Miserable afternoon can’t dent spirit of young keeper

Highland League - Fraserburgh v. Fort William. Fraserburgh Greg Buchan and Fort William keeper Martin MacKinnon. Picture by COLIN RENNIE February 10, 2018.

Fort William’s 17-year-old goalkeeper Martin MacKinnon is learning in the school of hard knocks – and he could not be happier.

The talented teenager is on loan from Caley Thistle to his home town club until the end of the season and endured a miserable afternoon at Fraserburgh on Saturday as his side shipped nine goals to a rampant Broch.

Despite the 9-0 loss MacKinnon insists he is enjoying the experience and believes it will help him become a better player.

He said: “I am loving it as I am getting plenty game time and it is equally good to come back home to Fort William.

“I’m a full-time footballer with Caley Thistle but I’m really pleased that I am able to help out my home town club, but the best thing is getting minutes under my belt and I try to keep the boys’ spirits up.

“We had a really good 1-1 draw against Clach at Claggan Park a week ago and we think we have a wee chance this weekend when Turriff United, who don’t have a manager at the moment, come down to Lochaber.”

MacKinnon, whose father Alan is a former Fort manager, knows trips to Bellslea Park are one of the most daunting in the Highland League but has vowed to pick himself up and go again when his side face Nairn County tomorrow.

He said: “Saturday’s game at Fraserburgh was a tough one as it’s a really difficult place to go to.

“It was disappointing in a way but we’ve just to get going again against Nairn County, then again at home to managerless Turriff United this Saturday.

“Fraserburgh striker Paul Campbell scored a five-minute hat-trick so we found ourselves 3-0 down after just 10 minutes.

“We tried to stay tight at the back, and to keep our shape, but they were pinging the ball around and we struggled with that.

“I did think that I could have done a bit better with a couple of the Broch goals but I had absolutely no chance with the final one, which was a ferocious 30-yard free kick from Graham Johnston.”