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Striker says there is more to come for Brora Rangers Highland League Cup heroes

By Alasdair Fraser

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Breedon Highland Leauge. Nairn County v Brora Rangers. Brora's Jordan MacRae and Nairn's Callum MacLean. Picture: Callum Mackay..
Breedon Highland Leauge. Nairn County v Brora Rangers. Brora's Jordan MacRae and Nairn's Callum MacLean. Picture: Callum Mackay..

JORDAN MacRae is convinced Brora Rangers’ best lies ahead – with a new style of play still developing under manager Ally MacDonald.

The Sutherland team’s boss has been working to instil a slick-passing game, emphasising possession and movement, on the much-improved Dudgeon Park surface.

While MacRae stressed the Brora players had wholeheartedly bought into it, he admits the change in tactics and mindset had brought some teething troubles as the squad adjusted.

That has reflected in a lower goals return than is familiar for the Cattachs.

While beaten 3-0 by Ross County in midweek in the North of Scotland semi-final, Brora smashed six goals past Keith in Saturday’s Highland League Cup semi-final clash.

The 6-1 triumph set them up for the final against Fraserburgh in Inverurie on December 3.

MacRae, who netted two goals on Saturday to take his season’s tally to 13 in 11 games, said: “Under the new management, we’re playing a different way than we used to.

“At the moment, that’s probably part of the reason we’re not scoring so much.

“We’re buying into it, but it isn’t quite clicking yet.

“Once it does fully click, we’ll be fine – the way we’re trying to play from the back is enjoyable. It is the way I like to play and the way football is going. We’re playing out from the back, keeping the ball on the ground.

“Our new playing surface is helping a lot. The old park wasn’t really very conducive to playing that kind of football. It was a bit of a leveller for visiting teams.

“We’ve now got the opportunity to really forge our identity at Dudgeon Park and make it the kind of fortress we want it to be.

“In the cups, we’ve scored quite a few goals – it hasn’t been an issue – but in the league our goals for tally is still in single figures. In past years, Brora have had the best goal difference and scored a lot of goals. It will come.”

MacRae was naturally disappointed to exit the North Cup against a strong Ross County side boasting plenty of Premiership talent.

County started the likes of Jay Henderson, George Harmon and Alex Samuel, with the bulk of personnel drawn from the first team squad. There was also a start for Scotland under-19 cap Dylan Smith and summer signings Max Sheaf, Scott Allardice and Scott High.

Brora, though, have plenty of experience in the ranks of playing – and beating – bigger league opposition and could draw plenty positives from a scoreless, competitive first half.

If anything, the Highland League side held the majority of possession and created good chances against the team from four tiers above.

But Samuel sent County ahead immediately after the restart, doubling the lead in 56 minutes and completing his hat-trick in 65 minutes.

Brora, currently eight points off leaders Formartine with three games in hand, face Fraserburgh away tomorrow.

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