HALKIRK finally broke their duck for the season as they bagged their first win of the campaign to stun Thurso Swifts with a 2-1 victory.
The fixture itself may have looked like a routine home win for the Swifts on paper but no-one was telling Halkirk that as they tore up the form book to come away from The Dammies with a well-deserved victory.
You would have been forgiven for seeing the writing on the wall when Darren Malcolm gave Swifts the lead, but two wondergoals from Jamie Kelly wrapped up the points for Halkirk.
Kelly’s equaliser was akin to Pelé’s first in the 1958 World Cup final – admittedly at a stage less grander than that occasion itself.
The Halkirk man deftly flicked the ball over his marker’s head before spinning round to smash the ball in on the volley with his right.
His winner came from a free kick outside the box which those in the Swifts wall will not want to see again as they seemed to do their best to avoid being hit by it.
Then again, you couldn’t blame them for self-preservation given the speed at which the ball flew into the net.
Halkirk’s Neil Mackay was understandably delighted and paid tribute to his players.
“We’ve had a few bodies missing and getting some players back certainly helped us,” he said.
“The manager, Michael Bremner, has done a great job of keeping the young lads’ morale up. We’ve had a tough start to the season but it’s not like we’ve been getting beat eight or nine-nil.
“We knew that if we kept working hard and got the players who have not been available to us back, we would start getting results – hopefully this is the start of that.
“We got off to a bad start – the goal they scored could have been defended better at the back post. But Jamie popped up with that
brilliant goal. A superb piece of skill.
“The turning point was when [goalkeeper] Kieran Macleod pulled off a superb save from Dennis Manson. That seemed to spur the boys on. Then Jamie fired in that left-foot rocket.”
A despondent Nigel Mackenzie of Swifts admitted he didn’t hold an immediate post-mortem into the surprise defeat.
He said: “Feelings were a bit raw afterwards so I decided not to discuss the match with the lads straight away. We’ll probably look into it later on in the week.
“We went ahead and looked comfortable. Maybe we allowed ourselves to be too comfortable as we let them back in it.
“Credit to Halkirk though as they played very well – they are a much-improved side from when we last played them.”