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Fort William 0, Buckie Thistle 7
Fort William Football Club slumped to another heavy defeat in the Highland League on Saturday, despite a promising first half performance.
The home side battled well with the reigning Highland League champions in the opening 45 minutes but the experience of the Moray side ultimately proved too much for the Fort, notching up five goals in the second half.
A number of recent postponements meant that Fort William had not been in action since February 10 and with uncertainty over the club’s future following the announcement that the board will resign at the end of the season, it has been particularly testing few weeks for the club.
Despite the off-field developments, Fort William were able to call upon a strong squad for Saturday’s match, with six substitutes named on the bench.
Claggan Park is usually a happy hunting ground for Thistle, who currently sit fourth in the league, and it wasn’t long before they made their mark. Despite a good start from the young Fort side, Buckie midfielder Andy MacAskill opened the scoring after seven minutes.
The home side weren’t deterred, however, and continued to take the game to Buckie, with the whole team working hard to push them back.
The Fort were happy to have 17-year-old Inverness Caley Thistle loanee Martin MacKinnon back in goals, giving the back four some added confidence.
After around half an hour of tense action, Fort William were unable to get on the scoresheet and it was Buckie who scored next with Steven Ross doubling the east coasters’ advantage.
The score remained 2-0 as the half-time whistle blew with Buckie in the ascendancy.
Coming out for the second half, the Fort knew it would be an uphill battle to rescue anything from this game and this seemed all the more unlikely as Declan Milne scored Buckie’s third of the afternoon just minutes after the restart.
Within five minutes, Thistle had scored again, with Steven Ross getting his second of the match.
Again, the Fort regained their focus and were able to keep Buckie at bay for a large spell in the second half but struggled to put any real pressure on their opponents.
As the home defence began to tire, the reigning league champions were able to make their pressure count with Declan Milne getting his second and third goals of the match to make it 6-0 and to complete his hat-trick on what was a fruitful day for the young forward.
In the final minute of the match, Lewis Campbell turned the ball into his own net, rounding off the day’s scoring and compounding a difficult afternoon for Fort William.
The win moves Buckie up to fifth place in the league, while Fort William remain rooted to the bottom of the table with two points and without a win.
Fort William are due to take on Nairn County on Wednesday before their home fixture against Huntly on Saturday, March 17, at Claggan Park.