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.

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