Lochcarron clinch league runners-up spot

Lochcarron 1
Fort William 1
(H.T. 1-1)

Lochcarron wrapped up their season, and clinched runners-up spot in North Division Two, with a draw against champions Fort William at the Battery Park on Saturday.

Both sides fielded plenty youngsters, along with a smattering of more experienced players.

Lochcarron full centre Nick Dalgety tested young Fort William goalkeeper Gary MacKay early in the match with a long-range effort which MacKay did well to save.
There was little in the way of goalmouth action after that until the 25th minute when the big Fort William full forward Graham Campbell opened the scoring. Five minutes later it was all-square again after veteran Lochcarron forward Gregor Cushnie cut the ball back to teenager Niall Arnott on the right of the area and his shot beat keeper MacKay at the near post.

Cushnie looked the most likely to add to the home side’s tally but was denied on a couple of occasions by McKay.

Both sides went close as the first half drew to an end. First of all it took a great block from young defender Gregor Cameron to prevent Cushnie from scoring from close range, while strikes by full forward Graham Cameron went high and wide.
Lochcarron player-manager Ross Brown took the field at wing forward at the start of the second half in place of Crisdean Finlayson, and a speculative effort by Brown from halfway was watched all the way by keeper MacKay as the ball dropped over the crossbar. However, Brown soon made way for Finlayson to return.

Eight minutes after the restart full forward Cameron should have restored the Fort’s lead, but with the goal at his mercy he drove the ball wide. Up at the other end of the field keeper MacKay pulled off another couple of saves from Cushnie. The keeper also denied young Liam Arnott, whose shot was on target before MacKay palmed the ball behind for a corner.

Clear-cut chances were at a premium thereafter, although towards the end Lochcarron’s Peter MacKenzie was the busier of the two goalkeepers with a couple of saves from full forward Cameron.

Speaking afterwards, Lochcarron manager Ross Brown was delighted with how the team performed over the course of the season. “We were unbeaten at home in the league, with five wins and two draws,” he said, “although I was disappointed we dropped points against the two bottom sides.
“However, to finish second in the league was good.”

ALTHOUGH Saturday’s game marks the end of the league season, the Lochcarron under-17 side are in action next weekend in the semi-finals of the London Shield competition in which they meet Newtonmore at Balgate at 12 noon. Skye take on Kingussie in the other semi at Craigard Park, Inverarry, throw-up 3pm.