Aberdeenshire AFA

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Newburgh Thistle 1 – 4 Huntly Amateurs

1st Touch Football Division Three at Newburgh on Saturday 12th May

Report by Andy McLaren

Newburgh Thistle manager Jamie Clark could not hide his delight after his side achieved promotion to Division Two, despite crashing to a 4-1 defeat by Huntly Amateurs in their last game of the season.

Clark believes his teams promotion triumph deserves “massive praise”, after the club merged with neighbours Parkway Thistle in only their first amateur season together.

He said: “The two teams have gelled together well with a good mix of pace and strength throughout the squad. Work commitments mean we have found it hard to keep a stable starting eleven, so to gain promotion is something special.”

Thistle chairman Ian Alexander expects the club to go from “strength to strength” next season. He said: “We now have full backing and funding in place to commence with the building of new changing facilities, which will give the players an added incentive to do the club proud next season. “It’s an exciting time for the lads but we know next season will be an even tougher test.”

Huntly’s Ben Myers was the man of the match after his hat-trick continued his side’s impressive run towards the end of the season in a pulsating clash of two Aberdeenshire rivals.

It was the prolific Myers who grabbed an early goal after he slotted the ball in off the bar from a well weighted Owen Mitchell pass.

The partnership of Myers and John Robertson caused the Newburgh defence problems throughout the match with their quick, one touch passing that almost resulted in a Thistle own goal after Leslie Duncan’s last ditch challenge brushed the post before going out for a corner.

Huntly goalkeeper Charles Wood had to be alert as he foiled Greg Matthew and Jamie Lobban with two excellent saves before Garry Finnie missed a glorious opportunity from only ten yards.

Huntly’s second goal also came from Myers once more as he curled a swooping free kick past the unfortunate Kyle Eaglesfield who could only parry it into the side of the net.

Newburgh’s day went from bad to worse as their captain, Steven Sinclair was awarded a red card after an off the ball incident with Huntly’s Ben Myers.

The resulting free kick was brilliantly executed by Shaun Nichol who rifled the ball in off the post to cap an excellent half from his side.

Half-time: 0 – 3

The visitors were sharp throughout, zipping passes neatly around the surface and always looked the more likely to score.

Newburgh’s Gavin Law fired a good chance over while Ian Barron fluffed an even better chance from close range when he misjudged a header from Richard Hyland’s cross.

On 65 minutes, Garry Finnie wriggled free down the right flank to reach the by-line, picking out Scott Cruickshank to side foot it past Charles Wood to reduce the deficit.

However, Huntly were quick to respond as Ben Myers rounded of an impressive display by thumping a penalty past Kyle Eaglesfield to secure his hat-trick and all three points.

Full Time: 1 – 4