New football era as SLT move to Claggan

Returning to the team after several weeks out, Iain MacLellan made his mark on the game by scoring against Eastwood. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.

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South Lochaber Thistle 2 Eastwood Parkmount A 3

Greater Glasgow PL Division 1

South Lochaber Thistle (SLT) began an exciting new era for community football when the club played its first home game at Claggan Park last weekend, writes Peter Newman.

The Jags have made an agreement with Fort William for the side – formerly based in Kinlochleven – to play in the town until the end of the season.

Hosting regular football sends a powerful message to the committee of the Highland League that Claggan’s pitch is fit to host football.

Sadly, SLT’s wretched form continued as they fell to Glasgow outfit Eastwood Parkmount A.

Thistle opened the scoring with impish full back Sean Noble hitting back of the net from 25 yards. But the visitors hit back almost immediately. A heavy touch saw an Eastwood striker inadvertently fool Ryan Hunter in the home side’s goal for a scrappy equaliser.

Eastwood stretched their lead when the defenders got caught under a hoisted ball forward. A Parkmount man gambled and rumbled the ball over the line to move them 2-1 ahead.

Things then went from bad to worse for Thistle.

An individual error saw the ball played to an Eastwood man who, seemingly as surprised as everyone else, rolled the ball into the net.

As the frenetic first half drew to a close, club founding veteran Dave Forbes fired a free kick into the box.

The visitor’s keeper failed to deal with the danger with returning club hero Iain MacLellan slamming home the rebound to make it 3-2 at the break.

Despite a second half penalty miss by Noble, which saw the ball bounce off the bar, that was it for the scoring.

Manager Alan Gray said: ‘Too little training and too many changes to the team are costing us. Although we had a strong team today, we need the cohesion that only comes from consistency of selection and the chance to work together in training.

‘We were undone by three individual errors but we are good enough to cut these out and turn this sort of game around.

‘Today marks the beginning of a new era for the club, one which we hope will be beneficial to both us and our hosts.

‘We’d like to thank John Trew and Fort William Football Club for allowing us use of Claggan Park.’

SLT’s next game is away to Cambria FC.