CLIVE’S NEWSLETTER – APRIL 2022

Saturday 2  After league leaders Fraserburgh’s visit last Wednesday today was a trip to Buckie to face second place Thistle who are chasing The Broch all the way. It was a comfortable win for the home side, their 23rd league win in a row, which is a remarkable achievement. Sam Urquhart was the standout player in the 5-0 win with a hatrick. The jags have to dust themselves down and prepare for the visit of Forres Mechanics on Wednesday night.

Wednesday 6  On a night when various storms were expected but luckily missed out Grantown the Jags ensured their safety in the Breedon Highland League by beating near neighbours Forres Mechanics by 3-1. It was one of the best performances of the season and  goals from Lawrence, McShane and Duncan made it a good evening for everyone at the club. The result meant that Fort William will finish bottom and will take part in the two leg play off against Banks o Dee from Aberdeen. Dates TBC.

Saturday 9  On a bumpy pitch and difficult winds we visited Lossiemouth for our final away game and came away with a 1-1 draw. Lossie shaded the first half and went ahead through a Liam McDade own goal but in the second half got more into the game and after after Andrew Skinner was fouled in the box Jake Thomson converted the penalty to give the Jags a point. We now prepare for the last two home games of the season.

Sunday 10   Dates were announced for the relegation play off between Fort William and Banks o Dee who were winners of the Superleague. Fort William will travel to Aberdeen on Saturday April 23 and entertain Banks o Dee at Craggan Park on April 30. This will be Fort’s first home game of the season after all the problems they have had with their pitch. We wish them well.

Wednesday 13  It was Fort Williams’ home game tonight at Seafield Park and in an exciting encounter they ran out winners by 4-2 which gave them their first league victory of the season. Goals for the Strathy Jags came from Craig MacKenzie and Ross Logan. The first goal for Fort came from Ethan Cairns who was with us on loan from Caley Thistle in the first part of the season.

Saturday 16  In our last game of the season The Jags came very close to registering their first ever point against Inverurie but went down to a 30th minute goal from Lloyd Robertson. As in most games since January the team performed well and today created several good chances but still remained goal less. We welcomed 8 years old Joseph Sinclair who was today’s mascot for Strathspey. For the Locos they said fairwell to Club captain Neil McLean and defender Ryan Broadhurst after 18 and 14 seasons respectively at Harlaw Park. 

Congratulations to Fraserburgh who clinched the Breedon Highland League title for the first time in 20 years and the fourth time in their history. They have led from the start of the season but have been chased to the wire by Buckie Thistle. The Broch will now play Bonnyrigg Rose from the Lowland league home and away for the right to play team 42 from the SFL Division 2, Cowdenbeath, for a place in league 2.

Friday 22  During the afternoon the Highland league secretary announced that Fort William had withdrawn from their relegation play off games with Banks o Dee as they did not have enough signed players for both games. Players had to be signed by January 31 2022 to be permitted to play. A disappointment for everyone concerned but it now means Fort William will play in the North Caledonian League next season and Banks o Dee will join The Scottish Highland Football League.

Saturday 23  Champions Fraserburgh travelled to New Dundas Park and were defeated by Lowland League Champions Bonnyrigg Rose 3-1. The Broch pulled the game back to 2-1 with a goal from Paul Young from close range but on 82 minutes conceded a third goal, leaving themselves a mountain to climb at Bellslea next Saturday. The winners will then play team 42, Cowdenbeath, in the play off for a place in the Scottish Football League 2.

Saturday 30  Fraserburgh manager Mark Cowie made four changes from the first leg. In the first half both sides created chances before a large crowd but half time arrived with the score 0-0. With The Broch playing down the slope again both teams again spurning chances until the 68th minute when Kieran Simpson gave Fraserburgh hope with a shot from close range. The home side dominated the last fifteen mintes but to no avail and Bonnyrigg Rose were through by the odd goal in five. The Rose will now play The Blue Brazil, Cowdenbeath at New Dundas Park, Midlothian on Saturday May 7 and visit Central Park, Cowdenbeath on Saturday May14 to decide who will play next season in Scottish League 2.

It has been a long and nervous season for The Jags and our thanks go out to all the volunteers, sponsors, supporters, team management and players for all of their support. With the arrival of Banks o Dee to the league it will now make the competition even stronger. 2022/2023 season commences on July 23.

SEASON’S END

Home Match v Inverurie Loco Works FC, Seafield Park, Grantown
Breedon Highland League, Saturday 16 April – KO 3pm

Game number thirty four, and our last game of the season. We welcome Richard Hastings and his Inverurie Loco Works team to Grantown, in what is their last game too, and at the moment they sit in a very safe and creditable seventh place in the league – so again it will be a very tough game and it would great if we manage three points and a flourish to finish the season with.. We imagine that there will be a few more Loco’s fans than normal, as long time servants Ryan Broadhurst and captain Neil McLean are hanging their boots up after the game – we wish them both all the best.

First ever visitors to Seafield Park for a Highland League match in 2009 – Inverurie Loco Works FC

After all the huffing and puffing in the Breedon Highland League throughout season 2021/2022 the dust will settle and we will be able to see on Saturday who wins the title – the odds are highly biased towards Fraserburgh, but mathematically it is still possible for Buckie Thistle to lift the trophy – either way we at Strathspey Thistle congratulate them both for an epic contest!
Wednesday nights game in Grantown against Fort William resulted in a first win of the season for them.  After twenty minutes or so, the Jags could have been two or three ahead, Fort started putting their game together and probably deserved their win 4 -2 over the piece.



After this weekend we’ll probably have a wee rest in producing the weekly web page – although, we’ll still be able to look forward to, and enjoy, our secretary Clive’s monthly newletters. We should be back webbing in early July ready for season 2022/2023. 

Over the summer keep informed of what’s happening JagsWise on our Twitter and Facebook pages 



Take care JagsFans and enjoy your summer.



And as ever lets not forget the Club Lottery as this week the jackpot is £3000 – that would go fantastically well on a nice long summer holiday, when the football’s not on perhaps…. to play – play here

EIGHT DAYS A WEEK

“Home Match” v Fort William FC – Seafield Park, Grantown
Breedon Highland League – Wednesday 13 April – KO 8pm

It must feel like eight days a week for Shadab Iftikar and his Fort William players as their game at Seafield Park will be their third game of five within an eleven day period – a real hard day’s night!!
Fort William, stars of what was a compelling television documentary on BBC Scotland a couple of years ago, about the running of a football club in the lower divisions of the football leagues in the UK, and highlighted the difficult everyday decisions that most other Highland League clubs can correlate with very easily…and I think a sequel is being filmed this year which, again, should be very interesting.
This year they have not had their troubles to seek – all of which has been well documented in the press. Not being able to play their home games at Claggan Park, I would imagine, was a bitter blow – in fact, Wednesday’s match is actually their home game…their trials and tribulations have unfortunately left them in the relegation position and at the end of April they face a couple of play-off matches with Banks o’Dee FC for a place in next years Highland League. We wish them all the best.

Heavy rain in October…

It means of course for us at Strathspey Thistle a very tough match, as the Fort are wanting to prove that their league position does not merit their current play and have shown a great improvement over the past few weeks as their draw on Monday night against Turriff United proves.
The Jags will hope to capture all three points and keep our recent run of decent results going too, as proved last Saturday when an 85th minute penalty scored by Jake Thompson secured a deserved draw against Lossiemouth.
Interesting fact from the Lossie game was that a late shot by Jags forward Ross Logan was saved by Lossie keeper Logan Ross……one for a quiz sometime….

Jake Thompson


Unfortunately captain James McShane, who missed the game on Saturday will not feature on Wednesday either because of suspension – as will Fraser Russell who was injured last week – but everyone else should be fit and ready to go.
Hopefully the weather will be a lot more pleasant than the last time Fort William visited Seafield Park last October. In the pouring rain the visitors went two up very early on in the first half but we fought back for a convincing 7-3 victory.

A win on Wednesday would make all Jags fans feel fine!


Then, on Thursday morning it’s pitch fixing (everyone welcome) ready for our last game of the season – a home game against Inverurie Loco Works on Saturday.

SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST

Away match v Lossiemouth FC – Grant Park, Lossiemouth (IV31 6JG)
Breedon Highland League – Saturday 9 April – KO 3pm

A stramash in the Lossiemouth goal area.

Our last away game of season and the venue is Grant Park, Lossiemouth and our opponents are Lossiemouth FC. 
There has been some fine results from The Jags over the years against Lossie – let’s hope we can make it two wins in a row.

It’s a happy bunch of players who make their way to the coast and to our final away game of Season 21/22.

Happy ? Our impressive win on Wednesday against Forres Mechanics, as detailed in the P&J report of the game the following day, means that our Highland League survival is confirmed and planning can begin for next season.
The Jags won 3-1 with two first half goals – one from Dylan Lawrence, and then captain James McShane got on the scoresheet for the first time in a while…Forres scored just before half time. In the second half both teams had chances, but Jags’ Kris Duncan headed home a cracker after some great wing work by *man of the match Ross Logan. ( *that’s me and the fans and spectators around me). The win also puts us above Turriff United.

Fraser Russell

During the game on Wednesday, Fraser Russell was injured and for a wee moment we thought it was a head injury and when the stretcher came on we feared the worst. Fortunately, it wasn’t a head knock – and according to our latest report this morning, Friday, he has damaged the ligaments in his ankle. We wish him all the best for a speedy recovery and hope to see him back at Seafield Park at the start of the new season. 


As mentioned this is our last away match of the season and we’d like to thank our spectators who travelled to any of these games – the boys really appreciate your support.

We finish the season with two home games this week – on Wednesday we have Fort William and on Saturday it’s Inverurie Loco Works.


Belated thanks must go to club historian Rob A. Clark – with the help of our secretary Clive and help from our main sponsors McGowan Environmental Engineering – for his production of a commemorative programme for the Brechin City home game last month – in the future he hopes to produce the occasional programme for cup or special events …excellent!


As ever a mention for the Club Lottery which this week’s jackpot stands at £2900. Play here…. Thank you.


EVERY ROSE HAS IT’S THORN

Game v Forres Mechanics FC at Seafield Park, Grantown
Wednesday 6 April – KO 8pm

I know it’s not a rose…..

It’s a welcome to the team from the winning town of the “Scotland in Bloom” title many times, Forres Mechanics FC. Our Wednesday fixture in the Breedon Highland League was postponed from a frosty Saturday last December.
Both teams are suffering mixed fortunes at the moment, although Forres are in twelfth place in the league, their season has been a bit of a rollercoaster especially recently – so the idea of a hard fought match in a midweek game under the floodlights is very much in prospect with both teams I reckon capable of securing the three points.  Although we have only had only one win and two draws over the ten years we have been in the league against the Mechanics maybe it’s time for another win – we wish Charlie and the team all the best and hope they continue the improvement in form, especially at home.

Rob Donaldson punching clear in last weeks game against Fraserburgh – notice the snow!

Hopefully the weather forecast for this weeks game is wrong as Grantown is predicted to have two days of snow – Tuesday and Wednesday…..Scottish weather eh?

CLIVE’S NEWSLETTER – MARCH 2022

Wednesday 2nd: The Jags are denied a welcome point as Huntly run out 2-1 winners in the opening game of what is expected to be a busy month ahead at Seafield Park.

Saturday 5th: Station Park in Nairn may be a lovely venue but has been an unhappy hunting ground for STFC this season and, following on from a 4-0 defeat in the Scottish Cup back in September, we lose by the same score line today.

Wednesday 9th: Manager Charlie Brown is the guest on the latest edition of the Highland League Weekly Podcast where he talks about the season to date with host Iain Auld.

Saturday 12th: The first of three home games in a week brings a crucial 2-1 victory against Turriff United that is secured with two first-half goals and some resolute defending as the visitors fight back.

Wednesday 16th: In the fourth meeting of the season between the two clubs, Inverness Clachnacuddin take home the spoils after a 4-2 win at Seafield Park on an evening when both sets of players and the match officials gather together to show their support for the people of Ukraine.

Saturday 19th: The Jags run high-flying Brechin City all the way before falling to a 3-1 defeat. It was a first ever visit to Grantown-On-Spey for the men from Glebe Park and the hard work of club historian Rob Clark in marking the occasion results in very healthy sales of a commemorative programme. Many thanks to Rob and main club sponsor McGowan for their support in producing the programme.

Saturday 26th: A trip to Rothes, where the hosts have been in excellent form all season, results in a superb victory for the Jags, twice coming back from behind to equalise before netting the all-important winning goal to put further distance between us and Fort William at the bottom of the table.

Wednesday 30th: The month ends with a home game against title-chasing Fraserburgh at Seafield Park and another competitive performance from the Jags against one of the league’s high-fliers as Fraserburgh run out 4-2 winners. We have also secured the signing of defender Jack Gilliland from Clachnacuddin on a two-year contract.

April Home Games

Wednesday 6th v Forres (8pm); Wednesday 13th v Fort William (8pm); Saturday 16th v Inverurie (3pm)

GREEN GRASS AND HIGH TIDES

Away Match v Buckie Thistle FC – Victoria Park, Buckie (AB56 1BJ) 
Breedon Highland League – Saturday 2 April KO 3pm

Buckie Harbour where the majority of the RNLI boats are serviced and repaired.

We’re off to Buckie this Saturday for the second of our matches, in the space of three days, against the top two teams in the Breedon Highland League. After our meeting with Fraserburgh on Wednesday where the team although losing, put up a stalwart performance, we’re tasked with putting a stop to Buckie’s record breaking run of twenty two wins in a row – so we wish Charlie and the boys all the best against the green and white hoops.

Dylan scoring the first goal against Fraserburgh and Jake who scored our second.

Fraserburgh’s visit to Seafield Park on Wednesday 30 March was a very entertaining game under the floodlights, even though there were some snow showers to contend with.
We were very impressed with the big turnout of Fraserburgh fans for a midweek game some eighty miles from home, as a high proportion of the crowd were ‘Broch supporters obviously wanting to help them maintain their table topping position.
The Jags put in a very decent shift with goals from Dylan Lawrence and Jake Thompson, but a crazy spell ten minutes before and after half time saw us concede four goals.

Scoring two goals against a defence who have only lost one goal in their last seven games was a positive for us to take from the game.


Welcome to The Jags Jack….

THURSDAY 31 MARCH  : We are delighted to announce the permanent deal for Jack Gilliland.
We would like to thank Clachnacuddin FC for their cooperation throughout this process. 

Our Gaffer Charlie had this to say on his new addition.
“ We welcome Jack to Strathspey Thistle. Jack is another product of Clachs successful U20’s team. The lad joins us determined to take his development onto the next level and aims to put pressure on the current squad for a starting spot in the team.”


As ever the weekly Club Lottery can be played online and the jackpot now stands at £2800.00 and we thank you for your support. You can play here.. 

FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ‘BROCH (WE SALUTE YOU)

Home Match v Fraserburgh FC – Seafield Park, Grantown
Wednesday 30 March – KO 8pm

With the Highland League on the front pages instead of the back, please, everyone attending the game, and everyone in the world not attending, please observe…


Breedon Highland League leaders Fraserburgh FC visit Seafield Park for an under the floodlights match, which should have taken place on February 5th. 
We welcome players, management and supporters of “The Broch” to Grantown for the first time since December 2019 knowing it will be a long trip, especially on a Wednesday evening – hopefully they’ll enjoy their visit…but not too much. There is a slight concern that there may be a hint of snow – so again we commend the travelling support and hope their journeys both to and from the Grantown are hassle free.
We haven’t beaten Fraserburgh since April 2010 – our first season in the Highland League. Charlie and the team will be expecting another very difficult game, but with our performances over the last few games and Saturday’s result against Rothes, there seems to be a new found confidence which hopefully bodes well for the next few games – although you can’t get any tougher than a match against the league leaders, followed on Saturday with a visit to Buckie Thistle, who lie in second place.
Hopefully the weather behaves and everything goes according to plan……..

Dylan, Jordan and Kris, our goalscorers at Rothes

Speaking of Rothes and the game at Mackessak Park last Saturday – it just shows you, you can never be absolutely certain of results of football matches.
Rothes lying sixth in the League were favourites for the three points – but The Jags played really, really well and with goals from Dylan Lawrence, Kris Duncan and Jordan Shaw, whose extra-time winner was his first goal for us – the first of many we hope – gave us a 3-2 victory which was a great result for everyone connected with the club. 


As it is a midweek fixture if anyone wants to give some of the committee members a help with pitch repairs on Thursday morning ( weather permitting ), we’d be delighted to see you about 9.30 am – a garden fork and a pair of boots and you’re set…

DOWN THE ROAD

Away Match v Rothes FC – Saturday 26 March  
Mackessack Park, Rothes AB38 7BU – KO 3pm

Action from the September 2019 Rothes game at Seafield Park

So it’s off down the A95 to Rothes to one of our closest away matches, geographically speaking that is. Rothes are at the moment sitting in fifth place and are having a very good season so we will need to be at our best to get something from the game.

Last week against Brechin City, we played well enough for most of the spectators to say that we were slightly unfortunate to lose all three points in what was a very entertaining game played on a very pleasant sunny spring afternoon although a tad windy.

Recent signing Ross Logan was the Jags scorer in a 3-1 defeat.

After the game Jags chairman Donly McLeod presented his counterpart at Brechin, Kevin Mackie, with a framed print of Seafield Park as a memento of our first meeting in the Highland League in Grantown.

Brechin City Chairman Kevin Mackie (left) accepts the framed photograph of Seafield Park from Donly McLeod

Two things to remember – our next one game is on Wednesday night ( 30 March) under the floodlights against current league leaders Fraserburgh FC and also the Club Lottery jackpot this week stands at £2700 and you can play online here – Thanks for your support. 

BRECHIN THROUGH (TO THE OTHER SIDE)

Home match v Brechin City FC – Seafield Park, Grantown
Saturday 19 March – KO 3pm

This is quite a historical weekend as we welcome our friends from Brechin through the doors of Seafield Park for their first ever visit to Grantown and a Breedon Highland League match.
We visited Glebe Park last October and started the game extremely well but on the other side of half time, unfortunately for us, the experience of the home team took hold and we lost the match 7-3 – but not many teams recently have managed to score three goals at Brechin.
At the moment Brechin City sit in third place in the league, fourteen places above us, so we will be delighted to capture any points this weekend, but, if not it won’t be for the lack of trying.  This starts a sequence of games where we play four out of the top five teams in the league……..
At least the weather forecast looks as though we will be basking in sunshine – so if you can – please come along and enjoy the fitba’!


Players and Officials showing their solidarity behind Ukraine

Unfortunately we were unable to continue our winning way and add to the three points from last Saturday losing 4-2 to Clachnacuddin at Seafield Park on Wednesday night. The photo taken on the night shows both teams solidarity with the Ukraine.  


New dates for your diary – maybe some have been amended from last week – please check : these are The Jags fixtures until the end of the season – at the moment this is the current list:

26/03 Rothes (A) – 30/03 Fraserburgh (H) – 2/04 Buckie Thistle (A) – 6/04 Forres Mechanics (H) – 9/04 Lossiemouth (A) – 13/04 Fort William “(H)” – 16/04 Inverurie Loco Works (H)


As we have said before due to the Highland weather and game postponements this time of year is usually very busy with, for example, three games over the past week all at home – The Club would really appreciate if you have two or three hours to spare of a morning to come and give us a helping hand repairing the pitch – all you need is a garden fork, a good pair of boots and an enjoyment of banter and the craic!   


As ever, our online Club Lottery is ongoing and for the chance to win this weeks jackpot of £2600.00 play here. If you already have a ticket, either paper or online – thank you very much for supporting the Club.