Published: 13/07/2011 20:00 - Updated: 13/07/2011 19:58

Fort boss - sign off in style!

FORT William face a year away from An Aird - after they host Lovat in the Premier Division on Saturday.

And they are determined for it to be third time lucky against their bogey side - before they complete their campaign mainly on the road.

The remainder of Fort's home fixtures will take place at Lochaber High while a new pitch is laid at An Aird to ensure there are no more drainage problems and the stand will also be refurbished. The reserves will play at Black Parks, Inverlochy, from next month.

It all adds up to a tough finish for Fort's first-team, who kept on the heels of leaders Kyles Athletic at the weekend - thanks to a 3-1 home victory against Inveraray.

Gary Innes bagged a double, but the visitors pulled one back before Daniel Stewart netted the killer third to seal the all-important victory.

Peter McIntyre's side are now just one point off top spot, although Kyles have two games in hand.

The manager explained that his side aim to finish of 2011 at An Aird on a winning note to keep the heat on their title rivals.

He said: "We still have Oban, Kilmallie, Kingussie and Newtonmore to play away from home, so it's going to be a massive end of the season for us. We've now had three wins in a row and Kyles have their Macaulay Cup semi-final at Oban this weekend, so it means we can go into this run of away games with the points on the board."

Looking forward to Lovat visiting An Aird, which has been brought forward to 2.30pm, MacIntyre stressed that the visitors will be a tough nut to crack.

He said: "We have yet to beat Lovat this season. We drew there in the league and they beat us in the Macaulay Cup, so the warning signs are there for us.

"I watched them in action in Sunday's Joe Toal sixes at Lochaber and Lovat won it against strong teams, including Newtonmore, Lochaber and Kinlochshiel. Lovat are very strong in attack, with a lot of very good young players, so we'll have to be at our best."

Reflecting on the 3-1 victory against Inveraray, the An Aird manager said: "We lost the centre line who played so well in the MacTavish Cup final, Niall MacPhee, Chris Bamber and John MacDonald, but we went with an untried back line and they were tremendous. I don;t want to single any one player out because it was a terrific team performance against Inveraray, who were on such a high after beating Kyles the week before.

"We started the game very well and took the match to them and that really made a big difference. We were two ahead at half-time, but they pulled one back after the break before Daniel Stewart finished it off for us."

As the club prepare to shift from An Aird until next August, MacIntyre feels the pros outweigh the cons.

He said: "We'll get through this season and then look ahead. It will be difficult and there is also the financial implications to consider of us playing elsewhere.

"While it's not ideal, we're going to have a brand new pitch next year. An Aird used to be one of the best pitches in the country and we'll hopefully have that again next season.

"The problems with drainage have been prolonged and this had to be addressed at some stage. The stand will also be refurbished, so when we get back to An Aird it will be fantastic."

Fort reserves who beat Lovat 3-0 in North Division Two on Saturday, are at home to Kinlochshiel in the league this weekend.

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