Buckie Jags hit for six by Rampant Rovers
The thought of a four hour journey each way on a Tuesday night put off many travelling north, but for the hundred or so who made the trip, they were sent on their way well rewarded.
This was a potential ‘banana skin’ game for the Rovers as we were reminded last night by a sagacious fan that ‘ Buckie is the cream of the Highland League’ having scored over one hundred goals last campaign.
Barry Smith set up the team in now familiar fashion with regular starters, albeit missing the injured Bobby Barr and with the bench filled entirely with youth.
The opening goal came from a 1-2 between Thomson and Callaghan down the right wing, Thomson going deep into the box to be brought down by Kevin Fraser for a penalty.
Lewis Vaughan took the spot kick against Ross Salmon, both chose left, but alas for the second choice Thistle keeper it wasn’t Vaughan’s left as Lewis thrashed the ball into the corner of the net.
From the restart Rovers kept pressing high and eventually Thistle broke up the park, with a great move involving Skinner, Fraser and Angus, who played the ball out wide to Urquhart who delivered the ball to McLeod leaving the Highland League top scorer the easiest of tap ins.
The Rovers front line harried the Buckie defence relentlessly and this paid off for Greig Spence five minutes from the interval.
Spence has been desperate to score on his return to the club and his first goal was worth waiting for.
Murray, with a throw in on the left touchline found Matthews and with a backwards header, flicked the ball over to Spence who beat Salmon at the back post with a spectacular overhead kick.
With a minute left on the first half clock, Vaughan placed the ball on the left of the Buckie area 30 yards out, the young striker couldn’t believe his luck as the home side set up along the 18-yard line, one man in the wall and the keeper at the back post. He had the easiest of tasks to fire the ball into the top left corner with Salmon flapping to get near the ball.
The BBC stats stated after the game that Rovers had 26 shots on goal, 12 of which were on target, three of the shots on target came in a ten second spell where Spence, Buchanan and Callachan all had shots around the area blocked, this typified the hunger of the team, none more than Buchanan who was rewarded handsomely before he was substituted.
Buchanan began the build up to his brace with a move seeing him outrun Skinner and Salmon and ending the move by striking the base of the post. Moments later he began a move on the left, his cross being played back in to the box by Spence where he turned and shot past two defenders and the diving Salmon to open his account.
Buchanan’s second was more straight forward, a 20-yard diagonal through ball from Murray found Liam at the edge of the box and he instinctively played the ball past MacKinnon and Salmon to see the ball roll in at the back post.
With the result in no doubt and minutes to play, Ross Matthews scored the goal of the match. Collecting the ball on the left, he ran with the ball a further 20 yards before launching the ball past Salmon into the postage stamp corner to round the game off at 1-6 to The Rovers.
RaithTV chatted with Gaffer after the 6-1 win in Buckie
Raith Rovers head north on Tuesday, to face Buckie Thistle in the third match of their Betfred Cup campaign.
The fixture will bring an end to Thistle’s competition, with the Highland League winners most recently losing 2-0 to Dundee, following a 3-0 defeat to Dundee United, and a 4-2 loss to Cowdenbeath.
It’ll be just the second time the two sides have met competitively, with the only other meeting coming in February 1961, when Raith won by two goals to nil in a second round Scottish Cup tie.
Graeme Stuart’s Jags side won the 2016/17 Highland League, after a campaign which could hardly be tighter, edging out Cove Rangers on goal-difference, whilst Brora Rangers were just a point behind.
That triumph led to Buckie getting a shot at promotion to the SPFL via the playoffs, but they lost out to East Kilbride 4-3 on aggregate.
Rovers will be looking for their first points in the competition, after losing 2-0 to Dundee United in their opening match, before losing 2-1 to Dundee last week.
Tuesday evening’s match referee will be Steven Reid.
Head-to-Head Record Versus Buckie Thistle:
Won: 1 | Draw: 0 |Lost: 0
Goals For: 2 | Goals Against: 0
Buckie Thistle: 17/4 | Draw: 4/7 | Raith Rovers: 16/5