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Thurso aiming to 'make things difficult' for Fort William

By Alan Hendry

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Thurso's Darren Sheppard is hauled back by Ross Gordon during the 3-3 draw with Clachnacuddin 'A' at the Dammies in November. Picture: James Gunn
Thurso's Darren Sheppard is hauled back by Ross Gordon during the 3-3 draw with Clachnacuddin 'A' at the Dammies in November. Picture: James Gunn

Manager Scott Davidson feels Thurso are getting closer to a positive run of results as they begin to tackle their fixture backlog in the North Caledonian League.

The Vikings haven't played since losing 1-0 to Clachnacuddin "A" at Inverness Royal Academy on January 13 and they remain at the foot of the table with one win, one draw and 10 defeats. They are three points behind Bonar Bridge, who have played three games more.

Davidson insists Thurso won't be looking to "shut up shop" when they take on fourth-placed Fort William at Claggan Park on Saturday.

"Fingers crossed we get the game played because we've already got a backlog of fixtures to try and catch up on," he said.

"We've got a rearranged game next Wednesday against Golspie down there, so that's us starting to try and fit in games.

"It's a long trip for the boys to be going down on the bus to Fort William.

"We had really good numbers at training – the boys trained well. We've still got a few boys out with injury but we'll be going down there as strong as we can be.

"Obviously we're under no illusions that it will be a difficult game. We'll do our best to take something from it.

"We'll be going down there with a game plan in our heads of how we're going to set up.

"Fort William are a team that are going to be there or thereabouts. We'll try and make things difficult for them.

"Like I've said before, I would never set up a team to just shut up shop or park the bus. We'll have a game plan that we'll try to execute – we'll just have to see how it goes.

"I keep saying to the boys, we're far too good a team to be where our league position says we are. We're getting so close now to getting three points and once we do get a result that should hopefully kick us on then to get a string of results together."

Halkirk United are preparing for the second of two back-to-back fixtures at home to Inverness Athletic – after a three-week gap.

The Anglers' last outing was a 2-0 victory over Athletic in a North Caledonian League match on January 13.

On Saturday the teams meet again at the same venue, this time in a North Caledonian Cup tie.

Ewan McElroy's men have had two blank weekends in between times. First their scheduled away game against Alness United fell victim to the snowy weather, then last weekend's journey to Orkney had to be called off because of ferry timetable constraints.

Halkirk remain third in the league with games in hand over the top two.

Andy Mackay scored both goals against Athletic in the league encounter at Morrison Park.

The league's leading two teams changed places again in midweek after Invergordon won 4-2 away to Alness United.

Gary Campbell's side re-established a three-point advantage over Loch Ness, who had gone to the summit at the weekend.

Kyle Macleod, Ryan McFee, Stuart Leslie and Bradi Hulme scored for Invergordon in Wednesday's Easter Ross derby, with a double from Euan Henderson for Alness.

Invergordon had been beaten 3-0 at home on Saturday by Golspie. All the goals came in the first half through Robbie Murray, Alexander Mackay and Sam Mackay.

It was Invergordon's first league defeat of the campaign, while the Sutherland club have now won six in a row.

Loch Ness won 5-2 at Fort William. The Fortrose-based outfit were two up inside 10 minutes with a double from Josh Race, and Jamie Fraser extended their lead.

Fort's Lewis Moran reduced the deficit before half-time. Jake Lockett added two second-half goals for Loch Ness, with Martin Munro getting a second for the home side late on.

Inverness Athletic won 5-2 against St Duthus at Inverness Royal Academy. Dom Macaulay hit a hat-trick for Athletic.

Alness United climbed to ninth after a 3-2 home win against Bonar Bridge.

North Caledonian League results – Saturday: Alness United 3, Bonar Bridge 2; Fort William 2, Loch Ness 5; Invergordon 0, Golspie Sutherland 3; Inverness Athletic 5, St Duthus 2. Wednesday: Alness United 2, Invergordon 4.

Fixtures – Saturday, February 3 – North Caledonian League: Bonar Bridge v Invergordon; Clachnacuddin "A" v Golspie Sutherland; Fort William v Thurso (1pm); Loch Ness v Orkney. North Caledonian Cup: Halkirk United v Inverness Athletic (1pm).

Wednesday, February 7 – North Caledonian League: Golspie Sutherland v Thurso (7.45pm).

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