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Match Report - Dornoch v Thurso FC

Submitted by Brian Mackay

5th September 2003

A warm sunny day in Dornoch greeted the Thurso squad from the long trip from The North on a dry, hard and bumpy playing surface. Thurso added Martin Rutherford to the squad from last week, who took a place on the bench alongside Green and Makhouli. They also welcomed back Ross Sutherland and Brian Gray from suspension.

  • Dornoch
    Masterton, Beaton, Horsburgh, S.Geegan, Anderson, Graham, Gow(A.Geegan 45), Emerson, MacBean, Burry, McLean.
  • Thurso
    Mackay, A.Sutherland, Gray, Farmer,R.Sutherland, Bremner, N.MacKenzie, Inrig(Rutherford 83), J.MacKenzie, MacDougall(M.Makhouli 64), Coghill(Green 61).

Thurso started brightly with Nigel MacKenzie again being the inspiration going forward with several dangerous runs and cross balls from the wing. After two minutes a deep cross from Nigel almost found his brother Jamie at the back post but the ball was cleared for a corner.

After five minutes a dangerous corner from Dornoch was cleared in the six-yard box by Inrig. After seven minutes Nigel MacKenzie was involved again when a poor clearance from the keeper was picked up by the winger and his shot from 6 yards was saved by Masterton in goal for Dornoch.

But after 10 minutes Nigel was not to be denied as he beat a couple of players on the edge of the box then from an acute angel brilliantly flicked the ball past the keeper to open the scoring for Thurso.

Thurso almost doubled their lead after 12 minutes when Jamie MacKenzie won a corner, which was headed just wide by Gray from Bremner's kick. Jamie MacKenzie then had a chance, which was blocked for a corner by the hard-pressed Dornoch defence. On the 20th minute Gavin Bremner had a powerful effort parried by Masterton, however the rebound went over the bar from Lee MacDougall from all of six yards.

After 22 minutes, Dornoch finally came back into the match and McLean put in a dangerous cross to MacBean who flashed a shot wide from all of two yards out. This gave Dornoch heart and in the 23rd minute Graham shot wide and on the 29th minute McLean had a shot saved by Mackay in goal for Thurso. After 26 minutes Gow got a yellow yard for dissent.

After half an hour Gavin Bremner had an effort from 25 yards over the cross bar.

McLean who was Dornoch's best hope of a goal on the day again tested Mackay but the ball went over the cross bar after Thurso had given away possession on the edge of their own box and again after 35 minutes from a free-kick also over the cross bar. With five minutes to the interval Gow put in a dangerous cross from the right which was collected by Mackay, then Nigel MacKenzie trying to break free on the right got a yellow card for speaking out of turn to the referee.

McLean again tested Mackay from 15 yards on the 41st minute but his tame effort caused the keeper very few problems. Then with a minute to the break Thurso almost shot themselves in the foot as they gave away the ball again at the edge of the box which left Gow a clear run in on goal which was scrambled clear by Gavin Bremner.

Half-time: Dornoch 0, Thurso 1

At half-time Gow was replaced by A.Geegan for Dornoch. The second half started very scrappily with hardly any incidents of note until the 52nd minute a dangerous corner from Dornoch was headed clear by The Thurso defence, followed by a shot from MacBean saved by Mackay.

Two minutes later Lee MacDougall had a powerful shot saved by Masterton from ten yards. In the 57th minute Brian Gray had to be on his toes as he cleared a dangerous ball off the line to safety as Dornoch looked increasingly dangerous as the game went on.

On the hour mark Nigel MacKenzie gave his defence respite as he went on a run down the right then chipped a sot just over the cross bar and a minute later Philip Green replaced the tiring Coghill for Thurso.

On the 62nd minute The Dornoch sub A. Geegan was booked for a crude challenge on keeper Brian Mackay as he came off his line to collect a dangerous through ball.

In the 64th minute Mark Makhouli, soon to be back at University in Dundee replaced Lee MacDougall who had worked hard up front without reward for Thurso. A minute later Nigel MacKenzie hit a cross shot which just went wide of the goal.

In the 69th minute Horsburgh brought Nigel MacKenzie down right through the centre of the goal but was only shown a yellow card when surely a red was the obvious option with the big Dornoch defender being last man. Nigel MacKenzie put the resultant free kick on the edge of the box well over the cross bar.

With 13 minutes remaining Nigel MacKenzie almost doubled his tally with a shot well saved by Masterton from 18 yards. A minute later Makhouli almost scored with his first touch with a shot saved from 6 yards out, then again two minutes later but the striker put the second effort wide of the target.

With nine minutes to go Thurso put the game beyond Dornoch as Makhouli broke into the box on the right and squared the ball to Jamie MacKenzie who guided the ball past Masterton from six yards.

With seven minutes to go new signing Martin Rutherford replaced Willie Inrig and took a position on the right of the midfield.

With six minutes to go Thurso extended their lead as Jamie MacKenzie returned the compliment to Mark Makhouli who scored from almost an identical position to the second goal as he side footed home a cut back from the right.

The final whistle was welcome for the players and supporters as there was torrential rain in the last ten minutes.

Final score: Dornoch 0, Thurso 3


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