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Goals galore as Thurso Pentland edge thriller

By Matt Leslie

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Defences were definitely not on top at Ormlie Park as Thurso Pentland edged out Top Joes in a nine-goal thriller in CAFA Division Two to win 5-4.

Brandon Macleod opened the scoring for Thurso Pentland before Top Joes hit back with William Cannop and Martin Murray's penalty giving them the lead.

Nathan Quinn levelled for the visitors and then came a moment of controversy when Murray thought he had restored the home side's lead only to be pulled back for a marginal offside call.

Pentland rubbed salt into Joes' wounds a couple of minutes later when Macleod grabbed his second and then completed his hat-trick. A fifth goal came via the boot of Cameron Ryder.

But the match was far from over as Top Joes launched a fightback with Martin Murray again successful from the spot and he completed his own treble soon after.

They had left it too late, though, and they still prop up the table without a point to their name.

Pentland meanwhile move into third spot and assistant coach Ewan Scott was pleased with his side rediscovering their knack for scoring goals.

He said: "On the positive side, we won and appear to have regained our form in front of goal.

"For some reason, we have struggled in the goalscoring department of late so it was good to see us hitting the back of the net.

"Of course there is one obvious aspect of our game that needs work on – defence.

If that's allowed to stand we go 3-2 up and who knows what might have happened from there

"While it was great to win scoring five goals, losing four of our own was not good.

"We were very complacent and at 5-2 we were maybe guilty of pushing up too much in the search for more goals.

"We've not got the quickest of back lines and when sloppy mistakes are made, teams will punish you – and that's what Top Joes did.

"Thankfully we held on and all credit to Top Joes for battling until the end."

Top Joes boss Bruce Cormack was left thinking at what might have been.

He said: "The disallowed goal was the turning point.The linesman said Martin was offside but we feel he wasn't.

"If that's allowed to stand we go 3-2 up and who knows what might have happened from there.

"Instead, it is ruled out and within minutes we find ourselves 5-2 down. We came back strongly but left it too late.

"However, the fighting spirit we showed to come back is something we can work with and hopefully use it as a springboard to improve our results."

Elsewhere in Division Two, Halkirk were left stunned as High Ormlie Hotspur snatched a 4-2 win.

Marc Keith, James Mackintosh, Liam Dykes and Euan Munro were on target for Spurs, with Halkirk's goals coming via Paddy Blackwood and Stuart Campbell.

Halkirk drop to fourth in the table while Spurs are now six points clear from Top Joes at the bottom.

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