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Highland Football League weekend review: Saturday 4th October 2014

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hfl-logoThere was Scottish Cup action for a number of Highland League clubs over the weekend however the biggest news from Saturday came from Grant Park after the news that manager Steve Dunn and his assistant Jim Stables resigned from the club directly after the clubs 4-3 defeat against Fort William.

Lossiemouth secretary Alan McIntosh said: “They said that they had taken the squad as far as they could and intimated that fresh faces were needed at the club both on the park and at management level. I thanked them for their time at the club and their commitment over the last few seasons, wishing them all the best in the future.

“The committee will be meeting on Monday night to see how we can take the club forward and to find a new management team.”

Ex Coasters manager Charlie Charlesworth who resigned from his post at Deveronvale three weeks ago has already been mentioned by Lossie fans as has Turriff United Under 20s manager Mike McKenzie who enjoyed a stint at the Grant Park outfit back before the turn of the century.

Brora Rangers sealed their way into the 3rd round of the Scottish Cup after a 5-0 win over Banks O’Dee. Steven MacKay banged in a hat-trick before Martin McLean and Gavin Morrison put the game to bed later on in the match.

Nairn County just seen past Huntly 2-1 however the win for the Station Park men came in controversial circumstances. County’s Robbie Duncanson opened the scoring with a superb curling effort on the half-hour mark. The hosts doubled their lead just before the half-time whistle when a header from Sean Webb hit the bar and Conor Gethins forced the ball home. However, Huntly’s incensed players insisted the ball never crossed the line.The away side set up a grandstand finish thanks to a smart finish from Callum Dunbar, but they could not find an equaliser.

Forres Mechanics will be the last Highland League side in the hat for the 3rd round draw taking place this afternoon after a 0-0 draw away to rivals Elgin City. The game saw very few chances being created and both sides will meet this Saturday at Mosset Park.

Berwick Rangers defeated Formartine United 2-0 in what turned out to be a bad day for the North Lodge Park men which was topped off with Stuart Smith getting sent off with five minutes remaining.

Daryl Nicol gave Cove Rangers the lead in the 18th minute however Annan pegged the Aberdeen side thanks to goals from Peter Weatherson and Stuart McColm. Hurlford saw off Clachnacuddin in the 1st round and saw off fellow Highland League outfit Inverurie Locos on Saturday coming away from the Garioch with a 3-0 win.

Turriff United were fancied by a lot of fans on forums and on social media to come out on top against Clyde however it was the SPFL outfit who would get the win. Kevin Watt gave Barry Fergusons side the lead on the stroke of half time, Scott McManus doubled their advantage after the hour mark before Scott Ferguson smashed home an Andrew Gibson cross late on.

In the Highland League, there was three games which took place. Wick Academy jumped into 3rd after a 9-2 win away to Strathspey Thistle. Sam McKay helped the Scorries to victory with a hat-trick.

It was a dress rehearsal for the Aberdeenshire Cup Final at Bellslea after Fraserburgh and Buckie Thistle drew 2-2. Graham Johnston put Fraserburgh in front 10 minutes in, but their lead lasted less than a minute, Buckie going straight up the other end and equalising with a goal from Andy Low. Scott Fowlie put the home side 2-1 in front on 27 minutes, but once again they couldn’t hold onto their lead and Liam Baxter scored the Jags’ second equaliser with six minutes remaining in the first-half.

Fort William got their first league win of the season after a 4-3 win over Lossiemouth. Coasters boss Steven Dunn resigned after the game. The visitors struck first when William Mathers crashed the ball home from 25 yards. Fort equalised six minutes later, Gordon McCarroll connecting beautifully with a corner to send the ball high into the net to make it 1-1. Lossie went back in front 3 minutes into first-half injury time with a goal from striker Shawn Scott, leaving the half-time score 2-1 to the visitors. Seven minutes into the second-half Fort equalised with another goal from McCarroll. The ball dropped to the Skye man 30 yards out and he drove it into the top corner of the net. Fort then took the lead for the first time, Andy Hardwick prodding home from 3 yards on 74 minutes. A dramatic last 10 minutes saw Lossie force an equaliser through Scott Miller on 85 minutes and Fort William go straight up the other end to score the winner, Sean Grant heading home to secure a welcome 3 points for the home side.

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