Posted on Monday, December 18th, 2017
THE NAVER all-weather pitch in Thurso was the only ground to survive the ice at the weekend as Halkirk United and Nairn County U20s contested their North Caledonian Cup Quarter Final tie. It took until the 37th minute for the deadlock to be the broken and it was the Caithness side who found the net first. Bursting clear, Ian Mackay finished well with the outside of his right foot to put Halkirk 1-0 up. Just two minutes later Halkirk extended their lead when Marc Gunn added the finishing touch to a James Macintosh lay off. A penalty award for Nairn handed them a possible route back into the game but Ryan MacBean's low effort was held by Anglers' keeper Sean Milligan. The game was all but over a contest just after the hour mark when Gunn notched his second of the game, drilling the ball low beyond Fraser Wilkie from just inside the box. A second penalty award for Nairn was more fruitful on 71 minutes, as Matty Macleod reduced the deficit to two goals -- and with ten minutes left, Ciaran Young brought the gap down to one goal, pouncing on a near post effort to steer the ball into the net off the knee of Andy Falconer. Halkirk held their nerve though, and two late goals from Falconer and Murray Mackay wrapped up the win for United.
Video provided by Darren Manson, Picture House.
Match gallery provided by James Gunn, Thurso.
Elsewhere in the North, all of the other North Caledonian Cup ties were postponed to frost, ice or snow. At Helmsdale, Couper Park was waterlogged midweek and a switch to Tain was arranged - however a Friday evening pitch inspection found ice on the park and Bunillidh Thistle v St Duthus was postponed. At Golspie, a late call was made to postpone the tie after both teams had turned up for their 1pm kick off at King George V Park.
The Macleod & MacCallum North Caledonian League meetings between Inverness Athletic and Thurso, and Alness United and Orkney, were both postponed.