has been training on and off with us and has been playing for the 20s. He played extremely well against Lossie in the 20s. When the young ones get their chance they have to take it and Logan didn't do himself any harm on Saturday."
While Saturday’s result was good, it won’t count for anything if Wick aren’t beaten at Mosset Park this midweek, Rowley added.
"They had a good win on Saturday (2-0 v Turriff United) but we have the momentum in terms of positives results. We will be stronger in terms of squad numbers which gives me a massive headache in terms of who to take back in if any.
"There’s no point in going to Fraserburgh and getting a hugely positive result and then letting ourselves down by not getting the three points against Wick.
"We'll certainly be going all out to get the points."
The two teams go into Wednesday’s match level on seven points. Kick-off is 8pm.