Lairg Rovers v Golspie Stafford

3pm  25 July 2015

North West Sutherland League
Lairg Rovers 4 Golspie Stafford 3 (att 25)

It's hard to avoid Lairg on journeys to and from the far north west of Scotland. Not that you'd want to avoid it, it's a nice small town with a handy tourist information centre that also offers a coffee shop and, crucially, public toilets.

As a result I've stopped at Ferrycroft in Lairg many times over the years. This time I finally got to see a game on the adjacent football pitch, that's home to Lairg Rovers in the North West Sutherland League.

Next to Loch Shin, it's a lovely place to watch a game of football, and when you get a seven-goal thriller it's pretty much a perfect afternoon, ahead of the long drive home to Manchester.

I'd had Golspie as pre-match favourites to win this game, but they were out-battled by a very determined Lairg.

The home side went in front early, but it didn't take Golspie long to make it 1-1. The home side went back in front just before half time, which set up a great second period.

After the break it was all Golspie, with Lairg defending deep and trying to catch the visitors on the break. A Golspie equaliser looked just a matter of time, and then seemed a certainty when a deliberate handball, preventing a clear goalscoring opportunity, earned Lairg a red card with 20 minutes to play.

But then the 10 men hit Goslpie on the break, twice in as many minutes, to go 4-1 ahead. Golspie refused to give up, and were rewarded with two late goals to set up a thrilling climax. Had we played a few more minutes I'm sure they'd have equalised, but despite half-chances they ran out of time, and Lairg were celebrating at the final whistle.

Despite being just a pitch, Ferrycroft feels like an enclosed football ground. Changing rooms are behind the goal, close to the tourist information centre, with plenty of pitchside parking for those to prefer to watch the action through a windscreen.

This game recompleted the North West Sutherland League for me, at least until Kinlochbervie and/or Tongue United return from exile to pitches in their own villages.

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