Sleat and Strath struck a remarkable 19 goals past a beleaguered Glenelg on Tuesday, but the night surely belonged to Struan who posted the shock result of the season when they recorded a 3-2 away win at title-chasing Portree Juniors.
Struan had gone into last week’s match on the back of a run of one win in seven games. By contrast Juniors were unbeaten, and just seven days previously their title credentials were much in evidence during a fine 4-3 victory against champions Sleat and Strath.
Things has started well enough for Juniors, and though missing several key players, the hosts took the lead after 15 minutes when Neil “Beans” MacVicar rose above the Struan defence to head home from a Danny Steele corner.
Soon afterwards the game took a crucial twist as Juniors found themselves reduced to ten men. Andrew Holt saw red for using his hands to stop Iain Beaton’s goal bound header, and Iain MacCusbic drilled home the resultant penalty to make it 1-1. The Struan youngster was again on spot-kick duties on the half hour mark — this time after being tripped in the box by Juniors defender Ally “Cloudy” MacLeod. MacCusbic converted to make it 2-1, but just before the interval Juniors themselves got a penalty. Danny Steele fired home from 12 yards after Allen Cowe had felled Chris MacNab.
Juniors had the upper hand for much of the second period but struggled to break down a determined Struan rearguard. And the hosts’ creative spark was lost when playmaker Jack Robson went down with a bad knee injury which sadly looks like sidelining him for the season.
Play was held up for close to 25 minutes to allow an ambulance to come to the aid of the youngster. But when the match resumed it was Struan who grabbed the breakthrough with ten minutes left. Iain Beaton finished a great surging run from midfield with a neat clipped finish for what proved to be the winner. A bad night for Juniors was compounded when they were reduced to nine men after David Potter received his second yellow card and was sent off.
Juniors surprise defeat meant they fell behind Sleat and Plockton, who both recorded victories, while Portree remain out in front.
In the mainland derby at Plockton the home side ran out 3-0 winners against neighbours Kyle. In a first half devoid of many clear chances Ciaran Stark fired home a deflected 25-yard effort following good work from Dean Morgan to put Plockton ahead.
Chances remained at a premium in the second half, but Plockton edged further in front with 20 minutes left.
Kyle defender Daniel Whear’s loose pass put team mate David Butcher under pressure on the edge of the box, allowing Plockton striker Davis Glover to seize possession and tee up Ali Harvey for a composed finish. Claims for a push were waved aside as Glover collided with Whear and Kyle keeper Paul Wood in the build up to the third goal — with the upshot being a simple finish for the energetic Plockton striker.
In a late rally Keith MacRae should have pulled a goal back for Kyle, only to delay his shot too long while put through one-on-one with the keeper.
Over at Kinloch, meanwhile, proceedings bordered on the farcical as Sleat struck 19 past struggling Glenelg. Gordy McCarroll scored seven times with Callum Mattinson hitting four and Richard Stewart, Ben Yoxon, James Robertson and Josh Knowles all scoring two each for a rampant home side.