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Brora youngster suffers leg break as Sutherland summer football season kicks off

By Niall Harkiss

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Golspie Stafford's Matthew Aitkenhead and Kegan Mullins of Brora Wanderers compete for the ball. Picture: Justine Clark
Golspie Stafford's Matthew Aitkenhead and Kegan Mullins of Brora Wanderers compete for the ball. Picture: Justine Clark

Teenage Brora Wanderers full back Lachie Roberts could be facing a summer on the sidelines after suffering a leg break during his side’s opening day defeat away to Golspie Stafford.

The east Sutherland sides battled in the first round of the Stafford Cup on Saturday, as the curtain was raised on the Sutherland amateur football season.


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Wanderers opened the scoring after six minutes when Scott Miller rounded Stafford goalkeeper Joe Mackay and tapped into an empty net.

But the Golspie men responded on 25 minutes, Alexander Mackay finding the net with a long range effort to make it 1-1.

The goal sparked a flurry of Stafford attacks, and just before the half hour, Robbie Murray fired his side into the lead.

Murray struck again just before half-time, earning the home side a comfortable 3-1 lead at the interval.

Any chances of a Brora comeback were dashed when Mackay scored his second and Golspie’s fourth on 65 minutes.

A shot from distance from Brora’s Charlie Dunbar did reduce the deficit two minutes later, but it was not enough to prevent Golspie from booking their spot in the quarter-finals.

The game was paused in its latter stages when 17-year-old Lachie Roberts was forced to withdraw due to injury.

The Wanderers right-back was taken to hospital after being helped from the pitch, where an x-ray revealed he had sustained a clean leg break.

A message on Brora Wanderers’ social media channels said: “(Lachie) played his heart out at right back today. It was his best game in a red shirt yet. He'll be back stronger.”

At the Highland Football Academy, Lochbroom were in no mood to compromise with cup guests Mallard FC, running out 3-1 winners.

The Ullapool side opened the scoring on 20 minutes when Seumas Charity nodded home a Shaun Marshall corner.

The Dingwall new boys then levelled via Sean McAllister.

Lochbroom took the lead within ten minutes of the restart when a Marshall corner cannoned off the crossbar to leave Ben Bruce with the job of volleying the ball into the net.

Kaden Irvine then made sure of the win with an impressive shot from 25 yards.

In the only other tie of the afternoon, Melvich were ousted from the cup by visitors Tain Thistle in a ten-goal thriller.

The north Sutherland side twice had the advantage after first racing into a 2-0 lead thanks to a Michael Smith strike and a James Murray penalty.

Thistle fired back with goals from Adrian Voigt and Darran Goller, but a Murray free kick ensured that Melvich still held a one-goal advantage at half-time.

Smith then grabbed another for Melvich, and it looked like they would be on their way to the quarter-final — were it not for a second half goal rush for Tain.

After Voigt had pulled another back, the equaliser duly arrived courtesy of a Liam Rostock lob.

The rampant German front man then notched his hat-trick to fire Thistle into the lead.

A late goal from Finn As-Chainey compounded Melvich’s misery, rounding off the scoring at 6-4 to Thistle.

Stafford Cup first round results:

Golspie Stafford 3 Brora Wanderers 1

Mallard 1 Lochbroom 3

Melvich 4 Tain Thistle 6

Stafford Cup quarter-final fixtures (to be played this Saturday, April 13):

Lochinver v Lochbroom

Tain Thistle v Embo

Golspie Stafford v Lairg Rovers

Helmsdale United v Inver

Kick-off times are to be confirmed.

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