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Fort William Football Club get their 2021-22 Highland League season under way in less than two weeks with a trip to face Rothes at Mackessack Park, writes Ally Rowantree.
It has been a busy off season for Claggan Park manager Ashley Hollyer who has brought in plenty new faces and extended the contracts of some of those already part of the set up.
It is often said signing a lot of new players can stall team chemistry developing, but with the commitment shown at training and the performances of his squad in pre-season, Hollyer will have plenty to feel positive about before the upcoming season.
So far in the pre-season Fort William have faced some tough outfits including Stoneyburn FC on Saturday and Petershill Juniors two weeks ago. Fort fell 3-1 to Petershill but put on a good defensive display and showed promising signs of the work being carried out in training.
Fort’s goal was taken by Connor Moore who latched onto a through ball from Danny Mackintosh and rounded an oncoming goalkeeper.
In Saturday’s game, Fort travelled to Edinburgh to play Stoneyburn FC. Fort started the brightest and thought they had taken the lead, only to have the goal disallowed.
Stoneyburn began to take control and were four nil up at half-time. In the second half, Fort got a foothold and continuous pressure in the box lead to Danny Mackintosh being fouled after a clever turn. The captain stepped up and put the penalty away.
The Lochaber visitors’ second goal came from a neat finish from striker Marios. Although the team played better in the second period, the team and manager will feel the performance could have been much better.
Despite the recent scorelines, many positives can be taken from the matches and the experience used to help build towards another Highland League campaign but plenty work remains before the Rothes tie.