Posted on Monday, November 26th, 2018
Thurso 1-4 Orkney
Sir George v Park, Thurso
It was a five-goal thriller at The Dammies on Saturday as Orkney ran our 4-1 winners over their Caithness hosts, avenging their Football Times Cup exit earlier on in the season. In a first half that produced no goals it was the visitors that had the bulk of the play and possession as Thurso were unable to get a foothold in the game, having only one or two chances of any note. The game came to life in the second half. Orkney’s Liam Delday run down the left side and delivered a cross that was met by Chris Hellewell who finished from a yard out. It was 2-0 not long after. Sam Rendall picked up the ball 20 yards out and hit a cracking low shot past Vikings keeper James More into the bottom left corner of the net. Orkney would further stretch their lead from the penalty spot a minute later. Aiden Drever was upended by Vikings keeper More and Chris Hellewell stepped up to fire the ball into the top right-hand corner of the net. Thurso did manage to pull a goal back, and what a goal it was. Thurso’s talisman James Murray was fouled on the edge of the visitor’s box and Michael Petrie took charge, hitting a powerful free kick past the wall and into the top corner of the net. Any hopes of a Thurso fight back were dampened with five minutes left on the clock as Sam Hunter drilled a low cross in from the left that found its way to Connan Rendall who finished from 6 yards to secure all 3 points for the Orcadians.
Inverness Athletic 3-4 Invergordon
Pavilion Park, Muir of Ord
It was late heartbreak once again for Inverness Athletic on Saturday as Invergordon made it two wins on the bounce against their hosts with an 89th winner. In what was a scrappy first half, neither side looked like they wanted to take control of the game with both sides creating chances but lacking that clinical touch in front of goal. The second half was the complete opposite. Invergordon took the lead as Athletic failed to deal with a simple throw in into the box and the ball fell to Darren Gollar who could not miss from 4 yards out. It would take Athletic 20 minutes to find a way back into the match. Dean Allison found himself in space down the left hand side and delivered a cracking cross into the box for Phil Macdonald to nip in front of the visiting defence and poke the ball into the back of the net. Athletic were in front just two minutes later as Clach loanee Calum Black produced a brilliant pass to find Dean Allison who in turn found Russell Macintyre who finished expertly from a tight angle for his second goal of the season. It would only take the league leaders five minutes to get themselves back into the game. That man Gollar would once again prove to be the main thorn in Athletics side as he sprung the offside trap to slot the ball pass Ryan Hunter in the Inverness Goal. Kai Cruickshank put the visitors back in front with five minutes left to play as he drove into the box to finish neatly into the corner of the Athletic net. Gary Campbells men could have put the game to bed 2 minutes later as the referee pointed to the spot after a clumsy challenge by Athletics Ryan Macleod. Goller was given the opportunity to complete his hat-trick for Invergordon but luckily for Shane Carling’s side he rattled the ball off the home cross bar. Invergordon would be punished for that penalty miss as two minutes later Calum Black hit a stunning strike from fully 25 yards to get the sides level with only 3 minutes left on the clock. With only a minute left to play Invergordon secured the win and all three points. Ryan Patterson was free at the edge of the home box and had enough time to line up a stinging shot that Athletic keeper Ryan Hunter could only parry into the path of Jordan Knight who tucked it away to win the game for his side for the second week running.
Bunillidh Thistle 3-4 Golspie Sutherland
Couper Park, Helmsdale
It was another seven-goal thriller in Helmsdale on Saturday as Golspie Sutherland secured the local bragging rights, coming from behind twice to get the better of their local rivals for the second week running. It was the host that started the game the better of the two sides and it would be the Jags who would get themselves in front as Kevin Cairns netted his first goal of the season with half an hour gone. Bunillidh's joy was short lived as just a minute later Golspie were level after Craig Ross found the back of the net. The Jags would once again get their noses in front just before half time as Billy Cairns netted his 5th goal of the season. Once again Bunillidh could not hold onto their lead as a minute later Golspie were again level. Craig Ross with his second of the game to send the sides in level at the break. The second half would belong to Golspie as they got the better of their hosts. Robbie Murray netted to put his side 3-2 up before Chris Green all but secured the win when he netted with 5 minutes left to play. Bunillidh would score a late consolation through Billy Cairns second of the game but it was too little too late as Golspie secure all 3 points.
Michael Rae, seen here scoring against Golspie Sutherland earlier in the season, notched another two goals on Saturday.
picture Credit - Graeme Webster
Alness United 5-3 Halkirk United
Highland Football Academy, Dingwall
The day's late kick off was another goal fest as Alness United’s unbeaten run continued with and 5-3 home win over Halkirk United. Michael Rae scored the only goal of the first half when he netted with quarter of an hour of the game gone. Much like the earlier North Caledonian League games all the drama would come in the second half. Jack Hudson chalked up his second goal in as many games when he netted to put his side 2-0 up with 20 minutes left to play. The Anglers response was immediate as they halved the deficit just a minute later through Korbyn Cameron to give them a lifeline in the game. Any ideas Halkirk had of getting level were quickly quashed as Michael Rae restored Alness United two goal cushion seven minutes later with a neat finish before Craig Munro all but sealed the win for Kraig Vass’s side two minutes after that. Halkirk scored two late goals through Steven Sutherland from the penalty spot and Connor Cook but it was too little too late for The Anglers as Alness saw the remainder of the game out to keep their unbeaten record intact.