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Reid delighted as Vikings get the better of islanders


By Matt Leslie


Thurso's James McLean heads clear from a corner during the Vikings' 1-0 win against Orkney in Halkirk. Picture: James Gunn
Thurso's James McLean heads clear from a corner during the Vikings' 1-0 win against Orkney in Halkirk. Picture: James Gunn

Thurso boss Stevie Reid felt his Vikings got everything they deserved after overcoming Orkney on Saturday.

James Murray's penalty on 72 minutes sealed a 1-0 victory for Reid's side at their latest "home" venue at Halkirk.

With the Dammies still out of action due to drainage issues, and the all-weather pitch at Naver being booked in advance, the North Caledonian League stepped in to make Halkirk United's Morrison Park home available for Thurso's clash against the islanders.

Despite a shaky first half, Thurso gradually imposed themselves on their visitors and got their reward when Murray converted a spot-kick that he won after being sent tumbling in the box.

Reid said: "I'm absolutely delighted with this win because the boys deserved it – especially after being held to a draw at their place the last time we played them, when we should have won there.

"Orkney are a very good team so to compete against them, get the win and a clean sheet is some achievement.

"It was a very open game which would have been good to watch if you were a neutral.

"Orkney had the better of proceedings in the first half. We were a bit slow and our passing wasn't as good as it usually is.

"We were better in the second half. Stevie Morris had a good chance which he might have done better with but put it over the bar.

Thurso's Cameron Montgomery prepares to fire a cross past Steven Hellewell of Orkney. Picture: James Gunn
Thurso's Cameron Montgomery prepares to fire a cross past Steven Hellewell of Orkney. Picture: James Gunn

"However, bringing James Murray on as a substitute changed things and he proved to be the difference as he held the ball up well and led the line.

"It was no surprise that he was instrumental in the goal. It was a clumsy challenge from the Orkney player but James drew the foul in and composed himself to slot home the penalty.

"In fact, James should have had another not long after had he made a cleaner contact with the ball. Instead it allowed their defender to clear off the line."

One disappointing factor for Reid is that Thurso will not be allowed the chance to build up some momentum from this win as this weekend it's their turn to sit out the fixture card of the nine-team North Caledonian League.

Reid added: "It is a wee bit of a disappointment as you always look forward to the next game after you've got a good win.

"However, it is not as big a blow as the one our left-back Innes Mackintosh has received. He did his hamstring last week and looks like facing a four to six-week lay-off.

"But on the plus side, we have Alan Munro back in training after he went over on his ankle a couple of months back and Sean Stewart has played his last game as a trialist having officially signed for us."

Elsewhere in the North Caledonian League, Scott Houston helped himself to a hat-trick as leaders Invergordon hammered bottom side Bonar Bridge 8-0. Also netting were Shaun Kerr (2), Kyle Maclean, Russell MacIntyre and Ken Morrison.

Current champions, Golspie Sutherland, came away from Inverness Athletic with a 4-0 victory. Goals from Ally Macleod, Liam Bremner, Grant MacNab and Eoghann Davie sealed the win.

Fixtures for Saturday, January 11

North Caledonian League (all kick-offs 1pm unless stated otherwise)

Bunillidh Thistle v Bonar Bridge

Golspie Sutherland v St Duthus

Halkirk United v Inverness Athletic

Invergordon v Orkney (12.45pm)



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