Rain wreaks havoc as Fort miss out on first win of the season

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Fort William-Wick Academy
Highland League
(Match abandoned due to weather at 1-0 to Fort William)

The Lochaber weather denied Fort William a chance to secure their first win of the season after a huge downpour caused their match against Wick Academy on Saturday to be abandoned before half-time with the home side 1-0 up.

This was particularly galling for a Fort team that has picked up just two draws in 26 games this season.

Referee Billy Baxter decided to call an end to proceedings in the 38th minute due to the amount of standing water on the Claggan Park surface, which was beginning to endanger players. The decision was finally taken after Fort William goalkeeper Finlay Burstow went down injured and required treatment after getting mud in his eyes when diving at the feet of a Wick forward.

The Fort took the lead just before the half hour mark when Josh Knowles out jumped the Academy ‘keeper Sean McCarthy to meet a corner and nod the ball into the net from close distance. This was just reward for the Fort who enjoyed good spells of pressure and came close to scoring earlier in the game when Sean Grant’s free kick needed a flying save from McCarthy to keep it out.

Fort manager Russell MacMorran was disappointed to have the match called off with his team in the lead but felt the correct decision had been made by the referee.

He said: ‘To be fair to the referee he made the right decision in the end because it was starting to have an impact on the game and the safety of the players.’

‘I’m disappointed for the boys more than anything,’ MacMorran continued. ‘At that point of the game then were clearly on top, no disrespect to Wick, but the goal made the difference. The team worked so hard and to come away from it without anything is hard.

‘But we’ve taken a lot of confidence to take into the next match. Teams are beginning to realise that Claggan Park is becoming a slightly harder place to come now and it’s not just going to be a foregone conclusion.’

The Fort are in league action again this Saturday as they take on Forres Mechanics at Claggan Park.