Keith 2 v Brora Rangers 5
MAROONS HIT BY NAP HAND
Keith, record winners of the Highland League Cup, exited the tournament following a nap hand from high flying Brora Rangers last Saturday. In a game that was the proverbial game of two halves, the Maroons were top dogs in the first half, but played second fiddle to a resurgent Caithness side after the break, quick fire goals doing the damage.
Kick off was delayed by fifteen minutes due to the home team bus breaking down en route to Kynoch Park. There was also a nice touch for spectators at half-time with the Club's Under 13 players putting on a penalty shoot out with goalkeeping coach Sammy Stewart in between the sticks.
Dean Donaldson's men showed their intent right from the first peep of the referee's whistle. With 26 seconds played Brora goalie Joe Malin pulled off a flying save to keep out Marc Young's net bound 16 yarder.
They duly opened the scoring with only eight minutes gone, Bradley Manson rifling home a low 12 yarder. The Maroons certainly looked the more likely to net again, and livewire Manson, instead of shooting himself in front of goals, opted to cut the ball inside to Michael Selfridge, whose shot was tipped round for a corner.
It was level pegging five minutes from the interval when a deep Steven Mackay cross was latched onto by Paul Brindle who raced through to slam the ball past Simpson.
The visitors looked a different kettle of fish after the break, and within a minute they got their noses in front when Dale Gillespie rattled home a low 10 yarder. The Maroons had the perfect reponse, and barely three minutes later they squared matters when Manson blasted into the roof of the net from 15 yards.
Game on again! - well not really, for a quick fire double in the space of three minutes effectivley ended Keith's hopes. First, Brindle set up Gillespie who had the simple task of sidefooting home, then player manager Mackay grabbed his 300th North goal with an easy header from close range. Only the home defenders can answer what their part in those two goals was.
Brora went nap with fourteen minutes remaining Kyle Macleod heading home a Gavin Morrison free kick.
A thoroughly disappointing second half for home fans, with the rearguard failing to deal with set pieces, namely corners and free kicks, and they were made to pay the price.
KEITH - Simpson, Hutcheon, Smith, Rae(Barron 82), Robertson, Begg(Berton 73), Young(Macaskill 73), Manson, Keith, Brownie, Selfridge. Subs unused - Gray, Stewart.
Referee - Mr G Soutar.
Saturday 17th November 2018, KO 3pm
Report by Charlie Simpson