Strathspey Thistle suffer heavy loss at Forres
Forres Mechanics 7-1 Strathspey Thistle
STRATHSPEY Thistle were given a defensive wake-up call as they were convincingly beaten by Forres.
The Jags have been much improved at the back under the charge of manager Gordy Nicolson.
While Thistle have suffered some heavy defeats in the Highland League, it was back in January since they lost by such a wide margin and even then, that was at the home of runaway champions Cove.
But Saturday's loss at Mosset Park showed there is still much work to do defensively if the Grantown outfit are going to bounce back with a win at home to Lossiemouth this weekend.
The visitors got off to a poor start at Forres as they conceded a goal in the fourth minute.
A through-ball from Stuart Soane sliced open the Thistle rearguard and Allan MacPhee eventually provided the finishing touch.
Thistle played their way back into the game and Liam Taylor was denied by a save from Stuart Knight, after he latched on to a header by Scott Morrison.
However, Forres took control with two goals before the break.
First, Robbie Duncanson caught the Jags defence napping with a quick free-kick on the half-hour mark and MacPhee delivered a composed finish.
Five minutes later, Soane teed-up Andrew MacRae for a tap-in to score his team's third goal of the game.
Forres extended their advantage early in the second half with a close-range finish from Soane, before his cross was converted by Calum Howarth.
Strathspey then pulled a goal back though a superb 50-yard strike from Morrison, who opportunistically lofted the ball over Mechanics keeper Knight.
But it was little consolation, as Forres twice found the back of the net late in the second half.
MacRae scored with a low 20-yard drive, before MacPhee completed his hat-trick with a powerful shot from a similar distance.
Strathspey Thistle assistant manager Tommy Wilson was in charge of the side at Mosset Park as Jags boss Nicolson was suspended following his sending off in the previous 3-1 defeat at Turriff.
Wilson said after the heavy defeat: "Defensively our decision making was nowhere near good enough and the boys have held their hands up that it was a very bad day at the office, as we were poor from front to back.
"We scored a brilliant goal, but it counts for nothing."
* Thistle have been drawn at home to Clach in the only preliminary round of the Highland League Cup with the clash scheduled for November 2.
The winner will host Forres Mechanics in the first round proper with the ties being played on November 16.