7th:Breedon Highland League vs. Inverurie Loco Works away:
As Strathspey Thistle players travelled through to the meet up point with the Management Committee members in Forres, many were checking their mobile phones as heavy rain on the morning of the match saw many matches being postponed in the morning.
We were assured that the surface at Harlaw Park would be fine. We were very impressed with the condition of the pitch….so must have been the home team as it took them only three minutes to open the scoring, doubling their tally before half time and adding a further three goals in the second half – again some defensive mistakes didn’t help our cause.
11th:Breedon Highland League vs. Rothes home:
Before and during the Rothes match under the floodlights we had in attendance at the game Sam North whose YouTube channel Footy Adventures is an excellent watch. I would recommend that you look it up and if you enjoy his video blogs from all over the world you support him by subscribing to his channel. Although he titles his visit to Grantown “The Pointless Club” – which I thought was going to be a bit of a hatchet job but it turned into an affectionate blog about visiting Grantown-on-Spey and Strathspey Thistle and his thoughts and experiences. On the video he interviews both myself and club Chairman Donly McLeod. Thanks for visiting us Sam
To the action on pitch, as ever we started slowly and found ourselves one down in eleven minutes from an own goal by Jack Gilliland, who unfortunately could not get out of the way quick enough and the ball rebounded into the net. We created one or two chances after this but in the thirty second minute there was controversy whether the ball crossed the goal line or not. The assistant referee thought so and to be fair one or two others who had a good view did as well so we were two-down.
Two minutes later after a right good goal mouth bagatelle scramble we were three down which it remained until half time. I don’t know what manager Robert MacCormack said at half time but it worked. A slight change in formation seemed to suit the boys a lot better and in the first minute of the second half the Jag’s Mike Mackenzie headed home a beauty. We started putting the Rothes defence under severe pressure and came close on three occasions. With a good Wednesday crowd at the game this was the best they had seen us play for a long time. We were unfortunate to lose another goal in the eighty third minute, but Jack Mackay pulled one back two minutes later with a slightly deflected lob. Although we lost the match 4-1 we won the second half 2-1 – and much promise for the games to come.
20th: “A Fan with a Pen” gifted to SFA Museum Research Library
As many of you reading this will be aware (in fact I think many of you have purchased) at the start of this season I (Rob A. Clark) published my first book!
The book published by Thomson Partnership is titled “A Fan with a Pen” The History of football in Grantown-on-Spey & Following Strathspey Thistle between 1993-94 to 2001-02.
The book has sold out it’s first print run of 250 copies. I have recently been on a whirlwind book tour!
On Wednesday the 18th I spent six amazing hours at the British Library in London where a copy of my book is now located in their vault. I have since been made a member of the British Library and I am very excited about the opportunities this opens for me and my future books.
On Thursday the 19th I made the journey from London to Swindon by train and then from Swindon to Lyneham by bus and taxi to the official REME Museum to pass on a copy of the book to them as per agreed as a thank you for their help with research.
On Friday the 20th I caught a red eye (08:15) to Glasgow International and then bus and train over to the National Football Stadium Hampden where I had a tour of the museum before been given a backdoor pass to get a very special photo opportunity to present a copy of the book to the SFA Museum Research team for their reference library.We are at the top of the main stand looking over the pitch. I am sure you can see the pride in my face in the photo!
21st :Breedon Highland League vs. Buckie Thistle home:
As Storm Babet raged around Scotland the Highland League decided to postpone all games that were meant to be played today. As many other matches in all the senior leagues around the country were being called off, the SHFL took into account the warnings that were being issued by government agencies and in our opinion the League had no option but to postpone all scheduled games.
With hospitality booked, a match programme, sponsored by local Painter Dai Lovatt and Published by Thomson Partnership and the possibility of a large Buckie support we were obviously disappointed but the safety of spectators and players travelling to and from games and their participation within is absolutely paramount. Hopefully, we will welcome them all when the match is played which we hope is on a Saturday.
*The programme will be recovered and still be sold at the rearranged fixture.
28th: Breedon Highland League vs. Lossiemouth home:
On the eve of Halloween, the clash of the league’s bottom two sides turned into a horror show for Strathspey Thistle being defeated for the first time in five matches against Lossiemouth.
Remarkably all three of Lossiemouth’s goals were scored in the opening seven minutes of the match!
With just two minutes played Lossiemouth’s Ross Morrison broke down the stand side touchline before cutting in and shooting across ‘Strathy Jags’ Keeper Steven Martin to score into the corner of the net. Just four minutes later Ross Morrison scored a carbon copy of the goal to put Lossiemouth two in front. Then just seconds later Lossiemouth’s Henry Jordan raced away in the clear to shock the Strathspey Thistle camp.
The remainder of the match saw Lossiemouth look far more dangerous on the attack with only some fine saves in both half’s keeping the score at 0-3. One spectacular tip over the crossbar just before half time must rate as one of the best saves made by any Strathspey Thistle goalkeeper.
Try as they might Strathspey Thistle could not score a consolation goal with the nearest being in the opening minutes of the second half (under the floodlights, as the rain and clouds started to darken) by Mike McKenzie whose shot just went past the other side of the goal frame.
REST IN PEACE
Finally it is great personal lament I report on the death of Mr. David Smith.
David was the brother of current committee member Ali Smith. David was a former committee member of Strathspey Thistle too but even during his recent ill health he followed the club. He even was able to join Ali and myself in a car journey down to the last match of last season away to Fraserburgh.
David passed away serenely at Lynemore Care Home in Grantown-on-Spey on the 21st of October aged 80 years.