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Strathspey Thistle boss Brown calls for team to cut out sloppy mistakes

By Tom Ramage

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Jags boss Charlie Brown is telling his players they have to cut out the defensive errors if they are to give themselves a chance in matches.

Thistle were on the wrong side of a 5-1 scoreline against Keith on Saturday but were partly to blame for their own downfall with some poor defending.

Brown told the Strathy: “The result was a fair reflection on the game.

“We played some decent stuff in the first half but unfortunately we conceded some sloppy goals. The boys know that they should have defended better.

Jags boss Charlie Brown is urging imrovements at the back
Jags boss Charlie Brown is urging imrovements at the back

“We then sat off too much in the second half and we let them control possession which meant that we started to tire for the last 15 to 20 minutes of the game.

“Because we were sitting off them, we came under a lot of pressure and we were finding it tough to clear our own back line.”

Brown was disappointed by the overall performance and he said they will have to ‘work through it’ as the Grantown side seeks a third Highland League victory this season which is proving elusive.

“We will be working on certain areas at training this evening (Thursday) to try and rectify these errors,” said the Jags manager.

Craig Ewen’s side opened the scoring in the 20th minute when the in-form James Brownie powered home from a corner kick, scoring for the third successive match. However, the Jags were back in the game on the half-hour mark.

Debut goalkeeper Balint Demus, on loan from Cove Rangers, kept out a Kris Duncan shot but the loose ball fell kindly to Craig MacKenzie who rifled home from eight yards.

Six minutes from half-time, the Maroons regained the lead in spectacular style when a Kieran Mooney right wing cross was acrobatically hammered home by Scott Gray.

Gray pounced again yet after the hour mark to slam home his fourth goal of the season.

A short time later Jags debutant 18-year-old Dylan Lawrence, on loan from Elgin City, had the chance to cut the deficit but he was too slow to react in front of goal for a tap-in. Thistle failed to create any clear-cut chances after that.

Two goals in the final seven minutes for Keith added gloss to the result.

Dem Yunus, a stand-out all afternoon, strode forward in the 84th minute only to see his initial drive crash back off the crossbar. But he latched onto the loose ball and weaved into the danger area before calmly stroking home.

Then, three minutes later, Brownie made the most of a ruck of players to scramble the ball home for his fifth goal in three outings.

Brown said making the game 3-2 might have led to Keith retreating into their shell after failing to hold onto leads in recent games.

Lawrence’s initial header went wide but midfielder James McShane kept the ball in and played it back to the young forward who was caught on his heels.

Brown said: “”If Dylan had of reacted after his first header it was a tap-in for him but unfortunately he did not and Keith managed to clear the ball.”

Other than that Brown was generally pleased with the loanee’s display after coming on as substitute. “He had a few good touches but he is a young boy and will need some time to adjust,” said Brown. “But we will give him the time to do this.”

Keith boss Craig Ewen was delighted with the win which was the biggest in his time at the helm of the club.

He said: “It was certainly very pleasing. I do think this sort of win has been coming for us. We have obviously had the lead in games a couple of times and not got over the line... There was perhaps a five-minute period after Strathspey scored when they were in the ascendency but I thought that otherwise we dominated for long spells.”

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