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Third time could be the charm for Inverness Athletic in attempt to get past Thurso in North Caledonian Cup

By John MacLeod

Inverness Athletic will be hoping it will be a case of third time lucky when they face Thurso in the first round of the North Caledonian Cup at the Naver all-weather pitch.

The teams have met twice already this season with Thurso coming out on top on both occasions.

Phil MacDonald will be unavailable for Inverness Athletic for the rest of February.
Phil MacDonald will be unavailable for Inverness Athletic for the rest of February.

Thurso pipped Athletic 3-2 in the Highland capital back in November thanks to a stoppage time penalty, and they triumphed again last month in a hard fought 4-2 victory in Thurso, but Athletic manager Jason Golabek feels his side have a chance of causing an upset.

“We matched them pretty well in the games," he said.

“Unfortunately they managed to scored more goals than us. But hopefully we can put on a performance and progress to the next round.”

A home tie against Bunillildh Thistle in the quarter finals is the reward for the victors.

With only two league fixtures remaining Athletic's season could effectively be over on Saturday if they get beat.

“The players know what they have to do if they want to play extra games of football,” said Golabek.

“We have a couple of players missing for the match and willl have to shuffle things about again, but hopefully we still have a strong enough squad left to get a result.”

The club's top scorer Phil MacDonald misses out as he is in Australia until the end of the month. Centre back Ryan Stewart also misses the tie due to work commitments but goalkeeper Scott Fraser, on-loan from Clach, is available again.

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