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Golspie title bid gets a big boost

By John MacLeod

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Halkirk United v Bunillidh Thistle, Alness United v Golspie Sutherland, North Caledonian League
Halkirk United v Bunillidh Thistle, Alness United v Golspie Sutherland, North Caledonian League

GOLSPIE Sutherland boosted their title hopes with an impressive 4-1 victory against North Caledonian League rivals Alness United at the Highland Football Academy.

The result lifts Golspie into third spot in the table, five points behind pace-setters Invergordon, although, crucially, they have three games in hand on the leaders.

Golspie manager Andrew Banks was delighted with the win, despite a shaky start to the match. He said: "Apart from the first 10 or 15 minutes when we were all over the place, we were by far the better team. We made a tactical change after 20 minutes which helped us."

He added: "We just want to keep going now. Hopefully we have found a system that suits the personnel and will take us forward for the second part of the season."

Golspie conceded after just three minutes when Miller Mackay volleyed home a Calum Gow cutback from close range.

But the Sutherland side gradually came back into the match and Robbie Murray forced a save from Jodie Campbell.

Brandon Sinclair replaced Danny Coghill just after that as Golspie strived for an equaliser. It arrived in the 35th minute when James Mackay, for the second week in succession, scored with a wonder goal.

Playing in a central position he unleashed an unstoppable left-foot shot from fully 25 yards which flew into the top corner of the net.

Golspie keeper Graeme Williamson did well to keep out a rasping shot from Connor Ross on the stroke of half-time.

Golspie went all out for a second goal at the start of the second half, and Sandy Sutherland and Marc Coghill both had shots saved.

The pressure paid off in the 70th minute. A long throw-in by Craig Ross was headed onto the crossbar by Lukasz Geruzel and Ally MacLeod was first to react to steer the rebound into the net.

Eddie MacGregor and fellow sub Geruzel both passed up good chances after that, but both players got a goal apiece in stoppage time.

MacGregor, who had looked very lively after coming on, latched onto a long through ball and coolly fired a low shot into the corner of the net.

Geruzel added a fourth goal from the penalty spot a minute later – wrong-footing the keeper with a deft chip.

Bunillidh Thistle suffered a 3-1 defeat against Halkirk United at Morrison Park.

Stewart Atkins gave Halkirk an early lead but Billy Cairns levelled midway through the first half for his ninth goal of the season. Korbyn Cameron restored Halkirk's lead after 53rd minute and James Mackintosh made sure of the points late on.

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