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Forres Mechanics 2 Turriff United 1: "Emotional day" as Charlie Rowley era ends with Highland League Cup victory


By Jonathan Clark

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Charlie Rowley (front and centre) and the Forres Mechanics players after the 2-1 victory over Turriff United. Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Charlie Rowley (front and centre) and the Forres Mechanics players after the 2-1 victory over Turriff United. Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..

CHARLIE Rowley's reign as Forres Mechanics manager ended on a high with a 2-1 Highland League Cup win over Turriff United.

It was an emotional day at Mosset Park, with an on-pitch presentation post-match as Mechanics players, staff and fans paid tribute to their boss of 11 and a half years.

Both sets of players formed a guard of honour for Rowley after full-time, before he was presented with a quaich and a canvas.

Charlie Rowley walks out and receives a guard of honour after his last game in charge of Forres Mechanic. Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Charlie Rowley walks out and receives a guard of honour after his last game in charge of Forres Mechanic. Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Both teams took part in the guard of honour for Charlie Rowley. Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Both teams took part in the guard of honour for Charlie Rowley. Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Charlie Rowley thanks the players during his guard of honour. Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Charlie Rowley thanks the players during his guard of honour. Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..

The departing manager was delighted to sign off with a hard-fought victory in front of a good crowd, consisting of many members of his family.

He said: "It was emotional. I'm delighted so many folk felt I've done a good enough job and came to support us.

Charlie Rowley (left) applauds his side's winning goal. Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Charlie Rowley (left) applauds his side's winning goal. Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..

"It's been a pleasure working for this club. The fans have been nothing but supportive to myself, throughout the tough times and the good, and I'll leave with my head held high and proud of my achievements.

"It was a special day for my family, as well. As much as I've been the name involved with Forres, they've had to sacrifice a lot of things and have been supportive with me throughout.

"My twins, who are now 22, have only ever known me at Forres so it's a sad and disappointing day for them.

"But life moves on and things come to an end, whether they're good, bad or indifferent. Unfortunately, this good part of our lives is coming to an end and we are going to miss it greatly.

"But it's the right decision all things considered."

The match itself was anything but easy – with Turriff, who picked up a point at Mosset Park in the league, causing Forres plenty problems.

The visitors had the first chance on eight minutes as Keir Smith's flicked header went just over the bar.

Mechanics came to life after that, with Paul Brindle racing through one-on-one and dragging a shot just wide after a quarter of an hour.

Brindle was in again on 24 minutes after Robbie Duncanson found him with an inch-perfect pass, but this time he fired high and over the bar.

A shot from Mechanics forward Paul Brindle is fired over the bar. Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..
A shot from Mechanics forward Paul Brindle is fired over the bar. Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..

The breakthrough arrived on 27 minutes courtesy of Lee Fraser. Graham Fraser's long ball into the box was controlled and fired across goal by Brindle for the big striker to knock home from five yards.

Lee Fraser celebrates making it 1-0 to Forres..Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Lee Fraser celebrates making it 1-0 to Forres..Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..

Turriff forward Jordan Cooper was a whisker away from equalising within 60 seconds as his side-footed effort grazed the right-hand post and Cans defender Stuart Soane had to be sharp to clear off the line right before the half-time.

Despite a good start to the second period, Turriff equalised on 54 minutes through Cooper. A quick breakaway ended with Murray Esson finding the striker to slot in from 10 yards.

Lee Fraser was close to putting Forres back ahead 15 minutes later, but couldn't bundle Brindle's drilled cross over the line from close range.

At the other end, an Owen Paterson header off the line kept the scores level.

With five minutes remaining, and penalties looming, Robbie Duncanson was played through by Brindle and fired a first-time shot across Turriff keeper David Dey and in, sparking jubilant celebrations in front of the home dugout.

Robbie Duncanson (right) charges towards the home dugout to celebrate his winning goal alongside Owen Paterson (left). Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Robbie Duncanson (right) charges towards the home dugout to celebrate his winning goal alongside Owen Paterson (left). Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Forres players celebrate their second goal in front of Charlie Rowley and the Mechanics management team. Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Forres players celebrate their second goal in front of Charlie Rowley and the Mechanics management team. Forres Mechanics v Turriff United at Mosset Park...Picture: Becky Saunderson..

Rowley added: "It was hugely important to try to get the win – not just for me personally, but for the club to progress in the cup.

"It wasn't easy by any stretch of the imagination and, to be honest, I thought we played pretty poorly throughout.

"On another day Turriff could have won the game but our experience told in the end.

"Cup football is about getting through, we've done that and now the club can look forward to seeing who they get in the next round."



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