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Acks will look to cause an upset in cup final against Pentland United


By Alan Hendry

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Striker Graham Bremner – in action here against Lybster – was among the scorers in Acks' semi-final win against Pentland. Picture: James Gunn
Striker Graham Bremner – in action here against Lybster – was among the scorers in Acks' semi-final win against Pentland. Picture: James Gunn

Acks acknowledge they are underdogs going into Saturday's Colin Macleod Memorial Cup final against Pentland United – but player/co-manager Craig Trueman believes the Thurso side can inflict a first defeat of the season on the county league leaders.

"I think everyone would agree that Pentland United will be the favourites," Trueman said. "They're not really weak in any areas. But we'll still go into the game trying our best to win it.

"I think it's fair to say that we will be underdogs, but I still believe that on our day we can beat them."

The teams met in a Division One fixture at the Dammies on May 31. It was goalless at half-time that night but the Stabbies scored five without reply after the break.

"The first half was maybe something to build on for Saturday. We'll see what happens in a one-off game," Trueman said.

"We'll be missing a few again with holidays and injuries and what not, but we'll still have a squad that hopefully can be competitive and win the game."

The match at Castletown's Back Park is a repeat of the 2012 final which Acks won 1-0 thanks to a goal by Murray Mackintosh – who is now a Pentland United player.

Conor Trueman sandwiched between Graham MacNab and Jonah Martens during Pentland United's semi-final victory over Groats. Picture: James Gunn
Conor Trueman sandwiched between Graham MacNab and Jonah Martens during Pentland United's semi-final victory over Groats. Picture: James Gunn

United co-manager Michael Gray said: “I have negative memories of the last time we played Acks in a Colin Macleod Memorial Cup final – they beat us.

“When we played them in the league it was very competitive for long spells.

"We know that they've got good experience and good talent right through their team, so it will be up to us again to overcome the challenges that game will provide.

"It's a cup final – anything can happen. It's a one-off game.

“We'll give Thurso Acks the respect that they deserve for reaching the cup final themselves.”

The Stabbies reached the final with a 3-2 victory over the holders Wick Groats at Ham Park on Monday. Acks booked their place six weeks ago when they beat Thurso rivals Pentland 4-1.

Trueman was 19 and in his first season with Acks at the time of the 2012 final. "There are actually quite a few of us that are still in the squad that played 10 years ago – and there are a few of them that are playing for the Stabs against us this time around," he said.

It will be something of a family affair on Saturday with brothers Craig and Conor Trueman playing for Acks and Pentland United respectively and another set of brothers, Murray and Innes Mackintosh, in the Pentland United squad – all of whom are cousins.

Acks are second bottom of the eight-team first division after their opening seven fixtures, below Wick Thistle on goal difference and two points above Lybster.

"We have been quite short, and drafting different boys in every week, which doesn't help and is probably one of the major factors in us maybe not doing as well as we hoped," Trueman said. "It's just inconsistency.

"Every team seems to be taking points off each other."

Meanwhile, the Eain Mackintosh Cup semi-final between Staxigoe United and Pentland United has been scheduled for Friday, July 1.

Related story:

Fixtures – Friday – Division Two: Keiss v Top Joe's (7.30pm).

Saturday – Colin Macleod Memorial Cup final: Acks v Pentland United (at Castletown, 3pm).

Monday – Division Two: Keiss v Swifts; Pentland v Top Joe's; Watten v Castletown (all 7.30pm).

Tuesday – Division One: Acks v John O'Groats; High Ormlie Hotspur v Wick Thistle; Lybster v Pentland United; Wick Groats v Staxigoe United (all 7.30pm).

The John O'Groat Journal's report of the 2012 final when Acks defeated Pentland United.
The John O'Groat Journal's report of the 2012 final when Acks defeated Pentland United.

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