Mallaig go top after win over Portree Juniors

MALLAIG V PORTREE JUNIORS 22/6/19 Mallaig’s Rhys MacLeod in action against Sean Collins. Picture Iain Ferguson,

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Defending league champions Mallaig took their chance to go three points clear at the top of the table on Saturday as they overcame a dogged Portree side.

Despite the scoreline, the Lochaber side were pushed all the way in this William Wilson League fixture in a game that flowed from end to end from first minute to last.

It was Juniors who should have taken the lead early on after their striker got on the end of a short back pass but could only direct his effort wide of the post.

Then came what was perhaps the turning point in the game.
A red card shown for a second bookable offence to the Portree Juniors centre half which left the Skye side with 10 men. But despite the advantage the visitors were still creating chances and even struck the bar.

Mallaig’s David Currie bears down on Juniors defender Liam MacPhee as he attempts a clearance.

The deadlock was eventually broken in Mallaig’s favour as Andy Cunningham crossed for Angus MacNaughton to head in from close range to put Mallaig in front just before half-time. Cunningham went close again soon after but his free kick was deflected off the wall and on to the crossbar again.

After the break, Juniors continued to create chances but they were unable to get past Mallaig goalkeeper Aaron Milligan. The home side did double their lead through talisman Andy Cunningham after a clever quick throw-in from Fraser Davis found David Currie whose reverse pass went straight to Andy, who slotted the ball in to the far corner.

This two-goal lead was short lived, however, as Juniors hit back when a long free kick launched into the box was not dealt with by the Mallaig back line and the ball was blasted into the roof of the net from close range.
Mallaig were growing increasingly frustrated as the determined Juniors side refused to roll over.

Manager Neil Cameron made use of his subs bench introducing Ross Douglas and Ryan MacDonald, who would go on to have a huge impact.
Ross Douglas immediately caused the Juniors back line problems and he was the next Mallaig player to hit the bar.

Mallaig’s man of the match Andy Cunningham under pressure from Portree’s Sean Collins.

He then went close again but saw his deflected left footed volley land just past the post. His hard work and positive impact wasn’t to go unrewarded as he got his goal after a wayward back pass went straight to Douglas. He calmly rounded the goalkeeper and tucked the ball into the empty net for Mallaig’s third.

It was another substitute, Ryan MacDonald, who finished well into the far corner after a fine team move to round off the afternoon’s scoring.
Mallaig now sit three points clear at the top of the league.

The club thanks everyone who came out to support the team on Saturday.