Jags pay price in cup bid with 10-man side
TEN-man Strathspey Thistle crashed out of the Highland League Cup at Seafield Park, with visitors Forres striking three times in the final 15 minutes to seal their passage into the quarter-finals.
Jags' manager Gordon Nicolson felt the first half sending off of Martin Duncan turned the game in favour of the visitors.
He said: "We opened the scoring when Ross Naismith scored direct from a corner which set us up quite nicely.
"But after losing a goal from a cross, we didn't defend well enough.
"The big turning point came when our centre-half Martin Duncan was sent off for denying a goalscoring opportunity after 35 minutes.
"Then to compound that, Robbie Duncanson banged the resultant free kick into the top corner to put them 2-1 ahead.
"We did really well to get it back to 2-2 but unfortunately two goals in two minutes from set pieces finished the game as a contest."
The Grantown side went in front in the 15th minute when Naismith scored unusually straight from a corner.
But seven minutes later the visitors levelled with a Liam Taylor header from a Simon Allan cross.
Ten minutes before the break the Jags were reduced to 10 men after a last man foul by Duncan.
Duncanson rubbed salt in the wound by curling a superb free kick into the top corner from 25 yards.
The home side responded well and just before the break they were level with a goal from former Forres striker John Cameron.
Forres finally made the extra man count in the 76th minute when Taylor grabbed his second and the visitors' third goal of the afternoon.
Two minutes later Duncanson put the game beyond Strathspey with an eight-yard header from a free kick on the left flank.
Ross MacPherson completed the scoring with goal number five in the 84th minute.
The Jags will hope to return to winning ways when they face Wick in a rearranged league fixture this Saturday, with scheduled opponents Fraserburgh playing in the Scottish Cup.
Thistle have only lost once in their last five in the Highland League and victory over Wick could see them close the gap on the likes of Turriff, Rothes and Deveronvale in the league table.
The clash with Fraserburgh has been rescheduled for December 8 with a 3pm kick-off.