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Fort William pick up a point at Formartine but fall further behind Strathspey Thistle

Fort William boss Shadab Iftikhar
Fort William boss Shadab Iftikhar

Fort William picked up a precious point in their push towards preserving Highland League status but it could well have ended up as an even more satisfying outcome.

Fort boss Shadab Iftikhar believes his side’s display merited all three points at North Lodge Park in what turned out to be Paul Lawson’s final game in charge of the home side.

He said: “I thought we played really well, the performances over 90 minutes have been consistent for a while without getting the results

“We adapt our formations according to who our opponents are and I see Formartine United as a top 4 side.

“When you consider their goalkeeper made some really good saves, we were very unlucky not to get the full points.”

The Pitmedden side went in at the break a goal ahead thanks to a downward header from Scott Lisle from a pinpoint free kick.

Their bottom of the table visitors equalised in 58 minutes when a long ball sent Adam Morris racing in on goal and he beat Ewen MacDonald with an exquisite lob into the corner of the net.

MacDonald had just made a great save from Yves Zama and followed it up with another to keep the score level before a tousy end of the game resulted in Fort left back Jordan Thompson being sent off for two bookable offences.

Formartine and their management team have parted company following the draw.

Speaking before their departure was confirmed United assistant manager Russell Anderson was clearly shell-shocked by the result and performance.

He said: “I’m really disappointed and I don’t think we deserved any more than a point.

“We scored with a very good free kick but the quality wasn’t there throughout the team whether that was defensively or when we had the ball.”

Formartine United part company with management team

Vital win for Strathspey against Turriff

Craig Mackenzie, right, scored Strathspey Thistle’s opener against Turriff United.

Strathspey Thistle manager Charlie Brown, meanwhile, insists the only way is up for his side after they picked up their first win since October 6 with a 2-1 victory against Turriff United at Seafield Park.

Midfielder Craig Mackenzie put the Jags ahead in the fourth minute before on-loan Elgin City striker Dylan Lawrence doubled the Jags advantage.

Owen Kinsella pulled a goal back for United on the hour mark with a spectacular long range effort but Strathspey stood firm to claim victory against Turriff, who ended the game with 10 men following Magnus Watson’s red card for a second bookable offence.

The win takes Strathspey 10 points clear of bottom club Fort and a point behind United, who have played four games more than the two teams below them in the table.

Jags boss Brown said: “It was a great win and a much needed one.

“The boys have been putting in some good performances and having nothing to show for it so it was nice to see them finally get their reward.

“It was an important win for us and I know the boys are aiming higher than the bottom three places in the league.

“It’s amazing what a win can do for morale and the players believe they can challenge higher up the table. We’re not getting carried away though.

“Staying away from the play-off spot is the first aim but with four games in hand if we can win one or two of them we can think about moving up the table and catching the teams above us.”

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