Im­proved Fort still with­out points af­ter a tough week

The Oban Times - - Sports -

AF­TER tough week of play­ing three games in seven days in the High­land League, Fort Wil­liam are un­for­tu­nate to still be with­out points this sea­son de­spite some en­cour­ag­ing per­for­mances. Last Wed­nes­day night, Au­gust 2, the Lochaber out­fit faced a new look Rothes side bol­stered by a sum­mer of big spend­ing.

Rothes took the lead early on, how­ever, af­ter a poor start from the Fort saw goals from Craig Cor­mack and Kris Duncan put the Speysiders 2- 0 up af­ter just 11 min­utes. Just as Rothes be­gan to take a hold on the match, Fort Wil­liam’s new sign­ing John Trea­surer made the most of a mix-up in the Rothes de­fence to make it 2-1.

Rothes re­asserted their twogoal lead just three min­utes later, how­ever, with Steven Fraser get­ting on the score­sheet. With five min­utes to go in the first half, Fort at­tacker Daniel Highet had to be sub­sti­tuted af­ter suf­fer­ing a ham­string in­jury, with Jack Lin­gard tak­ing his place.

Just be­fore the half-time whis­tle, Michael Ellis curled in an ex­cel­lent shot on goal which nes­tled into the bot­tom cor­ner, mak­ing it 3-2 and restor­ing some hope for the home side.

Spurred on by that strike, Fort Wil­liam be­gan to dom­i­nate play at the start of the sec­ond half. This pres­sure was even­tu­ally re­warded as John Trea­surer, who would later limp off with an in­jury, got his sec­ond of the match on 61 min­utes af­ter a slick at­tack­ing move from the Fort Wil­liam for­ward line. Kieran Lopez hit­ting the bar and Michael Ellis strik­ing the post twice, Fort Wil­liam were un­lucky not to take the lead.

A killer blow was fi­nally dealt, how­ever, as Kris Duncan re­gained the lead for Rothes with a strike on 88 min­utes. The Fort play­ers con­tin­ued to press but a fourth goal eluded them. DE­SPITE two en­cour­ag­ing per­for­mances against Keith and Rothes, the Fort were brought back down to earth with a thump­ing de­feat at the hands of ti­tle chal­lengers Cove Rangers on Satur­day.

The Fort knew they were in for a tough af­ter­noon right from the kick- off as an in-form Cove Rangers dom­i­nated play. Although Jamie Mas­son opened the scor­ing for the Aberdeen club af­ter just nine min­utes, Fort Wil­liam com­peted well with the league front-run­ners but the qual­ity of the Cove play­ers be- gan to show and un­for­tu­nately a Fort Wil­liam ca­pit­u­la­tion late in the first-half saw Cove go into the half-time break 5- 0 up.

The Fort man­age­ment switched for­ma­tion to a 4-5-1 to try to ease the pres­sure on the de­fence but this meant chances were harder to come by for the Lochaber men. An­drew Martin was pe­nalised for a mist­imed tackle in the box giv­ing Mitch Meg­gin­son the chance to score from the spot and se­cure his hat-trick. Ryan Stra­chan and Daniel Park rounded off the scor­ing for Cove as they strut­ted to an 8- 0 vic­tory.

Co-man­ager Ali Smith com­mented: ‘It’s very dis­ap­point­ing to lose eight goals to any­one but we have to ad­mit that Cove are hav­ing a fantastic sea­son. That’s the best Cove team I have seen and must be ti­tle favourites af­ter scor­ing 21 goals in their first three games.

‘On a more pos­i­tive note, I thought Martin MacKin­non put in a great per­for­mance in goals for us, de­spite the score­line, and we’re grate­ful to him for that.

‘The at­ti­tude of all the boys has been fantastic and it’s been a big ask for the play­ers to have three games in one week.’

Fort Wil­liam’s league cam­paign will face Brora Rangers at Clag­gan Park this Satur­day in a 3pm kick- off.

Photo: Brian Bat­tensby Pho­tog­ra­phy.

Fort Wil­liam putting some pres­sure on the Cove Rangers de­fence with an in-swing­ing cor­ner.

Photo: Iain Fer­gu­son, The Write Im­age.

An­drew Ma­cLean makes a break towards goal, charg­ing past Rothes’ Stephen Ren­nie, left, and Jack Ma­ley.

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