Posted on Sunday, October 21st, 2018
Golspie Sutherland 2-3 Alness United
Couper Park, Helmsdale
Invergordon 2-0 Orkney
Recreation Ground, Invergordon
It was the battle of last season top two at Recreation Grounds on Saturday, as Invergordon come out on top to stretch their lead at the top of the Macleod and MacCallum North Caledonian League table. In what was an entertaining opening to the game, both sides were creating numerous chances to break the deadlock but both teams were proving to be wasteful in front of goal. With 10 minutes gone the Invergordon keeper was called into action to keep his side in the game with a neat save from a Craig Gillion shot. Gary Campbell’s men settled into the game after the early Orkney chance and began to pile pressure on their visitors as they looked to open the scoring, blasting one attempt over the bar from close range along with having a penalty appeal turned down by the referee. The Invergordon pressure would eventual reap rewards as their leading scorer Darran Goller netted his 9th of the season to give his side a well-deserved lead. Orkney worked hard to find a way back into the game after Gollers strike, but a combination of good goalkeeping again from the home keeper and some poor finishing from The Orcadians would keep the score at 1-0 to the home side. Orkney would live to regret their missed opportunities as Invergordon doubled their lead 2 minutes later through Chris Mailleys first goal of the season to give his side a 2-0 half time lead. The second half was another entertaining spectacle as Orkney tried to find a way back into the match. The Orcadians created a number of chances but a combination of good defending from the home side and poor finishing from the visitors meant that Invergordon would see out the game and stretch their lead at the top of the league to 3 points.
Darran Goller, seen here celebrating his strike against Halkirk United earlier in the season, netted his 9th of the campaign against Orkney
Picture Credit - James Gunn
Thurso 2-4 Inverness Athletic
Sir George’s Park, Thurso
It was a six goal thriller at The Dammies on Saturday, as Inverness Athletic got back to winning ways in the Macleod and MacCallum North Caledonian League. Both sides started the game well, creating a number of chances and playing some eye catching football, but neither side were able to find a way through the oppositions defensive line. Athletic were dealt a blow on the 20 minute mark as Martin Mainland was sent off after a last man challenge but Athletic did not let the numerical disadvantage affect them as they continued to press Thurso and that pressure would eventually tell. Martin Macdonald delivered a dangerous free kick into the Thurso box which came off the head of home defender Benn Murray and it flew into the net to give the visitors a well-earned lead. Athletic doubled their lead just before the break through Ryan Macleod. The Inverness midfielder struck a stunning free kick into corner of the net, giving the home keeper no chance. Thurso came out of the blocks quicker at the start of the second half as they tried to claw their way back into the game. A Ross Allan strike quickly followed by a goal from The Viking’s top marksman James Murray drew the game level. Any momentum Thurso looked like building was soon gone as Allan Munro saw red to even the sides up and make the rest of the match and intriguing contest. It was the visitors who would get their noses back in front not long after as DJ Macphee found the net from close range following some excellent work from his strike partner Dean Allison. That man Macphee would double his tally for the day when he netted again ten minutes later, leaving Inverness celebrating their first victory at The Dammies and leap frogging Orkney into 4th place in the league at the same time.
Ryan Macleod of Inverness Athletic closing down Innes Mackintosh of Thurso
Picture Credit - James Gunn