Andy Low’s return to the dugout ended in defeat at Victoria Park. After holding their own in the first half against the league leaders, Locos were undone by goals from Josh Peters and Andy Macaskill after the break. Low made one change to the team that beat Deveronvale last week, Sam Burnett coming in for Jay Halliday.
The opening twenty minutes saw little goal threat at either end. The Jags saw most of the ball and Peters and Sam Pugh both tried their luck but couldn’t test Andy Reid. The Locos keeper was called into action with 25 minutes on the clock though. A long ball forward found the head of Kyle McLeod near the edge of the penalty area but Reid reacted brilliantly to keep the game goalless.
The Railwaymen were next to threaten as Nathan Meres passed up a golden opportunity to open the scoring on the break. Logan Johnston was played down the left and his low ball in found Meres 6 yards from goal. The winger looked odds on to score but his first touched bobbled into the arms of a grateful Balint Demus.
Demus was called upon again in the final moments of the half, turning Robert Ward’s effort behind at his near post. Both managers would have been looking for more from their forward players in the second half and it was the hosts who took the lead a little under 10 minutes after the break. With numbers in the box, the ball was played square to Peters who finished off the underside of the bar from 12 yards.
With their noses in front Thistle are a potent force and began to put real pressure on the Locos defence. The second goal duly came in the 62nd minute. Substitute Craig Gill lost the ball in midfield and the ball was played down the right channel before being fed to Macaskill who had time to pick his spot low past Reid.
Buckie continued to have the better of the play, Peters trying his luck with a spectacular overhead kick that looped over the bar before Reid did superbly to get his fingertips to a goal bound McLeod header. Locos rallied and threatened a consolation in the closing stages. Meres well struck shot was blocked by the diving Pugh and from the resultant corner Ward’s close range effort was hooked from the line.
This was always going to be a tough opening fixture for Low and few fans would have travelled to Victoria Park with any expectation of victory. There was little between the two teams before the open goal though, after which Buckie took a firm grip on proceedings to show why they are once again title contenders. Next up Locos welcome Fraserburgh to Harlaw Park and will be hoping to continue their run of impressive performances against the Broch this season.
Buckie Thistle: Demus, McCabe (Munro), Fyffe, Murray, McLauchlan, Pugh, Goodall, Macaskill (Urquhart), Barry, Peters, McLeod (Adams) Unused Subs: Mackinnon, Ramsay, Maclennan, Herbert
Locos: A Reid, T Reid, Mitchell, Dingwall, Souter, Johnstone, Ward, Wood, Burnett (Halliday), Meres (Petermann), Robertson (Gill) Unused Subs: Alberts, Thain, Smith, Shingler