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League leaders Fraserburgh recovered from a first half scare to run out comfortable winners against a dogged Fort William side on Saturday.
Buoyed by their recent cup exploits, the Fort were keen to make an imprint on this fixture despite the strength of their opposition, who finished second in the league last year.
Undeterred by this, the Lochaber side began the match brightly and in the first 15 minutes were matching the Broch, while showing dangerous signs in attack.
Fraserburgh’s persistence eventually paid off, however, when Sean Butcher opened the scoring after 25 minutes, which sparked a first half goal spree.
The Fort responded five minutes later through Roddy Kennedy who levelled the score, but they were to be pegged back again soon after when Paul Campbell put the home side ahead two minutes later.
The match settled down again for ten minutes, before Butcher’s strike secured a two-goal lead for the Broch, which they looked set to take into the half-time break.
Fort William were not going to roll over though and they got a goal back on the stroke of half-time when Ross Gunn’s stunning stunning free kick nestled into the net.
With the score 3-2, it was all to play for and the Fort came out hopeful in the second half after a half-time pep talk from manager Russell MacMorran.
But those hopes were soon dashed when Campbell got his second of the match after 48 minutes.
Soon after, he bagged his hat-trick from the penalty spot before Butcher also netted his third goal of the game to make it 6-2 to the home side. The quickfire goal spree secured the result for Broch but once again the Fort rallied.
Although their efforts were ultimately in vain, Jordan Andrew got a goal back for the Fort to take his team’s goal tally for the afternoon to three – a feat few teams visiting Fraserburgh this season will achieve.
The win takes Fraserburgh two points clear at the top of the Highland League, while Fort remain winless after five matches.
Rothes 1 Fort William 5
Fort William pulled off another remarkable victory in the North of Scotland Cup last Wednesday night to book their place in the semi-final.
Aidan Taylor was the hero on the night as he bagged a hat-trick to help his side secure a landmark victory against Rothes to continue their impressive, free-scoring cup form this season.
The Fort celebrated their first victory in two years after knocking out Nairn County in the previous round and last Wednesday’s win means they are just one match away from a final, should they get past the formidable Brora Rangers.
The match got off to an edgy start, although Fort William were proving better in possession than their opposition.
The breakthrough eventually came through Taylor who opened his account for the night after 27 minutes. But the celebrations were cut short when nine minutes later Craig Cormack headed the ball past Fort ‘keeper Martin MacKinnon to level the tie.
This setback did not last long though as Taylor netted his second of the match two minutes later to restore the Fort’s lead, which was quickly followed by another goal from Jack brown to give the Fort a two-goal advantage going into the half-time break.
There was a scare in the 50th minute when Rothes, making their aerial presence known again, hit the post with a header.
Having weathered the storm, the Fort went up the other end and man of the match Taylor netted a fantastic goal for his hat-trick.
They were not finished yet though as Jack Brown got on the scoresheet in the 71st minute to round off the scoring.
Fort William will travel away to play Brora Rangers, who put six past Wick Academy in their tie, on September 4 in the semi-final of the North of Scotland Cup.