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Wick Academy 4, Fort William 1
Saturday’s defeat by Wick Academy may have been a disappointing swansong as manager of Fort William FC for Russell McMorran, but it looks like his experience, knowledge and passion for the game will not be lost at Claggan Park.
McMorran told the Lochaber Times that, following the Wick match, he sat down for a conversation with club chairman, Peter Murphy.
‘We had a constructive conversation, which will see me return to Claggan behind the scenes to once again help the club move forward in the right direction, ensuring the stability and future of the club,’ McMorran explained.
Commenting on the game itself, he told us: ‘Despite the 325-mile and eight hour round trip to Wick, the lads were positive and in confident form. Harmsworth Park, is never an easy place to go to.
‘Wick are a physical side that can play good football and they use their home advantage to well. We are disappointed with the result. All credit to Wick, but it wasn’t a comprehensive result or performance by Wick that the final score line suggests.
‘We lost two early goals within the first three minutes of the game when the lads were caught cold completely against run of play. After losing the opening goals in very quick succession, the lads found their feet and started to dominate large spells of the game creating opportunities.
‘The lads stuck to the game plan and we deservedly pulled a goal back. Unfortunately, we were then forced into making a change when right back Ronan Cameron was forced to come off through injury, which was a changing point in the game as we had a foothold on the game and pressing for the equaliser.
‘Coming in at half time at 2-1 down, we were confident going into the second half that we would certainly take something from the game. We started as we finished the first half pressing for an equaliser.
‘Unfortunately we gave away a penalty to give Wick the opportunity to extend their lead and we can have no complaints against what was a stonewall penalty claim.
‘I would liked to have left on a high, but again you always have to take positives. This is a long plan to turn the club around and the young lads can’t be faulted for their passion and determination.
‘We continued to press Wick and look to pull the game back right to the final whistle but at 4-1 that’s almost an impossible task, so credit to Wick.
‘We made far more chances and attempts on goal and the lads were unlucky in the final third which is a massive improvement from our previous game.
‘We have a young squad and have to rely on our youth development program. Saturday saw four local lads who have come through the program last season and this season and young 16-year-old Rauridh Munro came off the bench to make his first team debut.’
In a statement issued online after the match, the club commented: ‘Russell has guided us to our first league win in over 800 days; to the North of Scotland Cup Semi Finals, where we lost out to the eventual winners.
‘He guided us to a 5-0 win in the Scottish Cup First Round at home to Vale of Leithen; a 1-1 draw away at SPFL opposition Albion Rovers in their back yard in the Second Round of the competition.
‘We thank Russell for everything he has done for this football club over the past 18 months and wish him all the best for the future.’
Formartine United will be the visitors to Claggan Park this Saturday for a clash in the Highland League.
Saturday’s game against Wick was McMorran’s last game in charge of the team. Photograph: Fort William FC.
NO F02 McMorran departs