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Lapse of concentration hits Vikings' title hopes


By Matt Leslie


Thurso boss Stevie Reid is struggling for numbers for this weekend's North Caledonian Cup tie. Picture: James Gunn
Thurso boss Stevie Reid is struggling for numbers for this weekend's North Caledonian Cup tie. Picture: James Gunn

One lapse of concentration was all it took to damage the Vikings' title chances as they crashed 4-1 at league leaders Invergordon.

Thurso went into this one knowing a win would take them to within a point of the North Caledonian League summit – and for an hour they were on course to do so.

Michael Petrie's third-minute penalty had Stevie Reid's men in front. But an Innes MacIntosh own goal – unfortunately knocked in by the Thurso man when trying to intercept a low cross – hauled Invergordon back into it, and soon after some poor defending allowed the hosts to take the lead through Ian Penwright.

In their desperation in order to retrieve the situation, Thurso pushed more players up front but were undone by two late breakaway goals by Ken Morrison.

Reid said: "It was a very frustrating day as, for the best part of an hour, things were very much going to plan.

"The pitch was heavy so we tried to be more direct with our play and that approach worked a treat as we looked very comfortable.

"We were leading coming to the hour mark and then one lapse of concentration saw an attacking move break down, Invergordon hitting us on the break and poor Innes in trying to stop them unfortunately getting an own goal.

"As for Invergordon's second, a lack of communication combined with a catalogue of errors led to a soft goal being given away.

I'd rather go for an equaliser and lose 4-1 than to not try at all just to keep the score down.

"It's the old adage of when you don't kick your opponent when they are down, they'll get back up and bite you on the bum. And that's what happened here.

"We tried to push up to get an equaliser but lost two more goals on the break. The scoreline doesn't look very good but I'd rather go for an equaliser and lose 4-1 than to not try at all just to keep the score down."

Thurso's attentions turn to the North Caledonian Cup this weekend as they entertain Inverness Athletic at their temporary home ground at Naver.

Reid is struggling for numbers with many players out injured and two others on "other football business".

He said: "Michael Petrie and Conor Steven are away down south to watch Manchester City play. In fairness, they did give us plenty of notice about this.

"However, we've quite a lot of injuries for the cup tie. Conor Trueman is struggling to make it after picking up a knock on both his ankle and shin.

"Our goalie Asa Sinclair has an ankle worry, as does James Murray. Cameron Montgomery is not available either as his injury has not cleared. It is the same with Stevie Morris.

"Andrew Mackay is away on holiday – again he did give us plenty of notice – while Rob Maclean has family commitments."

Elsewhere in the North Caledonian League last weekend, Golspie Sutherland dished out a 10-0 hammering to Inverness Athletic.

Golspie's scorers were Eoghann Davie (3), Liam Bremner (3), Sandy Sutherland, Danny Coghill, Sean Munro and Eddie MacGregor.

In the North Caledonian Cup, Orkney knocked out Nairn County U20 in a 5-3 victory.

The islanders netted through Aiden Drever, Zak Singh, Liam Delday (2) and Chris Hellewell. Ciaran Young hit a hat-trick for Nairn.

Fixtures for Saturday, February 9

(Kick-offs 1.30pm unless stated otherwise)

North Caledonian League

Bunillidh Thistle v Invergordon

Orkney v Bonar Bridge (12.45pm)

St Duthus v Golspie Sutherland

North Caledonian Cup

Thurso v Inverness Athletic



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