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Dream start at Forres Mechanics for Callum Murray who made the tough decision to leave home town Buckie Thistle this summer

By Craig Christie

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CALLUM Murray made a dream Forres Mechanics debut by scoring a hat trick to kick off their Highland League season in style.

Hat-trick hero Callum Murray. Forres Mechanics Twitter.
Hat-trick hero Callum Murray. Forres Mechanics Twitter.

Cans won 4-0 at Strathspey Thistle with Murray netting twice inside the opening seven minutes of his first outing for the club he joined in the summer.

A third came for Murray after Forres had been reduced to 10 men following Callum Johnston’s first half red card, before Ben Barron finished off a fine afternoon for the Mosset Park men.

“I’m not really known for getting that many goals,” said Murray.

“It’s my first hat trick in the Highland League. You couldn’t ask for a better start to the season.”
Callum Murray scores for Buckie in the Scottish Cup against Caley Thistle. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Callum Murray scores for Buckie in the Scottish Cup against Caley Thistle. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

He took just four minutes to open his Forres account, meeting fellow new signing Andrew Skinner’s dinked cross to the back post with a header back across the keeper into the net.

Within a couple of minutes, Johnston cut in from the right and teed Murray up for a right foot shot to make it 2-0.

Johnston was dismissed late in the half for two bookings but the numerical disadvantage was never evident as Forres went on to seal victory in the second half.

Barron’s flick released Murray 10 minutes after half time and he raced through to nutmeg the keeper and complete his treble.

Murray missed a large chunk of last season at Buckie Thistle through injury and admitted he is still short of match fitness – a stark warning to Highland League defences when he does get up to full speed.

“I did most of pre-season but I started a new job and was away doing my training courses so I only managed to train at weekends and that set me back a bit,” he said. “And I hadn’t played since last October so I’m still trying to get match fit.

“I had to come off and I was struggling a bit, pretty shattered.”

Murray isn't getting carried away by his superb start on the scoring front, setting himself a modest target of getting into double figures in goals this season.

"It's something I've noticed that I need to add to my game, getting more goals.

Callum Murray was six years at home town Buckie. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Callum Murray was six years at home town Buckie. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

"I've always noticed by the end of each season that I've not really had high, high numbers compared to some of the boys at Buckie.

"Hopefully I can get the numbers up more this year."

He realises he will be one of the more experienced players in the Mechanics team this season.

"There's only five or six older than me in the squad and that's not by much. So it is a young team."

After six years at his hometown Buckie, Murray said it was difficult to leave but he needed to be playing every week.

"It was a hard decision. When it came up there was a possibility I could leave, I had to look at it.

"Buckie did say they were hoping for me to stay but I wasn't guaranteed games and after missing pretty much a whole year of football I didn't want to come back and be in and out of the team and be on the bench.

"It was time for me to get back playing regularly and it wasn't going to be easy getting that at Buckie."

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