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Ten-man Lochinver overcome Melvich in north-west goal fest

By Niall Harkiss

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The north and the west met at Melvich in the North West Sutherland Amateur League on Saturday, with Lochinver overcoming the odds to win 5–4.

Their victory was made all the more spectacular having made the three-hour journey with only ten players available.

Lochinver player/manager Ally Macleod was on the scoresheet for his side. Pic: David Haines.
Lochinver player/manager Ally Macleod was on the scoresheet for his side. Pic: David Haines.

Despite the man disadvantage, Lochinver dashed into a 2–0 lead with goals from Tony Miller and Daniel Nelson before Melvich boss Alan Murray pulled one back.

Miller and Nelson each scored again to extend Lochinver's advantage, but legs began to tire and Melvich found a way back into the game just before the break with a goal from Michael Smith.

Smith proved to be the standout for the home side during a tense finale, completing a hat-trick before the deciding goal from Lochinver manager Ally Macleod to round off the scoring at 5–4.

At Ullapool, Lochbroom hosted league leaders Helmsdale in a closer battle than the away side would have wanted.

The deadlock was broken near the end of a tightly contested first half when Bobby Gunn met a corner kick on the edge of the box with an accurate volley finding the top corner.

Fin Crook came closest to notching an equaliser midway through the second half with a headed effort that cannoned off the crossbar.

But it wasn't long before Lochbroom got themselves back on level terms. After good work from Shaun Marshall down the right hand side, the goal arrived through Ryan Macpherson, who slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

Elation for the home side swiftly turned to deflation though, as Helmsdale retook the lead within minutes. Despite appeals from the home side that the ball had gone out of play, striker Billy Cairns capitalised with a shot placed low into the bottom corner.

United held out for the win to reaffirm their place at the top of the North West Sutherland amateur league table.

In other game of the day, Golspie Stafford bounced back from Highland Amateur Cup defeat with an impressive 3–1 win over Inver at Stafford Park.

A Robbie Murray treble proved too much for the visitors as Golspie took all three points, with Aiden Stainke netting in reply.

Lairg Rovers, who remain closest in pursuit of leaders Helmsdale, were awarded a 4–0 win and three points after their opponents Dornoch cancelled the fixture on Friday evening.

It is the second time Rovers have benefited from a forfeiture in as many weeks.

Fixtures for Saturday, July 30:

Lairg Rovers v Helmsdale United

Inver v Lochinver

Dornoch v Melvich (3pm)

Golspie Stafford v Lochbroom (2pm)

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