Keith 0 v Buckie Thistle 0
MAROONS IN FESTIVE STALEMATE
This was maybe no Christmas Cracker, but neither was it a "Ba Humbug" as both sides gave the football hungry fans a chance to work off the excesses of the festive turkey. The 176th Highland league clash between the sides produced only the ninth goal-less league draw during those games. Both teams pulled out all the stops, with the Jags having to play 32 minutes with ten men thanks to Craig Dorrat's second yellow card.
There was a minute's silence pre match in respect of Brian Christie the Aberdeenshire FA secretary who sadly died recently, and also for Keith FC Legend Mike Cogan who died last weekend. Inside forward Cogan was part of the first ever Maroons title winning and Highland League Cup winning sides, as well as winning the Qualifying Cup and Aberdeenshire Cup.
It was end to end in the opening stages, and it wasn't until the 25th minute when Jags' teenage goalie Lee Herbert miskicked, but he recovered quickly to thwart Michael Selfridge. Five minutes later the youngster did well to hold a Craig Macaskill drive.
Macaskill was to the fore again with a 20 yard free kick which flew inches wide. A minute after the break Herbert pulled off a fine diving save to palm away a Max Berton effort as the Maroons contiuned to play some neat controlled football.
Buckie's cause was hit with 58 minutes on the clock when Dorrat, already on a yellow card, sent Berton flying in the middle of the park and received a second yellow for his pains.
The Maroons tried everything to break the deadlock after that, swarming forward at every chance. However, Buckie were resolute and Herbert denied the inrushing Cammy Keith on 66 minutes, then did well to block a well struck low 18 yard free kick from Macaulay Rae.
Greg Simpson though had to look lively a minute later to palm away a Lewis McKinnon free kick.
Then, twice in the closing minutes teenage substitute Scott Gray nearly made a name for himself. First he volleyed a Barron cut back which skimmed the bar, then in the final minute his header off a corner whizzed inches past the post.
A fine overall display from Keith, and had they been more clinical they surely would have ended 2018 with a win under their belts.
KEITH - Simpson, Hutcheon (Begg 77), Smith, Rae, Robertson, Brownie, Macaskill, Young, Keith, Berton (Gray 82), Selfridge (Barron 71). Subs unused - Manson, Stewart.
Referee - Mr A Proctor
Saturday 29th December 2018, KO 3pm
Report by Charlie Simpson