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Sleat & Strath bounce back from HA exit

posted 28 May 2013, 06:48 by Ben MacKinnon   [ updated 28 May 2013, 06:50 ]

Last Saturday Sleat & Strath faced their biggest test in recent times. A long trip north to face last years Highland Amateur Cup finalists Wick Groats in the second round of this years competition. With some players unable to make the long trip, there were only two substitutes available. 

The team played well during the first half against better opposition. Sleat & Strath had a couple of chances but could make anything count. Wick Groats were leading 1-0 from the 10th minute, but scored again just before the break which settled them down. In the second half they were able to dominate, and injuries to Jamie Hamilton, James Munley and Iain MacPherson meant that Sleat & Strath played the last half hour with only 10 men, having used both their subs. Despite John Davie saving a penalty, Wick Groats ran out 7-0 winners by the end. 

With the high physical level of the Highland Amateur game, and the injuries sustained to some players, there were real doubts that Sleat & Strath would have a full strength squad to face Dunvegan at home in the league on Tuesday night. Fortunately most had recovered, and only Jamie Hamilton was missing with a pulled groin. The manager switched the formation to a 3-4-3 and focused the team on attack from the start. 

And attack they did. James Robertson put them in the lead just 10 mins into the game. By halftime they were leading 4-1, with goals from James Munley, Ben Yoxon and Callum Mattinson. The second half was a carbon copy, the match ending 8-2. Callum Mattinson completed a hat trick, along with another from Ben Yoxon and Gordon MacCarroll having the final say.

For their third fixture in seven days, Sleat & Strath headed over to Glenelg on Friday night. The manager chose to stick with the attacking 3-4-3 formation used against Dunvegan, and again it paid off to devastating effect. Despite the score only being 2-0 at halftime, Sleat & Strath were in total control. The higher level of endurance, and fresher legs of those like Fraser Graham who had come into the starting lineup proved too much for Glenelg in the second half and the match ended 10-0. Gordon MacCarroll stamped his authority as the leading scorer by bagging six of the goals. Callum Mattinson picked up two, with Ben Yoxon and Richard Stewart, on as a substitute, also getting their names on the scoresheet.

With all the dust settled, Sleat & Strath have a 3 point lead in the league table over Portree and Kyleakin, although both teams have a game in hand against Sleat & Strath. Sleat & Straths next opponents are Kyleakin in the GF MacRae Cup Final. The game will be played in Kyleakin on Friday night, with a 19:15 kick off scheduled. Make sure to head along and support the team in their bid at the first silverware in what is sure to be a cracking match.