Newmachar Utd v Forres Thistle

Match Reports

Aug 01

Newmachar Utd 2-1 Forres Thistle

We welcomed one of our main challengers to Charlie’s with unbeaten records at stake. We had a full squad available apart from Dawson due to work commitments and Dylan Forsyth out with an ankle injury sustained at Whitehills.

Understandably the first half was a close affair with both teams trying to gain the advantage with very little between the teams. Mitchell was called into action within the first few minutes as the ball skidded into the path of the away forward and he shot from the edge of the box but Mitchell tipped it over the bar. The rest of the half was in the balance with very few chances created apart from long range efforts and tame shots that were gathered by both keepers.

HT 0-0

The second half was different as we took the game by the scruff of the neck and started being more productive in possession and breaking at a quicker tempo. Within the first few minutes we took the lead after a corner was cleared but it was collected by Walton who curled in a lovely cross met by Black who had stayed up and flicked a header into the far corner past the keeper to give us the lead.
We kicked on from this and we’re creating several chances to extend out our lead however Hardie had a shot comfortably saved by the away keeper, Bruce Dryburgh put a header over the bar when he was left unmarked in the middle of the box from a corner, Euan Dryburgh then burst from left back and beat a couple of players but he shot tamely at the keeper. Good link up play between McMahon and Hardie ended up with both players having shots saved and blocked and then a deflected shot by Hardie was cleared off the line.
We weren’t having it all our own way though as Forres were trying to get an equaliser but were falling short in the final third, however Mitchell had to be at his sharpest as he saved low from an angled drive and was then quick enough to get up and catch the rebound.
Man of the match, McMahon was causing problems for the away side’s right back and when he chested down a diagonal from Young he beat him, cut inside another defender in to the box but shot tamely at the keeper who palmed it away.
Tough then fired a shot right across the goal from the right side.
We almost gifted them an equaliser after Mitchell in goal took too long to get a back pass under control and the away forward put him under pressure and poked the ball past him but he managed to scramble back and saved the ball on the line.
Again both sides had half chances but on 38 minutes we deservedly stretched our lead when a cross from Euan Dryburgh was controlled by Tough, who kept good possession under pressure in the box and laid the ball back into the path of McMahon who curled a lovely low shot into the far corner.
We were looking comfortable in keeping a clean sheet however this was ruined as a driven corner from the right flew past everyone and ended up in the far corner of the net. We still had time to try and regain the two goal advantage but the keeper did well to stop a low shot after a great run by Tough and we held out for a great 3 points.

Full Time 2-1

NUFC Team – Mitchell, E Dryburgh, Black, Walton, Young, Reynolds (Stewart), Tough, Whelan, McMahon, Hardie (Wood), B Dryburgh (Gerrie)

Subs – Buckham, Wood, Stewart, Duthie, Davidson, Gerrie, Robertson

We caught up with the gaffer and ex Forres Thistle striker, Chris Hardie after the game to get their thoughts…

Another big 3 points against a team tipped to be at the top end of the table come May. They’re a good side and probably should’ve taken the lead in the first minute. I felt we didn’t really get going first half and probably tried to force it long to Matty too much which becomes predictable but second half, we upped the tempo and shortened the passing and took control of the game. We’re creating a lot of chances which is pleasing and if we’re a bit more ruthless in front of goal, we aren’t going into the last 10 minutes of the game under a bit of pressure. But that said, the character the lads showed to see it out is pleasing too.

Pleased to get the 3 points. First 5 games unbeaten which represents a great start and allows us to go into the upcoming run of cup games full of confidence. Forres are always an experienced side and i felt we more than matched them and deserved the 3 points. We are creating lots of chances which is encouraging but we need to be more clinical in front of goal, myself included, to put games to bed earlier. I was delighted for Jimmer to get the second goal, he caused them problems all day and got the goal his performance deserved

Photos courtesy of Simon Robertson