Match report from Sutherland United 0 v Thurso 4 – NCL – 23.11.13

Match report from Sutherland United v Thurso 4 – NCL – 23.11.13

 Number Sutherland United Thurso FC
1 David Crombie Graeme Williamson
2 Jack Theakston Sean Forbes
3 Ryan Maclean Sean Stewart
4 Craig Mackay Colin Sinclair
5 Ewan Ross Colin Davidson
6 Craig Sutherland Michael Petrie
7 James Macrae Greg Shearer (64)
8 Ryan Rutherford (60) Luke Sawyer
9 Billy Cairns Marc Macgregor (62)
10 Jon Campbell James Murray
11 Chris Campbell David Cowie
12 Sean Henstridge Alan Munro
13 Liam Macleod (60)  
14 Craig Ross Scott Bell (64)
15 David Mackay Jonah Martens (62)
16 Paul Gordon Owen Harrold

2 mins excellent work in the penalty box from James Murray sees him cut the ball back for Marc Macgregor to score 1-0 to Vikings

Sutherland United’s Chris Campbell was shown a yellow card after the goal for dissent.

6 mins excellent chance for second goal for Thurso as David Cowie brings a brilliant point blank save from David Crombie.

16 mins James Murray is played through for a one on one he rounds the keeper but ball runs out of play for goal kick.

24 mins bring another chance for Thurso as a David Cowie corner is headed goalwards but another good save from Crombie.

26 mins Colin Sinclair floats in a free kick and Greg Shearer gets a touch for the second goal to Thurso.  2-0

30 mins rare attack from Sutherland United brings a corner. Greg Shearer clears a goal bound chance on the back post.

33 mins good work down right from James Murray and crosses for Sean Stewart to drill in a third goal for Thurso. 3-0

35 mins another excellent delivery from Colin Sinclair as his freekick find Greg Shearer but shearer fires over

Half time SU 0-3 Thurso

49 mins Sutherland United attack with a through ball but Graeme Williamson quickly off his line to clear danger.

60 mins Sub SU off Rutherford on Henstridge

62 mins Sub SU off C. Campbell on Gordon

62 mins Sub TFC off Macgregor on Martens

64 mins unfair challenge on Greg Shearer sees him going down clutching his foot.  Treated but unable to continue, replaced by Scott Bell.

64 mins Yellow card for Greg shearer for dissent aimed at ref for challenge as he leaving the pitch.

70 mins yet another quality free kick from Colin Sinclair leads to Sutherland clearing for a corner

70 mins resulting corner from David Cowie finds an unmarked Colin Sinclair whose bullet header flies past the keeper to make it 4-0

71 mins Sutherland United attack and Craig Sutherland shots from distance and his effort hits the top of the bar and out for goal kick

Last 20 mins very scrappy with neither team unable to make in roads

Final Score – Sutherland United           0-4          Thurso FC

Marc Mcgregor

Greg Shearer

Sean Stewart

Colin Sinclair


Match report – Thurso 0 v Sutherland United 3 – NCL – 14.9.13

Match report – Thurso 0 v Sutherland United 3 – NCL – 14.9.13 – report by Iain Grant

Scorers: Sean Henstridge (13), Garry MacLeod (31), Craig Ross (85).

LAST year’s North Caley champions’ misfiring start to the new season continued on Saturday as  newcomers Sutherland United celebrated their maiden victory.

Thurso’s opening three matches, all at home, have yielded just one point and one goal scored against six conceded.

The Dornoch-based visitors, who have a core of experienced performers with Golspie Sutherland, exploited a flaky Vikings defence to go in at the break thanks to strikes from Sean Henstridge and Garry MacLeod.

A largely uneventful second half ended with Craig Ross adding a third to return with a morale-raising convincing win to add to the 3-3 draw they earned at Golspie in their opening fixture.

Alan Bokas was the first keeper forced into action after he had to dash out to prevent Thurso’s Marc MacGregor getting on the end of Robert Gunn’s through ball.

Before opening the scoring, SU went desperately close when Colin Davidson was robbed by Henstridge whose centre found Aaron Smith unmarked on the centre of the six yard box. Smith’s first-time strike produced a fine block by spread-eagled keeper Graeme Williamson.

Further defensive uncertainty was the prelude to the visitors going in front with Smith darting down the right flank and having his searching, far post cross swept past Williamson by Henstridge.

Thurso almost levelled in the first play from the restart when Michael Petrie got a clear sight of goal and had his effort well held by Bokas. Marc MacGregor screwed an angled  effort wide before play switched to the other end when Williamson had an anxious couple of seconds after Henstridge beat him to a long ball and stepped past him near the junction of the penalty box and bye-line. The former Halkirk and Golspie striker found the angle too tight and by the time he had fed the ball across the goalmouth, defenders had got back to crowd out Smith as he sought to get in a shot.

Thurso were starting to dominate possession with David Cowie’s shot-on-the-turn stretching Bokas. A classy bit of wing play from Cowie then created an inviting opening for Gunn who was unable to provide the finish the build-up deserved.

Thurso’s bright spell counted for naught when SU doubled their lead when Garry MacLeod’s lofted free-kick from wide on the right eluded friend and foe with Williamson, under pressure from Craig Mackay, misreading the flight of the ball as it soared into the back of the net.

The Vikings were unlucky not to reduce the deficit before the break with MacGregor foiled after he was put in the clear by a clever prompt from Sean Stewart. MacGregoor clipped the ball past Bokas but his attempt lacked power and Blair Duncan was able to shepherd the ball to safety from in front of his own line.

MacGregor went close again when his connection from Colin Sinclair’s long-range feed was kept out through the combined efforts of Bokas and Kevin Lewis.

Henstridge headed narrowly over before Kyle Ross was relieved not to put through his own goal with a miscued clearance

SU comfortably absorbed the pressure exerted on them and sealed victory late on when Shaun Forbes’ misplaced header fell to Craig Ross who forced the ball home after his initial shot was blocked by Williamson.

Thurso were denied even a crumb of comfort when Stewart’s long-ranger whistled just wide of the far post in the final action of what was another bad day at the office for the defending champions.

Thurso – Williamson, Florence, Stewart, Sinclair, Davidson (Forbes 77), Ross, MacDonald, Petrie (Sawyer 70), Gunn, MacGregor,  Cowie. Sub (unused) – Wann.

Sutherland United: Bokas, G. MacLeod, Duncan, Mackay, Lewis, Innes, Smith (MacKenzie 80), L. MacLeod (MacDonald 55), Henstridge (E. Ross 75), C. Ross, MacRae.

Ref: Bob Gunn.

Match report – Thurso 1 v Halkirk United 1 – NCL – 7.9.13

Match report – Thurso 1 v Halkirk United 1 – NCL – 7.9.13 – report by Iain Grant

Colin Sinclair celebrating his penalty goal v Halkirk United

Colin Sinclair celebrating his penalty goal v Halkirk United

Scorers: Thurso – Colin Sinclair (pen 24). Halkirk – Chris Sutherland (87)

DERBY honours were shared on Saturday as the Anglers equalised late on at the Dammies to net a well-deserved reward for their labours.

Thurso rode their luck big time to go into the interval one ahead, courtesy of Colin Sinclair’s penalty. The second period proved an even contest and it looked like the Vikings were going to emerge on for top until Chris Sutherland netted after home keeper Graeme Williamson could not hold a wicked long-ranger from Jack Halliday.

New Thurso manager Alan Sinclair gave debuts to former Anglers pair Colin Davidson and Luke Sawyer and re-introduced striker Jimmy Budge.

The visitors fielded an unchanged starting line-out to the one which blitzed Muir of Ord Rovers the previous week. They retained the spark of that 5-0 victory in the first half when they time and again exposed opponents who had a decidedly flaky and disjointed look to them.

An early Jack Halliday header from Alan Hughes’s free kick which whizzed just over set the tone for a first half in which they had the chances to establish a decisive.

A fully extended backtracking tackle from Graham MacDonald was needed to prevent Halliday being put in the clear from a long-range feed from Sean Munro.

Graham MacNab looked to have given the Anglers a 15th minute lead when he connected with John Budge’s headed knockdown from a corner but Sean Stewart popped up to goal-line to hack the ball clear.

The home side’s sole response was a Jimmy Budge snap-shot from the edge of the box which was pouched by keeper Daniel Budge.

MacNab was a bustling presence up front and his headed flick-on sent Martin Banks racing in on goal, only for Williamson to dash from his box to boot the ball to safety.

United were by far the more creative, with Munro sparking more than his fair share of attacks down the left flank. Halliday and Banks combined to create an opening for Hughes whose weak shot was easily held by Wiilliamson.

Thurso broke the deadlock when Sinclair’s hoisted dead-ball into the penalty box skipped off the slick surface and struck the hand of Stevie Morris. The latter was booked before Sinclair buried the spot-kick low to the right of keeper Budge.

Within a minute, the Halkirk wide man had the potential to make swift amends when the ball broke invitingly for him after the got the better of an aerial duel with Williamson. But with the goal at his mercy,  admittedly from an acute angle, he struck the nearside upright.

Soon after, Sinclair was forced into a goal-line clearance to keep out a John Budge header before Halliday skied over with just Williamson to beat.

The second half opened with Thurso defender Shaun Forbes relieved he did not pick up a second caution for a balk on Munro.

Munro surged forward to find himself unmarked on the left side of the penalty box but his finish lacked power and was comfortably gathered by Williamson.

The Vikings improved after the interval with two Sinclair free kicks causing kittens in the visiting defence and Darryn Mackay going close with a diving header from David Cowie’s hanging cross.

A niggly spell saw bookings for John Budge and Ryan Begg , of Halkirk and Marc MacGregor, Cowie and Scott Bell, for Thurso.

With time ticking away, the Anglers’ leveller came out of the blue as Halliday made space for himself before unleashing a swerving, low flier which Williamson was unable to hold. Sub Sutherland was quickest to react as he slid in to beat the keeper to the rebound.

Thurso – Williamson, Forbes (Sawyer 51), Stewart, Sinclair, Davidson, MacDonald (Bell 75), Petrie, Mackay, M. MacGregor, Budge, Cowie. Subs (unused) – Gunn and E. MacDonald.

United: D. Budge, J. Budge, Munro, S. Sinclair, G. Sinclair, Mackay, Hughes, MacNab, Banks (Begg 67), Halliday, Morris (Sutherland 67), Morris. Subs: unused – Davidson, Malcolm and Howden.

Ref – Graham John.

Match report – Thurso 0 v Alness United 2 – NCL – 24.8.13

Match report – Thurso 0 v Alness United 2 – NCL – 24.8.13 – by Iain Grant 


UNBEATEN at home in lifting the North Caledonian League title last season, the Vikings got their defence off to the worst possible start on Saturday as they meekly succumbed to visitors Alness.

While well ahead in the possession stakes, they failed to seriously trouble a well-organised rearguard and were vulnerable to lightning counters by the Easter Ross side.

Goals in either half allowed Tommy Regan’s men to emerge with three points to reprise the cup victory they secured late last season at the Dammies.

James Murray, who has been linked with a move to Wick Academy, was a surprise inclusion in the Thurso starting-line-up, spearheading the attack along with Marc MacGregor. Newcomers Robert Gunn and Scott Bell were on the bench while Eddie MacGregor made his first NCL start.

The latter was first to threaten for the Vikings when his shot from the edge of the box whistled wide on 25 minutes. Before then, home keeper Graeme Williamson had to look sharp to divert Daniel Lowe’s effort behind.

Alness forged in front when Williamson carelessly balked Caithness exile Tony Farquhar in the box and Craig Munro buried the spot-kick into the bottom left corner.

Ref Graham John was then to the fore, flourishing three yellow cards in the space of two minutes to Alness pair Niall Docherty (kicking ball away) and Farquhar (foul on Kyle Ross) and Ross (dissent.)

Murray missed what was to prove his side’s best chance of the afternoon when he headed wide when unmarked six yards out on 38 minutes. Shortly afterwards, Marc MacGregor’s shot was one of the few times that keeper Steven Hyslop was forced into serious action.

After the break, Thurso continued to see more of the ball while coming up short in the final third. While regularly pinned back, their opponents continued to look dangerous on the break.

Michael MacKenzie produced the first threat of the second half when his free kick on the edge of the D forced Williamson into a full-length dive to protect his goal.

Marc MacGregor was forced off on 65 minutes when an aerial clash with Robert MacAskill left him with a gash that needed treatment.

Alness grabbed a second on 53 minutes when Farquhar rose above his marker from a corner to direct a header past Williamson.

David Cowie looked Thurso’s best source of getting his side back in the game with some sparky breaks down the right flank. One cross after good hold-up play by Murray invitingly flashed across the goalmouth but found no takers. Cowie then manufactured a centre which Gunn was unable to divert on target.

The final opening in the last minute was created at the other end after Williamson got in a fankle after he received a pass back to the left of his penalty box. He was robbed by Mark Lamont who squared to fellow sub Liam Creighton. The latter took too long to compose himself and his would-be chipped finish shaved over the bar.

A third goal would have been gilding the lily but over the piece, few neutrals would gainsay the hard-working visitors deserved their victory.

Manager Regan said: “I thought we defended really well. Thurso had the bulk of the game but they didn’t cause us too many problems – I think our keeper only to make one real save

“We created a few chances and it was great to pick up three points up here, which is always a hard place to come to.”

Thurso – Williamson, Stewart (Elder 72), A. Sinclair, C. Sinclair, S. Forbes, K. Ross, D. Cowie, E. MacGregor (Gunn 60), Murray, M. MacGregor (Bell 70), Florence.

Alness United – Hyslop, Docherty (Muir 84), Stewart, Munro, MacAskill, McCormack, Graham, M. Farquhar, MacKenzie (Creighton 84),T. Farquhar, Lowe (Lamont 74).

Referee – Graham John.

Match report – Thurso 0 v Brora Rangers 5 – AJG Parcels North of Scotland Cup 2nd Round – 13.8.13

Match report – Thurso 0 v Brora Rangers 5 – AJG Parcels North of Scotland Cup 2nd Round – 13.8.13 – by Iain Grant

Marc McGregor in action v Brora Rangers

Marc McGregor in action v Brora Rangers

Brora breezed past the Vikings on Wednesday to book a home tie at Dudgeon Park to face Wick Academy in the semi-final of the North of Scotland Cup.

The slick Sutherland side have invested in a clutch of quality players and showed the major progress they have made with their opening Highland League victory last weekend at the home of champions Forres Mechanics.

The Vikings gamely recovered from the loss of two early goals to go at the interval just 2-0 behind.

But they were over-run in the second half when their defence was regularly horribly exposed.

Brora were pleasing on the eye with former Inverness CT and Dundee midfielder Richie Hart looking back to his best when he was rated one of the north’s best prospects.

The Vikings were not disgraced in defeat and manager Stevie Reid was pleased with the first run-out of his new-look squad.

That they ran out of steam is understandable given that most were playing their second match in 24 hours, having been involved with their county sides the night before.

Thurso – Graeme Williamson, Sean Stewart (Scott McLean 65), Stuart Florence, Alan Sinclair, Colin Sinclair, Graham MacDonald (Conner Jackson 75), David Cowie, John Harper, Marc McGregor, Chris Wann (Ben Taylor 60), Kuba Koziolc. 

Brora Rangers – Ridgers, Innes (Maclean (54), Golabeck (Mackay 70), Hind, Smith, Gibb, Gillespie, Hart, Kerr (Baxter h/t), Mackay, Greig. Subs (unused) – Taylor and Lamb.

Scorers: Zander Sutherland (6), Dale Gillespie (45, 50) Andrew Greig (68), Liam Baxter 88)

  Ref – Mr G. Elder.

Latest Vikings News – 13.8.13

Score from tonight’s JGC Parcels North of Scotland cup 2nd Round at Morrison Park in Halkirk was Thurso 0 v Brora Rangers 5.

Brora Rangers goals from Zander Sutherland, Dale Gillespie (2), Andrew Greig and Liam Baxter.

Vikings line-up – Graeme Williamson, Sean Stewart, Stuart Florence, Alan Sinclair, Colin Sinclair, Graham MacDonald, David Cowie, John Harper, Marc McGregor, Chris Wann, Kuba Koziolc. Subs – Ben Taylor, Scott McLean, Connel Jackson

Brora line-up – Joe Malin, James Ross, Danny Mackay Ross Tokely, Scott Houston, Ryan Watson, Dale Gillespie  Richie Hart, Zander Sutherland, Steven Mackay, Andrew Greig. Subs – John Campbell, Liam Baxter, Ally Ridgers

Next Vikings match is the opening North Caledonian League Fixture at home to Alness United on Saturday 24th of August 2013 with a 2.30 p.m kick-off