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Melvich boss lauds improvement of young side after win as champions Golspie see off Lochinver

By Niall Harkiss

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Melvich are off to a winning start after beating new boys Embo. Picture: Melvich FC
Melvich are off to a winning start after beating new boys Embo. Picture: Melvich FC

Melvich manager Alan Murray has called upon his young side to “stick together” on the back of a winning start to their North-west Sutherland league campaign.

The north Sutherland club took all three points from their visit to Embo on Saturday, picking up a 3-2 win.


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Murray said: “I thought the game was pretty even for the majority of the game there wasn’t much between the two sides. We were just able to take our chances better.

“We have a young team that are getting better every season, so it’s just about getting them to stick together.

“In a few years with more experience, they will be a good team.”

The hosts took the lead after 35 minutes through David Bell but parity was restored five minutes later through Kian Mackay, converting a cross.

Lucas Reid netted for Melvich immediately after to make 2-1 at the break.

The north Sutherland side extended their advantage 15 minutes into the second half, Mackay on target for a second time to make it 3-1.

Bell reduced the deficit with a brace of his own on 80 minutes to give Melvich plenty to think about, but there was to be no comeback.

League champions Golspie Stafford kicked off their defence with a 2-1 win over Lochinver at Stafford Park.

The title holders found themselves a goal down at half-time after Gary Fisher, making the most of a counter-attack, fired the visitors into the lead.

But a second half turnaround saw Golspie equalise first through Luke MacBeath, who got on the end of an Alexander Mackay cross to shoot high into the net.

A penalty award for a foul on Mackay then turned the game in Stafford’s favour, as the same player converted from the spot to put his side ahead.

Helmsdale United showed no mercy in their opening league fixture at home to Lochbroom, recording a clean sheet into the bargain.

Kevin Cairns opened the scoring early on for the hosts, before goals from Bobby Gunn and Donnie Ross extended their advantage ahead of the half-time whistle.

In the second half, Cairns scored his second to take the score to 4-0.

Brora Wanderers lost out by 4 goals to 2 at home to Tain Thistle.

It was all square at half-time after Brora had equalised first through Olly Manton after Finn As-Chainey opened for Tain.

A well struck Mike Maclean free kick made it 2-2 in response to a Lewis Smith header.

Second half goals from Alexander Scott and As-Chainey secured victory for the hosts.

In the other game of the day, Inver proved too strong for Lairg Rovers, netting through Alex Mackenzie and Aidan Stainke to win 2-0.

This weekend, North-west Sutherland teams will be in action in the Highland Amateur Cup first round.

Next league fixtures for Saturday, May 18:

Brora Wanderers v Embo

Lochbroom v Inver

Lochinver v Helmsdale United

Melvich v Golspie Stafford

Tain Thistle v Lairg Rovers

Kick off times TBC.

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