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Mixed emotions for Graeme Stewart after 10-man Buckie Thistle rescue late point against Inverurie Locos

Buckie boss targeting a perfect finish after setting his side the task of winning all 10 remaining league games.

Buckie Thistle manager Graeme Stewart. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson.
Buckie Thistle manager Graeme Stewart. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson.

Buckie Thistle manager Graeme Stewart has challenged his side to ensure their late point against Inverurie Locos becomes an important one.

The 10-man Jags were forced to come from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to Locos, with Josh Peters’ injury-time goal cancelling out Thomas Reid’s opener.

Stewart took heart from the way his players battled to ensure they took something from the game.

Stewart said: “At the end it’s a point gained. Had we lost the game we would have been devastated.

Players during the Buckie Thistle v Inverurie Locos match
Jack MacIver of Buckie gets a second half shot on the Locos goal. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

“Getting a draw was not our aim at the start of the game but after going down to 10 men and showing a bit of fight, character and bottle we are delighted with the point – although it’s not what we wanted.

“We had a gameplan, which some maybe didn’t follow exactly at times. One or two of them maybe don’t understand football as well as they think they do.

“Young lads in football think they know a lot and they need to learn from people who know a lot more.

“Sometimes that’s their nature – I was a bit like that when I was younger but I learned from experience.

“But we have a great fighting spirit. We went for it, we went 2-4-3.

“I’m delighted because those are the kinds of characters we’ve got in the team, but we wanted the win.

“We will take the point and move on. We need to go and try and get 10 wins now.”

Locos boss delighted with display

Inverurie Locos manager Dean Donaldson was disappointed to come so close to claiming maximum points, but was thrilled with the efforts of his side.

Inverurie Locos Manager Dean Donaldson
Inverurie Locos Manager Dean Donaldson. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Donaldson said: “I’m delighted with the boys over the 90 minutes, in their application, determination and the way they stuck to the plan. The backline in especially put in an unbelievable shift.

“After we got the goal, and the sending off, we created two great chances that could have put the game out of sight.

“On another day we would have won the game. But they had a lot riding on it – they are going for the league, so we can’t be too disappointed.

“We are disappointed with the end result, but we can’t be disappointed with the performance.”

Few chances in first half

Neither side could find the breakthrough in the first half, with Max Barry twice denied by Locos goalkeeper Zach Ellis from the edge of the box. Locos’ best opportunity of the opening period came on 38 minutes, when Myles Gaffney saw his shot well held by Tom Ritchie at his near post.

Jay Halliday of Inverurie Locos against Buckie Thistle
Jay Halliday of Locos tries to get a first half shot past Sam Morrison of Buckie. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

The Jags had chances after the break through Peters, Jack MacIver and Jack Murray, with the latter thwarted from turning the ball home from close-range at a corner.

Locos took the lead on 63 minutes when a free-kick broke inside the box for Reid, who showed excellent composure to rifle a sublime low finish across goal into Ritchie’s far corner.

It looked ominous for Buckie just eight minutes later when defender Sam Morrison was caught on the wrong side of Gaffney, who was bundled to the ground as he bore down on goal which resulted in referee Robert MacKinnon producing a red card.

Locos spurned a glorious chance to kill the game when Cole Anderson set up substitute Aidan Wilson, who sclaffed his effort with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Buckie Thistle v Inverurie Locos
Buckie Thistle’s Max Barry in action against Inverurie Locos: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

It proved costly, with Buckie levelling in the third minute of stoppage time when Barry’s driven cross was swept home at the near post by Peters.

There could have been a late twist in Locos’ favour when Wilson was once again played through on goal, only to be denied by Ritchie.

Watch: Highland League Weekly EXTRA – Highlights of clash between title-chasers Buckie Thistle and Banks o’ Dee

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