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First half blitz sends Strathspey Thistle into North of Scotland Cup semi-finals


By Will Clark

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North of Scotland Cup quarter final

Clachnacuddin 0

Strathspey Thistle 4

Scorers: Lisle (8) Duncan (26) McShane (40) Skinner (87 pen)

The returning James McShane (left) was on the scoresheet for the Jags last night. Library image.
The returning James McShane (left) was on the scoresheet for the Jags last night. Library image.

Strathspey Thistle secured their first win of the season with a superb 4-0 win away to Clach in the North of Scotland Cup last night.

A first half blitz at Grant Street Park sent Strathspey Thistle into the last four of the competition.

The Lilywhites were left stunned by the Jags who they beat 4–1 in the Highland League last Friday to pick up their first victory this season.

Strathspey took the lead after eight minutes when Cameron Lisle beat the defence in the air to nod a looping header into the top right corner of the net.

Thistle doubled their advantage midway through the first half when Lisle’s cross from the right wing found Kris Duncan who slid in to score from close range.

Strathspey made it 3–0 five minutes before half time when James McShane got on to the end of a corner kick and fired home from close range.

Clachnacuddin attempted to get back into the second half after Ali Gillies’s shot was parried away, Martin Callum’s rebound was blocked before James Anderson fired wide of the right post to sum up a disappointing night for the Lilywhites.

It got worse after Ethan Cairns was tripped in the penalty box and Andrew Skinner converted from 12 yards in the closing stages.

Going into the game, Jags boss Charlie Brown had urged his team to be braver on the ball and to find that killer touch in front of goal after losing the lead in their last two Highland League games.

He told the Strathy ahead of the cup clash: “We played well in the first period of the game (on Friday night) but started to lose our way after we scored and we allowed Clach to start dominating the ball, which put us under more pressure.

“It is something of a downfall for us early in the season.

“We need to start finding the killer goals that will take us away from teams and let us play our football.

"When we do not capitalise on our early goal, we are putting ourselves under the cosh.”

“Hopefully we can learn from Friday night’s mistakes.”

That certainly proved to be the case last night and the Jags will now face Rothes in the semi-final after they defeated Elgin City 2-0.

They are one of two Moray clubs to have reached the semi-finals of this season's North of Scotland Cup.

Lewis McAndrew (left) scored his first Lossiemouth goal in the North Cup quarter-final win over Fort William. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Lewis McAndrew (left) scored his first Lossiemouth goal in the North Cup quarter-final win over Fort William. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Lossiemouth defeated Fort William 4-1 at Grant Park while Rothes saw off a strong Elgin City side 2-0 at Mackessack Park.

A flying start by Lossie saw defenders Fergus Edwards (5 minutes) and Neil McAndrew (10) score their first goals for the club for an early 2-0 lead.

Mario Avram quickly pulled one back but Fraser Forbes netted his second of the season to put the Coasters 3-1 up before the 20-minute mark.

The scoreline stayed the same until the closing minutes when Lossie sub Ross Elliot strikc their decisive fourth goal.

Joe Russell's side face a September 1 semi-final at Brora Rangers, who saw off Wick Academy 1-0 thanks to a first half Andy MacRae goal.

Jack Brown continued his goal-a-game exploits for Rothes with both strikes in the Speysiders' 2-0 home success over neighbours Elgin City.

Two-goal Jack Brown helped Rothes beat Elgin City. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Two-goal Jack Brown helped Rothes beat Elgin City. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

League Two City fielded several first team regulars in their side but were no match for their hosts, with Brown opening the scoring on 12 minutes and adding a second before half time.


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