By Lewis Michie
The campaign didn’t start easily for Cowie Thistle, injuries, bedding in new signings and too many cards – but things have started to turn for the better for Ross Adie’s side, with more players to pick from, less dismissals and more points.
Cowie beat Tarves 4-0, rising to ninth in the division, but in a tight division another win could push Thistle well into the top half of the Aberdeenshire Amateur Premier Divison.
Buchanan, Irvine, Valentine and McCombie all got on the scoresheet for Thistle on Saturday afternoon, pleasing manager Adie as his side pulled together a sequence of wins for the first time this season.
Adie told NE98:
Lack of numbers at the start of the season really hurt us, only having 12/13 players and the management team having to help out meant is was always going to be tough. We also had 10 new players sign this season so it was a lot of new faces playing with each other, however there can be no excuses, the teams we put out should have still been more than good enough to pick up more than 2 points from 5 games.”
Adie did stress that while bedding in new players and dealing with player absence did provide struggles for his team, the racking up of cards was the biggest issue, he said:
What has really cost us so far season is lack of discipline with 5 sending offs in 5 games, we played 30 minutes against Echt with 10 men, 40 minutes against Newtonhill and 70 minutes against Cove. Hopefully the lessons have been learnt that in this league to win games you need 11 men on the park.”
Moving on from the game itself, as it was the first time this season speaking to the Cowie gaffer, we wanted to ask him about his side’s aims this term, he said:
After 2 successive 4th place finishes, we were looking to improve on that this season in the league, however the start we have had will make this difficult, so we’ll just look to try and win every game going forward and see where this takes us.”
“Regarding cups, we always look to reach at least one final in a cup competition, we didn’t manage that last season for the first time in 3 years which was disappointing so hopefully this season we can have some successful cup runs.”
While the aims are high for Adie and Cowie, he admits that ultimately the league could be tougher and tighter this year, saying:
The league has definitely improved with the addition of the promoted teams, Echt are top of the league and Rattrays XI & Tarves have both had good starts, it’s always been a tough league but I believe it will be a more open league this season, every team capable of beating each other, however you would expect the likes of Woodside & Rothie to be up there at the end of the season and hopefully we can recover to finish as high as possible”
Things didn’t go quite as well for fellow Premier Division side St Laurence, as they were beaten 5-0 at home by Echt.
The visitors on Saturday are top of the table and have proven early doors they will be title contenders, but nonetheless, the Saints will have hoped they’d have achieved a better result.
The club’s Facebook page said:
Disappointing result to take as our performance didn’t deserve the scoreline. But at any level, if you gift chances and don’t defend as a team you will concede goals.”
Bervie Caledonian had the weekend off.
In Division One North, Stonehaven Athletic also had a free weekend.
Across in Division One East, Ac Mill Inn were beaten narrowly at home 4-3 by Westdyke.
Reacting to the result, the club’s Facebook page said:
A classic Amateur football affair which saw plenty of goals but really the best of Scottish weather made it difficult for both teams to really get going.”
In the Montrose and District Welfare league, Johnshaven are back to winning ways, beating St Tams 4-1 away from home.
Scott Nicholson scored twice, either side of goals from Rhys Dow and Scott Beedie.
The club’s Facebook reacted:
All in all a comfortable win against good opposition, who we thank for their hospitality back at the pub after the game too. We start the season with 3 wins out of 4, and will be hoping to continue that good run after our free week next weekend.”
In the Junior ranks, it was a dramatic 4-3 win for Stonehaven against Sunnybank. The Hive sit top of the table on nine points, ahead of Longside on goal difference having played a game less.
Calum Watson scored a hat-trick in the last ten minutes to give Stoney all three points, a Sunnybank equaliser late on looked like it would cost Stoney points for the first time this season – but Watson completed his treble to maintain the 100% record.
Adam MacLennan was also on the scoresheet, meanwhile there were a few familiar names on the team-lines as they lined their bench with three trialists from nearby Amateur club Stonehaven Athletic, including Lewie Sawyer who grabbed an assist.
The club’s Facebook said:
Well that was eventful. In a game where two depleted teams both wanted to play football and there was barely a nasty tackle in the game we someone managed to get about 14 bookings between the teams”