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Sleepy Acks shake off rust to salvage point


By Matt Leslie


John O'Groats' Stuart Sinclair (right) tackles Graham Bremner of Thurso Acks to stop his shot on goal. Picture: James Gunn
John O'Groats' Stuart Sinclair (right) tackles Graham Bremner of Thurso Acks to stop his shot on goal. Picture: James Gunn

Thurso Acks had to be rudely awakened from their slumber in order to salvage a point at home against John O'Groats.

The third and fourth placed sides in Division One played out a 1-1 draw at The Dammies with Eddie Macgregor giving the visitors an early lead.

However, Acks managed to rally round and were able to equalised via Louis Webster's spot-kick.

Acks though looked unrecognisable from the side that had started the season so well.

So lethargic was their play, you would be mistaken for thinking this was their first game of the campaign and opening day nerves had taken hold of them.

However, scratch the surface and as always, a explanation is at hand and with all things considered, this was more a point won than two points lost for Thurso.

Acks boss Murray Coghill said: "Lets just say the boys were a bit ring rusty.

"If you check our fixture card, you'll see that prior to this game, we had not played a competitive match for three weeks.

"We all had that week off when the two Scotland games were taking place. Then our game against Pentland had to be postponed because a referee was not available to officiate on the day of the match.

"Plus we had another week off because other sides being involved in the latter stages of the Eain Mackintosh Cup.

"So this was the first game we've played since June 5th and it showed for the first 20 minutes.

"The opening quarter was as poor as I've seen us play for a very long time.

"We couldn't find a killer pass, couldn't find our touch and when we did get in front of their goal, we lacked that clinical edge needed to convert chances into goals.

"Thankfully we managed to shake off the ring-rust and gradually got back into our normal groove for the next hour where we were much better.

"John O'Groats did have the better of things in the last 10 minutes but we managed to keep it at 1-1. A draw was a fair result."

Thurso Acks' Louis Webster slots home a penalty to level during their 1-1 draw against John O'Groats. Picture: James Gunn
Thurso Acks' Louis Webster slots home a penalty to level during their 1-1 draw against John O'Groats. Picture: James Gunn

John O'Groats boss Grant Budge also admitted that a point apiece was the least both sides deserved.

He said: "We started well with Eddie Macgregor causing Acks' defence problems with his pace and strength.

"We took the lead on 20 minutes, when Iain Green threaded a pass to Eddie who took one touch, turned and smashed home a left-foot finish.

"Unfortunately for us, that was Eddie's last involvement. The ankle injury that has kept him out all season so far forced him off. Alan Davis came on in centre midfield for his first game this season after injury. "Acks equalised with a penalty just before half-time and in the second half, they had a fair bit of possession but we put up a strong defensive unit which they struggled to break down.

"However, Mark Munro nearly hit the winner for us with two minutes remaining but was denied by a fine save from their goalkeeper Sean Milligan."



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