Highland League side Fort William have ended an 840-day wait for victory in style – recording a 5-2 victory over Nairn County in the North of Scotland Cup on Wednesday evening.
The Scottish club’s financial problems have led to two full seasons without a win since beating Elgin City in the same Cup competition in August 2017. Their barren run came to an end in the same week a documentary series on their struggles began airing on BBC Scotland.
Fielding a team with several teenagers last term, Fort William suffered a series of heavy defeats that earned them the unwanted title of “Britain’s worst football team” – but a change of manager in January, with Russell MacMorran coming in, saw performances, if not results, improve at the end of last season.
The club have also signed an agreement with Scottish Championship side Inverness Caledonian Thistle this summer, with nine Caley players moving to Fort William on loan this season. It appears that the changes in personnel have paid off, with the team bouncing back from a 6-0 opening league defeat to Brora Rangers in emphatic fashion.
Jack Brown and Donald Morrison were among the goalscorers in the victory at Claggan Park, with goalkeeper Martin McKinnon saving a Nairn penalty. Moments after the final whistle, the team began trending on Twitter, with their follower count doubling to 14,000 as news spread of their victory. The team’s tweet confirming the result has attracted almost 10,000 likes and retweets.
The next target for the team is to earn their first Highland League win since April 2017, after finishing last season on -7 points, and with a goal difference of -224. They face Inverurie Locos in their first home match this season on Saturday, before a trip to Strathspey the following weekend.
They have had congratulatory messages from Macedonia, Norway and various outposts of the United States, and their social media following has now eclipsed that of Scottish Premiership neighbours Ross County.
But Fort William’s manager says the side dubbed Britain’s worst team will not be getting carried away after ending their two-year winless run.
The Highland League side’s record was so bad, they were the subject of a BBC Scotland documentary broadcast this week. But, on Wednesday, Fort beat Nairn County 5-2 in the North of Scotland Cup.
It was their first win since 2017 and manager Russell McMorran described this week as “nothing short of phenomenal”.