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Stabbies will require 'big effort' in Highland Amateur Cup clash with Ness


By Alan Hendry

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Pentland United's Marc Macgregor beats Kieran Macleod for the opening goal at the Upper Bignold on Wednesday night. Picture: James Gunn
Pentland United's Marc Macgregor beats Kieran Macleod for the opening goal at the Upper Bignold on Wednesday night. Picture: James Gunn

Pentland United co-manager Michael Gray says a "big effort" will be required if the Stabbies are to see off the only non-Caithness team left in the Highland Amateur Cup.

The Dunnet outfit take on Ness, from the Lewis and Harris league, in their semi-final at neutral Culbokie on Saturday. The winners will face either Wick Groats or High Ormlie Hotspur in the final.

The Stabbies have won the competition a record eight times but Ness have a proud record of their own.

“We know that they are a very capable and accomplished side," Gray said. "They've got a rich history in the Highland Amateur Cup – they've won it four times.

“We know that it's going to take a big effort from the guys on Saturday to get through. But I've said it consistently – if you want to win these competitions you're going to have to beat the better teams.

“You go into a semi-final fully expecting a really tough game and we know we're going to get that.”

Pentland United came back from 3-1 down to beat Stromness Athletic 5-3 in Orkney in the last round.

The Stabbies were beaten 3-1 after extra time in their midweek David Allan Shield semi-final against Wick Groats.

Gray said: “I thought their set-pieces were very good. They made our goalkeeper work more than we made their goalkeeper.

"On the balance of play, they hit the target more regularly than we did – unfortunately that probably was the defining factor. Sometimes you've just got to recognise that the cards didn't fall for you."

Greg Shearer (Wick Groats) tackles James Murray (Pentland United). Picture: James Gunn
Greg Shearer (Wick Groats) tackles James Murray (Pentland United). Picture: James Gunn

Results – David Allan Shield, quarter-finals: Castletown 2, John O’Groats 0; Lybster 3, Acks 3 (Lybster win 5-4 on penalties); Staxigoe United 1, Wick Groats 2; Wick Thistle 1, Pentland United 2 (AET).

Steven Cup, semi-finals, second leg: Keiss 2, Thurso Pentland 1 (AET, Keiss win 4-2 on aggregate); Swifts 4, Castletown 2 (Castletown win 7-5 on aggregate).

David Allan Shield, semi-finals: Castletown 1, Lybster 0; Wick Groats 3, Pentland United 1 (AET).

Fixtures – Friday – Steven Cup final: Castletown v Keiss (at Lybster, 7pm).

Saturday, August 6 – Highland Amateur Cup, semi-finals: Ness v Pentland United (at Culbokie, 1pm); Wick Groats v High Ormlie Hotspur (at Castletown, 3pm).

Monday, August 8 – Division Two: Keiss v Thurso Pentland; Swifts v Watten; Top Joe's v Castletown (7pm).

Tuesday, August 9 – Division One: Acks v Wick Groats; Pentland United v High Ormlie Hotspur; Wick Thistle v John O'Groats (7pm).

Wednesday, August 10 – Division One: Staxigoe United v Lybster (7pm).


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