Logie Park, North Region SJFA Division Two, 4/9/21
Entrance – £3.00 Me, £0 Wee Man
Attendance – 40 + 3 dogs
Pie – 2 Pies and coffee £5
Pint – N/A
Forres Thistle Football Club
Founded – 1906
Nickname – The Jags
Honours – North Region First Division (West)– 2002/03, North Regional League -1971/72 and 1979/80, Morayshire Junior League– 1926/27 and 1929/30
Random Fact – Forres Thistle won a bronze award in the Scotch Pie World Championships in 2018. I can agree the scotch pie was a delight. Absolutely stuffed with meat and flavoured brilliantly. This meaning that between themselves and neighbours Forres Mechanics, fitba punters will never go wrong in the Moray town as Mechanics steak pies are in my eyes the greatest on earth and Thistles Scotch pie was quite something too.
The visit to the Jags is part of me trying to complete the North Region set up. Before the trip up the A96 I had four to do, arguably three according to some as Bridge of Don Thistle play at the Sports Village which was Chris Anderson Stadium(where I have seen Lewis United in the past) in another life. Whether it counts as a new ground is a bit up in the air. The others are The Showground, Nairn St Ninian and Nicol Togneli Park, New Elgin. Whether it was three or four to go I have ticked one off now. What a day for it too. Scorching weather all across Moray. The day did not start at the fitba either, a wee stop off at the Moray Motor Museum in Elgin was a great plan by myself. This place is a hidden gem and highly recommended for anyone who likes cars or not as in my case. I am no petrol head but I loved it. The Jensen 541R is a thing of sheer beauty. If you find yourself in Elgin with a spare hour, give it a go. Brian the curator is a top bloke too.
Fitba wise I expected this to be a close game given the league positions with the home side sitting three points ahead of the Aberdeen side. The result may have suggested close but it was anything but. Forres will be kicking themselves for dropping points in the chase for the title, with Newmachar United and Rothie Rovers in early rampant form it is hard to see them dropping too many more points. Not the end of the world for the men in red but they really should have won this match.
I was impressed with the set up at Logie Park. This is a club who are not flush with cash but have enough in their wee hidden corner of Forres to play and train with the pitch plus adjacent pitch and area next to the clubhouse. The pitch is in a great condition barring a couple of burnt areas but as far as levelness goes the bubble would be dead centre. This made for the home team playing some good football with Mattie Davidson (11), Matty Fraser (7) and Charlie Beck (12) seeming to be their main men. The game started in the fashion it was to be played in for pretty much the entire 90 minutes and the first Forres chance fell to Fraser who after a full pitch counter attack was found by a Hutcheson ball but the effort was very well saved by the Glens number one. Forres continued to dominate and had a huge percentage of the possession but their decision making was a bit off, every ball into the box which there were many of just seemed to lead to poor decision making. Over hit balls, too many touches or poor finishes. Whether it was a poor day for them I am not sure but there was enough to finish off the Glens. Then in true fitba fashion, Glentanar took the lead completely against the run of play. A highly disputed free kick from the left hand touchline was thumped to the far side of the box from about thirty five yards out. Glens defender Ross Patterson was on had to place a very good header over the melee of players including the Jags keeper who was helpless as his bar was kissed by the ball on the way in. Whether it was a free kick or not, there is no taking anything away from the brilliant header. Moir was unlucky not to equalise from a free kick(see photo) not long after the opening goal when his effort made its way round the wall but it was solidly dealt with by a full stretch Glens keeper. The hosts really should have equalised in the dying seconds of the half when Hutcheson found the right hand upright leaving with a thunderous effort and Davidson had the goal at his mercy on the rebound but struck it far too close to the keeper who pulled off his third decent save of the match.
HT 0 v 1
The second half started with Forres on the front foot and there was an early chance for Tony Ross who pulled another fine save out of the Glentanar custodian. Fraser and Patterson both had decent chances but again were thwarted by the Glens keeper who was having an excellent match. The second half seemed to lose the its discipline and the tackles started to fly in from all angles. Wee Man even commented “there are heaps of free kicks today”. The game wasn’t far away from falling out of the referees control at this point. But Forres still went at Glentanar and finally found a way through. After a long delay due to a supposed foul on the Glentanar keeper, which wasn’t and where his “injury” came from was just absurd, the resulting corner found Hutcheson who expertly guided his header through a host of bodies finally getting the better of the Glens goalkeeper from ten yards out. The tackles continued to fly and the Jags continued to push but it was to no avail and the game ended in a stalemate. An extremely frustrating day for Forres Thistle who although not out of the title race would surely be looking at taking points off the top two before the end of the season as imperative to have any chance of silverware.(Beat Rothie and lost to Newmachar so far). It does look like a three way race for top spot
A quality day out with the Wee Man, a bit of culture pre-game and a decent serving of fitba. That and one step closer to conquering the North Region. Nairn next week for a step even closer? I wouldn’t rule it out
Me 206, Wee Man 74