Newtonmore continue late-season wobble
NEWTONMORE manager PJ Mackintosh was not as downbeat as might have been expected following his side’s third successive Premiership defeat – a unprecedented losing run for the Eilan side in recent seasons.
Duncan DA MacRae struck late on for Kinlochshiel to claim both points on Saturday in the league clash at Reraig.
The defeats means the Blue and Whites drop to fourth place behind champions Kingussie, Lovat and Kyles Athletic, with Oban Camanachd hot on their heels.
Mackintosh said after the 1-0 reverse: “With six players missing and only one substitute and Kinlochshiel fielding their strongest possible team, I admit I was a bit apprehensive before throw up.
“However, we dominated the vast majority of the game and hit the post twice. Unfortunately, we just could not find the target.
“It was a much better performance than the last two weeks.”
The outgoing Newton-more boss added: “Young Andrew Buchan got his first start in midfield and both he and 16-year-old Declan Brannan in defence played the full 90 minutes and acquitted themselves really well.”
Central midfielder Mike Russell agreed with his manager: “The inexperienced young players were not intimidated playing against experienced players and did really well.
“The scoreline certainly did not give an accurate picture of the game. It was 0-1 going on 8-1.
“It was just one of those frustrating days.”
Newtonmore’s dreadful luck with injuries this term continued at the weekend.
Both Stephen MacDonald and Iain Robinson were still out of action alongside Glen Mackintosh whileAndy MacKintosh was serving a one-match suspension and Ewen Fraser was unavailable.
As a result, the Eilan side travelled with only 13 players.
Brannan started in defence and Buchan in midfield whilst Fraser MacKintosh was their only substitute.
For Kinlochshiel, defender Mark MacDonald returned, but Jordan Fraser was still unavailable. Promising U14 player Archie MacRae was given a place in attack and Andrew MacKenzie also started.
Martin MacRae and Arron Jack joined Duncan ‘DA’ MacRae and Ali Nixon on the home bench.
’More started the game brightly enough creating several good chances.
However, some unconvincing finishing and solid saves from Josh Grant in the ’Shiel goal meant there was no reward.
Duncan ‘DA’ MacRae replaced Archie MacRae at wing forward on 53 minutes for the home side.
’Shiel were playing better, and referee Alex MacVicar awarded the hosts a penalty just two minutes later for a kick by Craig Ritchie after the ball had been fired into the danger area.
John MacRae stepped up but sent his spot hit just wide of the post.
However, ’More were eventually undone in the 80th minute when Duncan DA MacRae collected a floated ball into the area and smashed it home past keeper Kenny Ross.
The hosts did have the ball in the net again five minutes later but referee MacVicar had already blown for a foul.
’More twice came close to levelling at the death but a foul from keeper Grant on Jamie Robinson snuffed out the opportunity, earning him a yellow card in the process.
Evan Menzies had a good chance from close-in from the free-hit but Grant did enough to put him off and the ball sailed wide.
’More play their penultimate match at Mossfield against Oban Camanachd this Saturday with a noon throw-up.