North Caledonian League champions Invergordon continued their rise in the standings by winning 5-0 at home to Thurso.
Goals from Jordan Knight, Benjamin Kelly and Colin Mason gave the hosts three half-time leads.
Ken Morrison added 10 more minutes after the break and Kelly secured his 63rd-minute brace to seal a comfortable result for his side.
Invergordon are in sixth and 10 points from first place, but vitally have two games in hand over most teams above them.
Thurso are 10th in the table and are now five points behind nearest rivals Halkirk United.
NEXT NCFA MEETINGS – NORTH CALEDONIAN LEAGUE – November 4/5, 2022
4th – Fort Willam vs. Clach ‘A’ (8 p.m.)
5th – Bonar Bridge v Invergordon
Inverness Ath v Halkirk
County Nairn ‘A’ v Alness
Thurso against Loch Ness
– North Caledonian FA (@NorthCaleyFA) October 29, 2022
Leaders of Loch Ness in seventh heaven
Loch Ness continue to be favorites following their 7-1 win over County Nairn A at Fortrose.
The home side were brought into action after conceding early but braces from Calum Neil and Allan MacPhee either side of an own goal made it 5-1 at the break.
Nairn’s young side, who are in 11th, dug deep but Phil MacDonald added number six for Loch Ness before MacPhee came away with a hat-trick to complete a great result for pacemakers Shane Carling.
Golspie with four goals firmly in title contention
Golspie are still the closest challengers after their 4-1 home win over Clachnacuddin A left them less than four points from first place.
Sam Mackay fired the ball after just five minutes and a goal in each half from Kevin Cairns made it 3-0.
Billy Cairns scored to make it 4-0 and an own goal 10 minutes from time gave the young Lilywhites – who are second in their first season in the NCL – something to show for their efforts.
— Clach Reserves (@ClachReserves) October 29, 2022
Orkney strike back to draw Tain
Third-placed St Duthus are five points behind second-placed Golspie after a 2-2 draw with Orkney.
The Saints, who lost former Caley Thistle star Ross Tokely to Highland League county Nairn this week, were desperate for a boost after their shock 7-0 defeat at Alness seven days earlier and led 2-0 .
– Orkney FC (@OrkneyFC) October 29, 2022
Jake Lockett’s goal got Tain’s side off to a perfect start and the striker scored from the spot to double the scoreline just after the break.
However, the Islanders scored twice late in the game through Owen Rendall and James Pickles to join Alness United and Invergordon on 15 points just above mid-table.
Athletic pick up latest win at Fort
Fort William, relegated from the Highland League last season, suffered a setback in their bid to get back there via a title win and the promotion play-offs.
Lochaber’s side conceded an early and late 2-1 defeat at home to ever-improving Inverness Athletic, trailing only third-placed St Duthus on goal difference.
90′ | 🟡 FWFC 1-2 IAFC 🌑 | #FortWilliam #InvAth
What a day here in Claggan as this is another late show on the road to Athletic. A goal in the first and last minute from Connel Gresham allowed Stuart Ross’ side to bring home 3 points.
Match report to follow. pic.twitter.com/Q62SiYGbYe
— Inverness Athletic Football Club (@InvernessAthFC) October 29, 2022
Connel Gresham put Inverness ahead in the first minute, but Amin Benyoucef restored parity with his goal on the half-hour mark.
Everything was set for a point apiece, then Gresham came on with a last-ditch aim to earn maximum Athletic points to afford themselves slim hopes of a Championship chase, as they trail Loch Ness by nine points .
Full time. Strong 1-2 Inverness Athletic.
Very very bad second half for Fort.
A Gresham brace for Inverness won them the game.
– Fort William FC (@FortWilliamFC) October 29, 2022
Koziol’s hat-trick inspires Halkirk victory
Ninth-placed Halkirk United are level with Fort William on 12 points thanks to their impressive 5-1 win at home against Bonar Bridge basement.
Kyle Henderson scored twice in the first 45 minutes, with Kuba Koziol’s goal between the two for a 3-0 lead in the interval.
Adam Mackay put Bonar back in the game in the 61st minute, but Koziol then netted two more goals – and his hat-trick – to wrap up a fine win.
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[Five-star show from champions Invergordon keeps title tile on track]