Boat of Garten Ospreys flying high at top of welfare football table
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It was another high scoring evening on Tuesday night as the Strathspey & Badenoch Welfare Football League completed its week five fixtures, with Boat of Garten retaining top spot and Spey Valley registering their first win of the campaign.
Boat of Garten Ospreys 6-1 Cromdale
The Ospreys maintained pole position on the league table with a thumping home win over Cromdale.
It was a tight opening with both teams being presented with chances. But there would only be one goal in the opening 45 and that came from Thomas McInnes.
A well-worked passing move found the striker out wide, and he neatly cut inside before unleashing an unstoppable drive from 25 yards out low into the corner to break the deadlock.
And four minutes after the restart it was 2-0 as Harley MacFarlane found the back of the net.
A through ball from Matt Reynolds found the striker free and he strolled it under the keeper.
McInnes bagged his brace a short while later with another deft cut-in and shot from distance, this time smacking the top corner.
And it was a brace for MacFarlane too five minutes later, when he converted a cross from McInnes from close range for number four.
Ian Brooks then pulled one back for the Dale when he headed home a cross from Dan Whitehorn, but this was to prove a temporary reprieve as McInnes completed a well earned hat-trick 20 minutes from time with yet another trademark cut-in and shot.
Kalen Clark delivered the coup de grace two minutes later to seal the win in style.
Kingussie 1-6 Aviemore Thistle
The Jags kept up their own title challenge in Badenoch with a sound win over the Kings.
David Robertson started the onslaught on the quarter hour mark with a neat volley into the roof of the net.
Kingussie equalised 10 minutes later through Ty Cobb after a lack of communication at the back from Thistle allowed the hitman to capitalise and see the teams go into the break level, despite clear-cut chances being few and far between at both ends.
With a change of formation at half time Aviemore came out looking the much stronger side, yet failed to find the net despite having the lion’s share of chances.
But they did finally manage a way through and took the lead on 65 minutes when Wayne Cathcart found himself the winner of a one-on-one with the keeper.
This acted as a catalyst for Thistle as it was one-way traffic from then on in.
Robertson netted his second of the night from the penalty spot after a handball in the box. He then secured his hat-trick when the ball was played back to the edge of the box and his first-time volley nearly burst the net to make it 4-1.
The goals kept coming, and it was the well ripened central midfielder Jamie Rodger’s turn to step up and hit a rocket into the bottom corner for 25 yards out with 12 minutes remaining.
And in the dying moments Damian Paluga took on four players in the Kingussie box before neatly slotting home to ensure the points headed back up the A9.
FC Abernethy 2-3 Spey Valley Youths
Valley grabbed their first points of the season in an entertaining encounter at Nethy Bridge. The first half saw some good opportunities for Abernethy with Tom Devereux causing havoc on the right wing.
But several pinpoint crosses failed to be despatched by Ben Buckler and Martin Guckian.
And these misses would prove to be costly when Argyll Allan fired Valley into the lead against the run of play.
Two quick-fire goals from Allan and Josh Barrett looked to have Spey Valley cruising on Easy Street early into the second half, however Nethy had other ideas.
Increasing pressure led to more opportunities for the hosts, and sub Callum Macleannan showed great feet and vision at the edge of the box to thread a perfectly weighted ball through the defence to midfielder Jack Ward.
He ghosted in behind the defence to finish past the keeper from close range with 20 minutes remaining.
And soon after it was game on with a well worked free kick from Blair Johnstone.
He slipped a disguised pass into Sean Christie at the left of the box who controlled before hitting a fierce strike through a crowd of legs and past the keeper into the opposite bottom corner.
This made for an exciting finish as pressure was kept up, with Buckler getting into good positions only to be denied by the keeper, and Macleannan saw a great long range effort agonisingly crash against the bar.
But Valley held out stoically for the hard won points.