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Insch Claim the Stephen Shield

Rattrays XI 0 – 1 Insch

Report by Raymond Morrison

Insch manager Malky Mackie was absolutely thrilled to have won their first trophy in five years when they beat Rattrays by the narrowest of margins This was no classic as the occasion seemed to have affected both teams, Insch’s normal free flowing football and quick counter attacks were well matched by a hard working Rattrays XI team.

In a game of few chances it was the country team that scored the decisive goal 15 minutes from the end from the unlikely boot of Dave Duthie after Rattrays defence failed to clear the ball.

The game had started with chances falling to both teams in the opening minutes with a shot from Brown of Insch which was straight at Rattrays keeper Scott Cameron. At the other end there was muted claims for a penalty when Edwards went down easily under pressure but the referee got it right and waved play on.

A long clearance over the Ratts defence saw the hard working Keith Cameron clear and as Scott Cameron came to close him down he lobbed the ball over the stranded keeper but wide of the left hand post.

At this stage the game was going end to end and a blunder by Insch keeper Errol Watson when he misjudged the flight of the ball at a corner and the ball sailed over him should have been punished by Dunbar but his effort was wide of the far post.

After this initial action the game settled down as both teams tried to find the vital spark of inspiration. It took until just before half-time for any of the keepers to be tested and it was good concentration and speed by the Ratts keeper to turn a shot round his right hand post as Simpson of Insch received the ball with his back to goal on the 18 yard line turned and fire in what looked like the opening goal until Cameron dived full length to save. This was followed up just on the whistle of the half when again Simpson was left free to shoot straight at Cameron for an easy save.

Half-time: 0 – 0

The second half started just as the first with both teams creating early chances. The pacey no Keith Cameron was sent clear and only a saving foul by Strachan prevented a one on one with the keeper.

Insch goal keeper Watson’s blushes were saved when he again misjudged a high ball in from Johnstone and was glad to see the ball go past his left hand post.

The introduction of Knight for Cameron seemed to work as he was at the heart of things and was impeded just outside the box by Johnstone. The resultant freekick deflected off the end of the wall and just wide of Cameron’s left hand post.

The breakthrough came in the 75th minute when Rattrays failed to clear their lines at a corner and the ball fell to Dave Duthie at the edge of the box without hesitation he shot past a ruck of players low into the left hand corner.

Rattrays knew they had to score and pushed forward and had the ball in the net only for it to be adjudged to be offside. With minutes ticking away even Rattrays goalkeeper Cameron was up attacking and from the break away Insch should have killed the game off with three against one however Strachan won the ball and the game ended 1-0 to the visitors.

Full Time: 0 – 1

Rattrays XI: Scott Cameron, Mathieson, Strachan, Edwards, McLeod, Amos, Laing, Pocklington, Dunbar, Freeland, Clayton, Subs: Johnston, Milne, McEwan, Obrien

Insch: Errol Watson, Sean Watson, Harper, Duthie, Thomson, Brown, Singer, Williams, Simpson, Winter, Keith Cameron, Subs: Knight, Jaffray, Reid, Copland, Anderson

Referee: Steven Middleton