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KEITH FC’S MASTER CLASS

Now that the dust has settled at the end of a quite remarkable season for Keith FC the report card from the Headmaster states that the class of 2007 has well and truly entered the Club record books with a masterly display that now sees the Kynoch Park sideboard groaning under the weight of silverware writes Charlie Simpson.

If anybody has been in any doubt as to the credentials of the current playing squad just cast your eyes over the following facts:

Winners of the 100th Highland League Championship, the 7th title win in Keith’s history.

Winners of the Highland League Cup for a record ninth time in 11 Finals.

Winners of the Aberdeenshire District Shield for an unprecedented third successive year, five wins in total.

Beaten Finalists in the last ever Qualifying Cup Final.

Top scorer Cammy Keith becomes first player to hit a hat-trick in League Cup Final for 32 years.

19 year old Keith also broke a 73 year old Club record by netting 9 Qualifyng Cup goals in one season. The youngster also equalled Alex Grant’s 73 year old record of notching five Q Cup goals in one match.

The young striker tops the Highland League scoring charts with 26 goals.

The Maroons netted 100 goals or more in one season for the 18th time with 108 goals in 44 games.

Such a dramatic end to the season certainly couldn’t have been envisaged back on 5 August 2006 when Keith travelled to Dudgeon Park for the opening day of the season and defeated Brora Rangers 3-1 thanks to goals from Cammy Keith, Dean Donaldson and Neil Robertson. A semi-final defeat after extra time against Inverurie Locos in the Aberdeenshire Cup meant that the ‘Shire Cup would remain as elusive as ever, 1980 was the last triumph.

The Maroons then went on the Q Cup trail with wins over Lossiemouth after a replay, a five star display from young Keith at Cove and a Cammy strike in a replay against Buckie to set up a mouthwatering Final against Fraserburgh at Banff. Unfortunately, hotshot Cammy was suspended for the Final and despite leading through Derek Nicol, the Maroons rather exasperatingly lost out by the odd goal in three. They exacted revenge four nights later when they drubbed ‘Broch 3-0 in the Shield Final at Inverurie thanks to goals from Jamie McAllister, Derek Nicol and Jamie Lennox.

A disappointing exit in the Scottish Cup first round at Edinburgh University had the Keith faithful thinking it was going to be a long hard winter, but they should have known better.

The introduction of ex- Aberdeen, Dundee United and Peterhead defender Mark “Fred” Perry, former Inverurie midfielder Barry Somers signed from Sunnybank and ex-Rothes, Montrose, Motherwell and Peterhead striker Martin Wood, to an already experienced squad brought startling results. Even with the blip of the two draws at Forres and Rothes, the Maroons ended the season having lost only once in 2007, a controversial defeat at Inverurie on 13 January. They racked up 16 successive unbeaten league and cup matches winning their last seven outings and losing only once in their last 20 games. Quite simply they ground the life out of the other title chasing aspirants one by one.

Their competitive record for the season reads:

P W D L GF GA

44 31 6 7 108 42

Twenty six players made appearances as follows: Andy Shearer ­ 43, Derek Nicol ­ 42, Darren Still 42, Dean Donaldson ­ 43, Neil Robertson ­ 36, Kris Niddrie ­ 23, Wayne Mackay ­ 35, Graham Lonie ­ 31, Stuart Walker ­ 41, Jonathan Watt ­ 40, Jamie Lennox ­ 37, Cammy Keith ­ 35, Jerry O’Driscoll ­ 29, Jamie McAllister ­ 24, Ritchie Craig ­ 27, Mark Perry ­ 17, Barry Somers ­ 14, Martin Wood ­ 12, Kerr Gibson ­ 10, Sean McKinstry 10, Steve King ­ 4, Danny Tritton - 5, Darren Stephen ­ 2, John Cheyne ­ 2, Gary Nicol ­ 1, Angus McSween ­ 1.

On the goalscoring front Cammy Keith of course led the netbulging with an amazing fifteen players finding the back of the net: Cammy Keith ­ 26(inc 2 pens), Dean Donaldson ­ 13, Jamie Lennox ­ 12, Stuart Walker ­ 10, Jerry O’Driscoll ­ 9, , Barry Somers ­ 7(inc 2 pens), Martin Wood ­ 6(inc 2 pens), Ritchie Craig ­ 6, Graham Lonie ­ 4, Darren Still ­ 4, Neil Robertson ­ 4, Kris Niddrie ­ 2, Derek Nicol ­ 2, Jamie McAllister ­ 2, Gary Nicol ­ 1.

Yes truly a magnificent season and for those diehard fans who follow through thick and thin, and witnessed, and were also part of the amazing scenes when the title was clinched, and the five goal mauling of Buckie in the Cup Final a week later, the achievment will live long in the memory with a host of tales to tell the grandchildren that I was there!