Skye & Lochalsh Amateur Football Association
Portree Juniors 4 Sleat and Strath AFC 2
Half-time score 0-1.
Wednesday 5th September
Portree Juniors moved to the top of the Skye and Lochalsh League following a dynamic and incisive attacking performance against Sleat and Strath in which they struck four times in the second half.
Sleat opening the scoring through Jonathan Laing who broke the deadlock within 90 seconds of the kick-off with a cross-cum-shot which looped over Nick Flanagan.
After that early goal, the visitors looked the better side for large periods of the first half – in which Lachlan Macinnes was the standout performer – and went into the break with a 1-0 lead, despite a strong showing from the home side in the last 10 minutes.
Juniors came storming back in an excellent second half showing instigated by the attacking talents of James Pringle and John Gillies, who were in superb form and between them involved in all four goals
Pringle set up Gillies within a minute of the restart to draw Juniors level at 1-1 and then headed home a delightful cross by Andrew Holt to give his team the lead in the 50th minute.
Ben Yoxon displayed courage and determination to follow up a blocked shot and head Sleat level at 2-2 in the 68th minute. However, a brilliant move involving a slick exchange of passes between Chris McNab and Pringle enabled Davie Potter to placed the ball into the net to make it 3-2 to restore Juniors’ advantage just three minutes later.
The home side sealed the points courtesy of some wonderful play between Pringle and Gillies in what was the goal of the night. Pringle broke forward from the halfway line to feed Gillies down the right, Gillies then cut inside his marker and picked up Pringle in the box and the midfielder stroked the return pass beyond Burstow to seal the victory.
Juniors’ victory means that all of the top four teams: Kyleakin, Mallaig, Juniors, and Sleat and Strath go into this weekend’s final round of games with a chance of claiming the league championship in what is sure to a scintillating showdown on Saturday.
A playoff system will be employed to determine the league champions if teams are locked on the same points following Saturday’s games.
Article by Adam Gordon and images by Willie Urquhart.