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Keith 4 Forres Mechanics 1: Form a worry for manager Rowley

By Jonathan Clark

FORRES Mechanics manager Charlie Rowley said there is “real concern” after his side’s humbling 4-1 defeat at the hands of Keith on Saturday.

After back-to-back defeats to Keith and Strathspey Thistle, Mechanics are now winless in five matches, although three of those came against sides in the league’s top four.

Forres midfielder Robbie Duncanson evades this challenge from Michael Selfridge. Picture: Becky Saunderson
Forres midfielder Robbie Duncanson evades this challenge from Michael Selfridge. Picture: Becky Saunderson

Rowley said: “There is real concern – we need to try to rectify our performances defensively to give ourselves a platform in games.

“Unfortunately we are not managing to do that just now but I’m confident we can come through this period. Right now it’s not very enjoyable.

“But there was no raised voices (in the dressing room) or going over the top.”

Keith were ahead on 16 minutes when a long throw in from Marc Young wasn’t dealt with allowing James Brownie to knock home from close range.

And it was 2-0 just minutes later as Craig Macaskill slotted into an empty net after Cammy Keith was denied by Stuart Knight.

Martin Groat was on hand to clear off the line as the hosts went close to making it 3-0 on 22 minutes – but that was to be his last kick as he went off with a rib injury and was replaced by James Ross.

Forres had plenty of chances before half-time. Stuart Soane teed up Owen Paterson to tap into an empty net after half an hour, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Paterson set up Soane just before the break as roles reversed – but this chance led to Keith killing the game as Soane slipped and the home side’s counter ended with Cammy Keith scoring the third.

It was 4-0 and game over on 51 minutes as Michael Selfridge cut in from the right and tucked the ball in neatly at the near post.

Forres began to play with 20 minutes remaining as Soane and Robbie Duncanson linked up well and a penalty was given for a foul on the latter. James Ross converted what proved to be scant consolation.

Just moments later, Ross nearly doubled his tally as he rattled the bar with a great curling effort.

Lee Fraser should have done better with the close-range rebound. Fraser was round the keeper a minute later and found Declan Hughes, but the Ross County loanee couldn’t get an effort away as the game ended 4-1.

Trying to dissect the result, Rowley added: “Our defensive performance from minute 15 until five minutes into the second half was as bad as I’ve seen in a long time.

“It was hugely disappointing. Unfortunately, I’m not knowledgeable enough to put my finger on why we are performing so badly just now.

“From minute 50 onwards we showed what we are capable of – but we weren’t as clinical as we would have liked to be in the final third.

“As much as we tried and pushed and harried we didn’t manage to get those second and third goals to make it an interesting end to the game.

“We had opportunities to get the goals but it would have probably been a bit harsh on Keith.”

Forres at home to Fraserburgh at the weekend, while Keith - now just two points behind the Cans - are at home to Lossiemouth.

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