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Robbie rolls back years in Cans' win

By Craig Christie

Robbie Duncanson, Strathspey Thistle v Forres Mechanics, Forres Mechanics, Highland League Cup
Robbie Duncanson, Strathspey Thistle v Forres Mechanics, Forres Mechanics, Highland League Cup

A 'VINTAGE' display by Robbie Duncanson had Forres Mechanics' boss Charlie Rowley wishing his veteran attacker was in his prime years at Mosset Park.

The 34-year-old rolled back the years with two fine goals and an excellent display in Mechanics' 5-2 Highland League Cup success at Strathspey Thistle on Saturday.

Duncanson, who scored a sensational hat-trick of free-kicks in the recent 7-2 win over Buckie, netted another brilliant set piece as well as heading home a second goal and pulling the strings in the number 10 role for Cans.

"There's a big regret that we didn't get Robbie Duncanson in his pomp," said manager Rowley. "I felt he was back to his vintage best on Saturday.

"It was really good watching him play to his full potential and he got rewarded with an incredible free-kick and a good headed goal for his second. But his all-round play is a joy to watch at times when he is on song."

Joining Duncanson in scoring two goals at Seafield Park last weekend was summer signing Liam Taylor, who has taken on the lone striking role in the absence of injured pair Lee Fraser and Stuart Soane.

Taylor, who Rowley spotted playing a trial game for Fort William at the start of this season and snapped up before he could sign for the Lochaber side, made a good impression with his boss.

"Liam is the main striker, and he had a great header for the first goal and a typical poacher's finish for the second.

"He is on to seven goals now and proving to be a real find for us, there's no question about that."

Forres were in trouble when an error by on-loan Lossiemouth keeper Blair Moir allowed a Ross Naismith corner-kick to go straight in and give Thistle a 15th minute lead. Taylor nodded the Cans level and Duncanson's trademark free-kick stunner put them in front, with the home side also having centre-back Martin Duncan sent off at this stage of the game.

However, ex-Forres man John Cameron levelled on the stroke of half-time and Mechanics did toil for a spell to overcome their 10-man opponents.

In the closing 15 minutes Taylor and Duncanson both netted again, with Ross MacPherson's second of the season sealing the win and a trip to Wick Academy in the quarter-finals.

Moir may have to continue to deputise in goal for the injured Stuart Knight, who is struggling to make Saturday's home league clash against Keith.

"I don't think Blair had anything else to do on Saturday apart from the couple of mistakes for their goals, which was unfortunate on his behalf."

Martin Groat has resumed training and could return to the squad to face Keith, but Graham Fraser now serves a two-match ban.

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