Aberdeenshire AFA

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Turriff Thistle 4 – 3 Linton Hotspur

Scottish Cup Third Round Replay at The Huaghs on Saturday 24th November

Report by Andy McLaren

Turriff Thistle striker Mark Robertson admits he is “devastated” to be missing his side’s fourth round Scottish Cup tie this weekend because of work commitments.

The Aberdeenshire side travel to Livingstone on Saturday to face Loganlea United after clinching a nail-biting 4-3 win over Linton Hotspur.

Robertson scored a last minute equaliser in their third round clash against the West Linton outfit to force a replay last week and believes his side can also progress to the fifth round and be one of the few North-East teams to progress that far in the competition in two years.

He said: “Unfortunately I leave to work offshore later this week. Obviously I am gutted to be missing the game on Saturday but I believe the team can win without me. This performance shows we can cause a few upsets in the competition.“We are playing well and it’s good to get the rewards for hard work.”

Robertson, who had a spell with Highland League side Turriff United, was Thistle’s leading goal scorer with 40 goals last season but admits he is finding it hard to re-produce that form.

He said: “Last season was a great year for both me and the club. I have been away for the majority of the season so I’m finding it hard to repeat last season’s goal scoring form.

“I love playing football so it’s always a blow for me when I can’t make training or matches. If we play like we have in the last two games against Linton then there is no reason why we can’t progress further than the fifth round.”

Turriff Thistle chairman John Bell is proud to be the fifth side from the North-East to progress to the fourth round of the Scottish Cup. Bell has been with the club since 1993 and admits it will be great to fly the Aberdeenshire flag in Livingstone on Saturday.

He said: “We have been better on our travels this season and the celebrations at the full-time whistle show how much this result means to the club. We train twice a week and the organisation at the club is much more professional than what it was when I first joined Turriff.

“Another away tie is a bonus for us as all the lads enjoy the banter on the bus and the night out after the game. We have played extremely well since the club was re-formed last year and it’s great for the community to see the team do well in the Scottish cup.

“I’m delighted to get another away trip and hopefully the lads can continue this wonderful success story.”

Turriff struggled for any sort of rhythm and were lucky not to be a goal down after 10 minutes when goalkeeper Scott Fraser palmed Graeme Muirhead’s fierce drive onto the post.

Hotspur, who were established in 1922 and are one of the oldest teams in amateur football, opened the scoring on 15 minutes when Campbell Forsyth’s shot squirmed underneath Fraser and bobbled into the net.

Thislte were 2-0 behind moments after when Graeme Muirhead toe-poked a loose ball into the net after a mix up between Ian Massie and Scott Fraser.

But Linton’s afternoon suddenly became less comfortable when Turriff’s Paul Williamson cleverly chipped the ball over the onrushing Leigh Gordon to make it 2-1.

The Aberdeenshire side levelled the match at 2-2 on 35 minutes when Williamson unleashed a powerful low drive into the bottom corner of the net, giving Leigh Gordon no chance.

Thistle were close to completing a dramatic turnaround 5 minutes before half-time when Williamson’s looping shot was tipped over the bar by Leigh Gordon.

Half-time: 2 – 2

Mark Robertson and Clarke Morrison were causing the Hotspur defence all sorts of problems and it was Morrison who picked out Williamson with a teasing cross who tapped the ball into the net from 5 yards to complete his hat-trick.

However, the momentum shifted once more when Campbell Forsyth almost levelled the score-line from a free-kick that brushed the side of the post.
10 minutes later, Clarke Morrison peeled away from Adam Cursiter to neatly slot the ball underneath the goalkeeper to make it 4-2 to the Aberdeenshire side.

Ross Nisbet showed there was still life in Linton when he unleashed a ferocious free-kick into the top corner of the net to make it 4-3 on 85 minutes.

But Turriff Thistle held on to set up a clash with Livingstone’s Loganlea United, who knocked AAFA club Newtonhill out of the cup in their third round clash.

Full Time: 4 – 3