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Rothes will take lift from avoiding Brora in Highland League Cup final, says Jags midfielder MacAskill

Buckie midfielder Andrew MacAaskill.
Buckie midfielder Andrew MacAaskill.

Buckie Thistle midfielder Andrew MacAskill believes Saturday’s Highland League Cup final opponents Rothes will be glad to be facing the Jags rather than Brora Rangers.

The Jags sprung a surprise by defeating the Cattachs on penalties on Sunday, following a 2-2 draw between the sides at Dudgeon Park.

That set up a final against Rothes at Kynoch Park on Saturday, after Ross Jack’s men came from behind to defeat Formartine United after extra-time.

Although Buckie will go into the game confident after conquering the Highland League champions, MacAskill believes the Speysiders will also take a lift from avoiding Brora in the final.

MacAskill said: “Rothes got a really good result last week. After getting past Brora we are feeling confident, but Rothes deserve a lot of credit for going to Formartine and winning.

“I’m sure they will be looking at our result and be pretty pleased Brora are out as well.

“Both teams are probably feeling quite confident and it should make for a good game.

“The Highland League Cup is the biggest trophy outwith the league that we play for.

“We’ve also worked hard in pre-season for seven weeks, so we wanted to get another game.

“All that work for one game would have been disappointing.”

Buckie’s triumph against Brora was all the more impressive given it came in their first competitive game since last season was curtailed due to coronavirus.

MacAskill admits he struggled with cramp during extra-time, however he praised the desire shown by Graeme Stewart’s side.

The 28-year-old added: “We worked so hard. The amount of effort the boys put into that game was incredible after not playing for so long, apart from playing junior opposition.

“To get up to that level in such a hard game was really pleasing. We knew what Brora did last season, and how well they had done in the Betfred Cup.

“I think we felt if we could get through the first 20 minutes, which we did, we would have a chance.

“There were a few sore legs. I had a bit of cramp, but I think that’s natural when I hadn’t played at that tempo for so long.

“I felt OK in the game and felt I could influence the game.

“I did my bit but the amount of running guys like Kevin Fraser and Sam Urquhart did was amazing.

“We showed how badly we wanted it, and how much it meant after not playing for so long.

“We had to dig in, the last 10 minutes was backs against the wall. We conceded but we could quite easily have conceded again. We had guys like Scott Adams back trying to win headers.

“It was a real team effort. It must have been a pretty good game to watch.”

MacAskill netted the winning penalty in the shoot-out, with the former Keith and Turriff United player insisting he was always confident of netting from 12 yards.

He added: “Credit to Daniel Bell who got us back in it by making a save. When their fifth player missed it took a bit of pressure off me, because if I score we won, and if I didn’t it would keep going.

“I felt pretty calm. Penalties is a bit of a lottery. Last season we were on the wrong end a couple of times, so it’s nice to get one.”

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