Fort William ended a near two-and-a-half-year wait for a Highland League victory after defeating Clach 1-0 at Claggan Park.
Although Fort have won twice in the North of Scotland Cup this season, Jack Brown’s second-half strike gave Russell MacMorran’s side a first league triumph since a 4-1 win over Strathspey Thistle on April 12 2017.
Clach were first to threaten within the opening minute, with winger Ross Logan drilling an effort wide, while Ryan MacKintosh blazed an effort past.
The game was stopped for several minutes to allow MacKintosh to receive treatment following a clash of heads in the visitors’ box, however the defender was able to continue.
The hosts’ first sight at goal arrived on 15 minutes when Clach keeper Jake Williamson’s clearance landed with Robert Nevison, however the Fort skipper shot over the bar.
Fort were gaining a decent foothold, with Roddy Kennedy firing wide from the edge of the box while, at the other end, Blair Lawrie saw a low strike whistle just wide of Martin MacKinnon’s right-hand post.
FORT WILLIAM 1-0 CLACHNACUDDIN
OUR FIRST LEAGUE WIN IN 882 DAYS
— Fort William FC (@FortWilliamFC) September 11, 2019
The first half continued to be evenly contested with chances at both ends. Fort’s Jack Brown called Williamson into action with a curling low strike from the edge of the box while at the other end MacKintosh hit the bar with a rasping effort from close-range.
Fort ended the first half on top, though, with Kennedy denied by an excellent save from the feet of Williamson, while Ryan Fyffe could not force the ball goalwards and Donald Morrison also nodded over from a corner as the sides reached the interval goalless.
Fort were not to be denied just three minutes into the second half, however. The Lochaber men hit the visitors on the break from their own corner, with Kieran Chalmers eventually releasing Brown to coolly slot past Williamson.
The home side were inches from a second on 52 minutes, with Chalmers striking a low effort off the post from distance.
Fort continued to look dangerous. However Clach remained a threat, with Scott Dunn inches away from connecting with Douglas Bruce’s cross.
The hosts had to withstand late pressure, with MacKinnon making a fine save to deny Clach skipper Michael Finnis. However there was no breakthrough from the Inverness men who continue to look for their first victory under new manager Sandy McLeod.