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Newly reinstated Covid restrictions meant that South Lochaber Thistle’s league campaign was again delayed and so Oban Saints kindly offered this hastily arranged Thursday night friendly – the second in as many weeks between the two sides.
After a fast start from the Jags, it was the Kinlochleven side who stormed to a commanding lead.
Skipper Martin Munro gathered a through ball from usual impish winger Sean Noble, this time deployed as a functional right back. Munro outpaced the defence to slot home and open the scoring.
Thistle’s second was almost identikit as Noble demonstrated why he might be playing in defence for some time to come. 2-0 to the visitors.
However, it was then Munro’s time to turn provider. His trademark mazy run saw the ball break to Allan Maclellan who needed no second invitation to bury the shot from 18 yds out.
Things got even better for Munro, however, as he sealed his first half hat trick with a superlative strike thrashed in from 25 yards with such aplomb that the keeper couldn’t so much as move.
4-0 at the break.
With six changes from Lochaber the dynamic of the game was always going to shift and this did duly happen.
Noble finally scored from open play for the first time in ages, after sprightly Dave Forbes had a goal disallowed and the game saw a flurry of yellow cards.
Oban finished the game strongly themselves, scoring two consolation goals in the last ten minutes. Their first was a good strike from outside box leaving the Jags keeper with little hope.
Finally, a late deflected goal saw the conclusion of the scoring at 5-2.
Injuries to Gordie MacCredie with a rolled ankle and a suspected pulled hamstring for Munro in last 5 minutes did tarnish an accomplished performance from the SLT.
Manager Alan Gray said of the game: ‘Tonight was an opportunity for us to get game time for all the lads to put into practice what we have worked on in training.
‘We had three players in there who hadn’t played a minute so far this pre season so good to get them involved.
‘The squad is hungry, commited and there are plenty of them in there which gives us plenty of good headaches as we head towards league football.
‘Once again we would like to say thank you to Donald and all at Oban Saints for organising and hosting the game.’