High Ormlie Hotspur squad 'all pulling in the right direction' ahead of Highland Amateur Cup trip
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There is a growing sense of positivity around High Ormlie Hotspur ahead of Saturday's Highland Amateur Cup trip to the Black Isle.
They have a third-round tie against Iochdar Saints at neutral Culbokie, with an 11am kick-off to fit in with the South Uist club's travel arrangements.
Spurs will go into the match in a confident frame of mind following their 4-1 victory over Wick Thistle in a Caithness AFA Division One match in midweek.
Player/co-manager Rob McLean said: "We are really looking forward to Saturday. The squad is in a really good place at the minute – we all seem to be pulling in the right direction and there's a really good mood in the camp.
"We've managed to string together a run of strong performances which we will look to carry on this weekend.
"The early kick-off is a strange one but it's the same for both teams – we'll just need to make sure we go into the game with the right frame of mind. I'm sure our boys will, though."
Iochdar Saints, who beat Watten 4-0 in the last round, are travelling to the mainland on Friday. After the game they will head back to Mallaig in time for the early evening ferry.
Aidan Reid headed in the opener for Spurs at Morrison Park on Tuesday night and further goals came from Liam Bain, James Mackintosh and Ben Gordon. Scott Durrand replied for the visitors.
McLean said: "We put in a really strong performance, particularly in the first half. Being ruthless in front of goal is something we haven't necessarily been as a team so far this season but on Tuesday night we certainly were."
Thistle player/manager Owen Harrold said: "It was a hard result to take. We simply never turned up and High Ormlie Hotspur thoroughly deserved the win."
Thistle are also in Highland Amateur Cup action on Saturday with a trip to Stromness.
"We are seriously lacking in confidence right now," Harrold said. "We just need to get this result out of the system as we have a couple of tough games coming up with Stromness Athletic in the Highland Amateur Cup and then Wick Groats in the league."
Results – Caithness AFA Division One: Wick Groats 4, John O'Groats 1; Acks 6, John O'Groats 3; High Ormlie Hotspur 4, Wick Thistle 1; Lybster 3, Pentland United 5; Wick Groats 5, Staxigoe United 0.
Division Two: Castletown 3, Swifts 3; Keiss 5, Top Joe's 2; Watten 1, Pentland 3; Keiss 2, Swifts 1; Pentland 2, Top Joe's 1; Watten 2, Castletown 7.
Colin Macleod Memorial Cup final: Acks 1, Pentland United 5 (at Castletown).
Fixtures – Saturday – Highland Amateur Cup, third round (ties involving Caithness clubs): Iochdar Saints v High Ormlie Hotspur (at Culbokie, 11am); Pentland United v Lairg Rovers (3pm); Stromness Athletic v Wick Thistle (noon); Wick Groats v Staxigoe United (3pm).
Monday – Division Two: Castletown v Watten; Swifts v Keiss; Top Joe's v Pentland (all 7.30pm).
Tuesday – Division One: John O'Groats v High Ormlie Hotspur; Lybster v Acks; Pentland United v Staxigoe United; Wick Thistle v Wick Groats (all 7.30pm).
Caithness Ladies lost 5-3 to Orkney in their Highlands and Islands League match in windy conditions at the Dammies on Saturday. Carly Erridge scored twice for the home side and Chloe Stebbing got the other.
Caithness are seventh in the nine-team division with two wins and five losses from seven fixtures. Buckie Ladies have a five-point lead at the top.