Lossiemouth progressed to the quarter-finals of the Breedon Aggregates Highland League Cup with an extra time victory over Strathspey Thistle. With ten minutes of the second half played, Josh PETERS opened the scoring for Thistle before Shawn SCOTT fired an equaliser past former Lossie manager Steven Dunn. Darren Bailey was sent off in normal time for Lossie and with no further goals in normal time, an extra half hour was required.
With 28 minutes of the half hour played, Scott MILLER rifled home a shot from close range to win what had been a cantankerous affair and send Lossie into the next round where they’ll face Nairn County at Station Park.
Full time – Lossiemouth 2-1 Strathspey Thistle (AET; 1-1 after 90 minutes)
Lossiemouth – Connor Hall, Mark Hector, Darren Bailey, Bryan Bell, Kevin Flett, Scott Miller, Andrew Stewart, Scott Gordon, Shawn Scott, Ryan Green, Ryan Farquhar
Strathspey Thistle – Steven Dunn, Jordan Wardrope, Bobby McRae, Jack Maley, James McShane, Mark McKernie, Martin Groat, Josh Peters, Connor Macauley, Thomas Borthwick, Scott Hume
Lossiemouth have been handed a home tie against Strathspey Thistle in the first round of the Breedon Aggregates Highland League Cup. This means the sides will face each other home and away in the space of a week, with Lossie making the trip to Grantown on Saturday, January 31st before welcoming the Jags to Grant Park on Saturday, February 7th.
The full draw is as follows…
Nairn County v Fort William
Brora Rangers v Cove Rangers
Ties to be played on Saturday, January 24th
First round draw
Buckie Thistle v Formartine United
Clachnacuddin v Deveronvale
Forres Mechanics v Rothes
Brora Rangers/Cove Rangers v Keith
Fraserburgh v Wick Academy LOSSIEMOUTH v Strathspey Thistle
Nairn County/Fort William v Inverurie Loco Works
Huntly v Turriff United
Lossiemouth came from a goal down against Strathspey Thistle to record their first win since September, moving up to 13th place in the league as a result.
The Coasters went into the game under the guidance of Ryan Green and Kevin Flett following the departure of Steven Dunn last week, and Strathspey looked like making a bad week for the club even worse when Scott Hume opened the scoring with half an hour played. Scott Miller was booked for a what was interpreted as a dive when everyone in the ground considered it a penalty, and it looked like being another frustrating afternoon.
Howver, in injury time Ryan Farquhar lashed home a 25 yard leveller to salvage a point, and with five minutes of injury time played Ryan Green, a second half sub, turned one point into three with a second goal.
The three points move Lossie up the table and clear of Fort William, Rothes and Strathspey Thistle, ahead of the visit of Clachnacuddin to Grant Park this weekend.
Lossiemouth landed another home point following a wind-affected encounter with Strathspey Thistle, but the Coasters will be kicking themselves after blowing a two goal first half lead. Jordan McBain and Liam Archibald had Lossie clear before the interval but two goals in the space of five second half minutes rescued a deserved point for the visitors.
Lossie welcomed back Ryan Green and Kevin Flett into the starting line-up, while Grant Mitchell and Chris Ross missed out due to suspension. Strathspey travelled to Lossie having conceded 14 goals in their last two games, including a whopping 11 on their trip to Brora.
The hosts kicked off into the wind to the surprise of Strathspey, and the visitors made more of the opening exchanges as the howling gale made life difficult for everyone. The first real chance of the game fell to Liam Archibald, who screwed a shot wide of goal from outside the area ten minutes in.
With Strathspey running out of ideas early on, Lossie finally got a grip of the game and went ahead before the half hour. Jordan MCBAIN entered the penalty area at an angle and curled an accurate shot beyond Martin and into the far side netting to open the scoring.Shortly before half time Lossie doubled their advantage. Liam ARCHIBALD made amends for his earlier miss when he rifled home from 18 yards to push Lossie further ahead.
Half time – Lossiemouth 2-0 Strathspey Thistle
The wind continued into the second half and Lossie looked to extend their lead, with the tactic of playing diagonal balls over the top to Ryan Green pulling Strathspey all over the place. Green almost put the game beyond the visitors when he found himself through on goal but his shot from just inside the area rolled past the post and into the side netting.
Strathspey were growing into the game and Lossie’s failure to add a third gave them cause for optimism. Their hopes of salvaging a point were raised when Jamie MCKINNON prodded the ball into his own net to reduce the deficit.
Lossie were visibly shaken by the goal and Strathspey turned the screw. Mark McKernie rattled the crossbar with a free kick which Errol Watson clawing at thin air.
Strathspey completed their comeback moments later when John ROSS found time and space to fire a shot past Watson.
Strathspey seemed content with their equaliser and allowed Lossie to press for a third goal in the closing stages, winning a number of corners as time ran down. Keeper Steve Martin bossed his six yard area and dealt with the aerial threat as his side closed the game out.
The point moved Lossie further ahead of Rothes but both sides will consider the draw as a disappointing result, with Lossie having thrown away a two goal lead and Strathspey failing to capitalise on a rocky Lossie performance following their equaliser. Lossie head to Fort William in midweek needing a win to reach 20 points for the season, double last seasons tally, but will need to improve on their second half showing if they’re to come home with all three points.
Full time – Lossiemouth 2-2 Strathspey Thistle
Lossiemouth – Errol Watson, Scott Wilson, Darren Bailey, Kevin Flett, Jamie McKinnon, Greig Watson, Scott Miller (Ryan Farquhar, 66), Liam Archibald, Jordan McBain (Willie Mathers, 78), Ryan Green (Eliot Winters, 86), Callum Dunbar; Unused subs – Scott Dunn, Tony Ross
Strathspey Thistle – Steven Martin, Nicholas Mochan, Howard, Jones, Mark McKernie, Fraser, McShane, Fraser Tulloch, Josh Peters, Groat, Kerr
Lossiemouth collected their first away points of the season filling wing a hard fought victory over Strathspey Thistle. First half goal from Ryan Farquhar and Scott Miller either side of an equaliser put the Coasters ahead and, despite the sendings off of Scott Hendry and Grant Mitchell, no more goals were forthcoming on a grim day in Grantown.
Lossie started with Darren Bailey on the park, with Kevin Flett joining him in the starting eleven. Willie Mathers was left on the bench, while Matty Davidson missed out.
Proceedings began in monsoon conditions and with the hills shrouded in mist and the floodlights on from well before kick-off, questions were asked pre-match as to whether or not the game would go ahead or reach a conclusion.
The game was only three minutes old when Lossie opened the scoring. Darren Bailey thundered into the box before playing the ball across the face of goal, and Ryan FARQUHAR was at the back post to fire home.
Lossie looked by far the better team in the opening stages of the game but Strathspey slowly came out of their shell and were level within twenty minutes. A Lossie attack broke down and a long ball over the top gave Josh PETERS a one-on-one chance with Errol Watson, and the youngster coolly rounded the keeper on the edge of the box before slotting home the equaliser.
Ten minutes before the interval, Lossie took the lead from the penalty spot. Scott Hendry andGrant Mitchell tangled in the Strathspey penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. With the two dozen bemused and soaked punters looking at each other wondering what exactly had happened, the referee the sent off the equally bemused and soaked Hendry and Mitchell, and Scott MILLER stepped up to put Lossie ahead again.
Half time – Strathspey 1-2 Lossiemouth
As the interval passed, conditions brightened, and as hills in the backgroud appeared so did the players for the second half. With both teams down to ten men and playing on a heavy pitch, the second half was never going to be a classic.
Lossie came close to adding to their lead when they were awarded a free kick on the corner of the 18 yard box. Callum Dunbar stepped up and curled the ball up and over the wall, only to see it dip a fraction over the crossbar.
The last real chance for Lossie came with twenty minutes remaining. Liam Archibald took possession just inside the area with his back to goal before turning and sending a low shot across the face of goal. The ball rolled slowly through the mass of players and and inch past the far post.
The win moves Lossie above Rothes and into 15th place, but Fort Williams surprise win at Keith means the bottom four are separated by only four points, with Strathspey Thistle now the strongest team in the league after today’s results.