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North Caledonian League: Fort William hit eight in late goal rush

Leaders Loch Ness see fixture postponed, which allows Invergordon the chance to move into top spot after a fine 3-1 win at St Duthus.

Fort William's David Neil shows his delight as one of Connor McLeod's three goals hits the net against Alness United.
Fort William's David Neil shows his delight as one of Connor McLeod's three goals hits the net against Alness United. Image: Iain Ferguson, The Write Image

Fort William were the big winners in the North Caledonian League, while Invergordon moved into first place with Loch Ness out of action.

Fort’s home fixture against Alness United was played at Lochaber High School and it ended in a resounding 8-3 win for the West Highlanders.

Yet, the scoreline doesn’t reflect what Alness put into the contest, with three of 10-man Fort’s goals coming in the final six minutes.

Ayman Bouzerai got the ball rolling with the opener on 11 minutes just before a quickfire double from Connor McLeod.

Fort William’s Martin Munro, left, and Alness United’s Luke Mackay in a race for possession. Image: Iain Ferguson, The Write Image

Goals from Ross Macrae and Callum Coli either side of the interval hauled Alness into the match, but Connor McLeod’s hat-trick clinching goal soon after made it 4-2.

A second yellow card for Kieran Lopez on the hour mark made it 10 v 11, soΒ Martin Munro’s 70th minute goal provided an extra cushion.

Alness were not finished though and Luke Mackay netted to make it 5-3 going into the closing 10 minutes.

However, two goals within two minutes from Andrew Sneddon and a Ross Peters goal added gloss to the scoreline for Alan Gray’s sharp-shooters, who tighten their grip within fourth position, moving level on points with Halkirk United.

Invergordon too sharp for Saints

Ferry issues for Orkney meant their fixture against defending champions Loch Ness in Fortrose was postponed.

This allowed Invergordon the chance to move clear at the top of the table by three points – and they took it thanks to their 3-1 win at St Duthus.

Blair Morrison put Invergordon ahead after just two minutes and Ryan McFee added another on 18 minutes to put the visitors in control against their fifth-placed opponents.

Ken Morrison made it 3-0 with five minutes to go, meaning Billy Cairns’ late counter was a mere consolation for Saints.

Mackay at the double for Halkirk Utd

Halkirk United kept their slim title chances alive as Andrew Mackay’s goals – one in each half – earned the Anglers a 2-0 home win against Inverness Athletic at Morrison Park.

Last week, Halkirk were beaten 3-0 at Loch Ness, so this victory was the ideal response as they sit 10 points off top spot, but with two games in hand on both Invergordon and Loch Ness.

 

Golspie make it five straight wins

It’s five wins in succession for Golspie Sutherland manager Andrew Banks since he returned to the hot-seat as they hit back from a goal down to win 3-1 at Bonar Bridge.

Banks, who won the title with Golspie in 2018-2019, replaced Mark McKernie in November, and they had defeated St Duthus, Orkney, Inverness Athletic and Alness going into the weekend.

Despite being second bottom, Bonar have been improving under the son and father management of Robbie and Bobby Breen and Connel Gresham put them ahead after eight minutes.

Graham Macnab’s reply on 15 minutes was added to by Cameron Sutherland six minutes into the second half. Macnab scored the crucial third on 85 minutes.

This latest victory for fifth-placed Golspie moved them six points ahead of St Duthus, with Fort William four points ahead of them, having played one match more.

Maciver’s goal earns Lilywhites win

Clachnacuddin reserves are in seventh position, with Scott Maciver’s 19th minute goal against basement opponents Thurso meaning they are three points ahead of Inverness Athletic, albeit they have played one game more than their city rivals.

This coming Saturday, Invergordon are the visitors to Inverness Athletic, while Loch Ness travel to Thurso as the pick of the games.