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Rothes 3, Fort William FC 0
Saturday signalled the start of the new season for Fort William FC as they travelled to Rothes to get their Highland League campaign up and running, writes Ally Rowantree.
On what was a hot day in Rothes, it was the home side who almost took the lead hitting the bar in the 21st minute. Luckily goalkeeper Ryan Hunter was on hand to gather the rebound safely.
Not long after a much-needed water break, the deadlock was broken when Michael Finnis of Rothes rose highest to head home the opener from a corner in the 31st minute.
The Fort were moving the ball around well when in possession but were unable to unlock the Rothes defence and went into the half-time break trailing 1-0.
A couple minutes into the second half, the Fort broke through the defence but Connor Moore had his shot blocked resulting in a corner which was gathered by the Rothes keeper.
After 68 minutes played, Rothes doubled their lead through Jack Brown. Fort looked to bounce back and came into the game with one of the better second-half chances falling to Jack McConnell on the 75th minute but he was unable to keep his free kick down as it sailed over the bar.
Rothes were then reduced to 10 men after a second booking was picked up by Gary Kerr for simulation in the 82nd minute.
The Fort looked to take advantage of the extra player going close through Marios Avraam whose shot was just curled wide of the post and substitute Robbie Rydings forced the Rothes keeper into a good save.
The match finished 3-0 to Rothes.
Following the game captain Danny Mackintosh commented: ‘It wasn’t the result we wanted and overall the better team won on the day, however, there were plenty of positives to take from our first game together.
‘We battled hard, played some good football and had our chances but unfortunately couldn’t take them, we were up against one of the top sides in the league that have played together for a couple of years now so we knew it was going to be tough.
‘They had their chances throughout the game and a couple of silly mistakes in the latter stages cost us and Rothes sealed the win.
‘I know it is early but the fight and team spirit with this group of lads is something else. I have no doubt we have a successful season ahead of us.’
Line-up: Hunter, Wallace, Scott, White, Caulker (Munro, 71 mins), McConnell, Mackenzie, Brew, Avraam, Moore, Mackintosh(C) (Rydings, 87 mins)
Next up for Fort William is Fraserburgh FC on Saturday July 31.
Fort William FC 2021 squad:
Back row, from left: Tommylee Taylor, coach; Alexander White, Brandon Scott, Junior Caulker, Marios Avraam, Ryan Hunter, Cameron Adisi, Mateusz Kulbacki, Josh Wallace, Jamie McConnell, Ashley Hollyer, manager.
Front row, from left: Louis Kane, Ruairidh Munro, Mark MacKenzie, Danny MacKintosh, Connor Moore, Aidan Taylor, Darren Brew, Robbie Rydings, Ruairidh MacDonald. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos