Fort William head back to Claggan for relegation match

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Fort William 1 Brechin City 5

Played at Glebe Park, Brechin.

Highland League

Fort William Football Club will return to play on their home ground on Saturday April 30 but not in a way they would have wished.

Having lost their 27th game of the season against Brechin City on Saturday, the Fort now face a home and away play-off against SJFA North Super League outfit Banks O’Dee. The losers will be relegated into the new sixth tier North Caledonia League while the winners will secure their place in the Highland League.

Fort will travel to Spain Park, Aberdeen, for the first of the play-offs on Saturday April 23 with the return fixture being held at Claggan Park on Saturday April 30.

At the time of writing, Fort had four Highland League games to get in between now and then and club chairman John Trew was concerned about the affect it would have on his players.

‘We have crazy run up in next few days,’ he told the Lochaber Times on Monday. ‘We played on Saturday April 9 and have away games on Monday April 11, Turriff United, Wednesday April 13, Strathspey Thistle, Saturday April 16, Deveronvale, Tuesday April 19, Rothes, then a playoff in Aberdeen on Saturday April 23.

‘It’s absolutely ridiculous in terms of scheduling and travel.’

North Caledonian FA involves teams from areas across the mainland counties of Highland, Ross, Sutherland and Caithness, as far north as the Orkney and Shetland Isles and as far west as the Isle of Lewis.

Fort William were first on the scoreboard last Saturday thanks to a sixth-minute penalty goal by Taylor Kelly but Brechin responded with goals in the 23rd, 51st, 84th, 85th and 89th minutes.