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Anglers cast away Invergordon nightmare to sink Athletic

By Matt Leslie

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Halkirk United manager Ewan McElroy. Picture: James Gunn
Halkirk United manager Ewan McElroy. Picture: James Gunn

Halkirk United boss Ewan McElroy praised his side for their 3-1 North Caledonian League win at Inverness Athletic and insisted that his boys "had a point to prove".

The previous Saturday had seen the Anglers fall victim to an 8-0 hiding at the hands of Invergordon.

McElroy's side had been unbeaten since he took charge but came back down to earth against Invergordon with some fearing “the bubble had burst”.

Not so, as goals from Kyle Henderson, James Mackintosh and Ben Gordon got their North Caledonian League campaign back on track.

Phil MacDonald's strike was not enough for Athletic whose manager, Shane Carling, stepped down from his post shortly after.

McElroy said: "Losing our keeper early on had a big impact in the previous match but I think the boys were still keen to prove a point. I could sense before we started that the whole squad were up for this one.

"They actually played well in the first half against Invergordon but the squad have an excellent attitude and when things don’t go our way they are all keen to respond in a positive way.

"We took the lead but allowed them to level. I thought the back three were brilliant on Saturday but they will be unhappy in the way we lost that goal. It was just lapse in concentration and something we will need to improve on.

"Not a huge amount was said by me at half-time, if I am honest. The boys knew themselves that we were playing the better football and creating plenty of chances. It was just a case of continuing along the same lines and ensuring we were patient.

"I thought the boys were brilliant in both halves but probably slightly more assured in the second. It took us a good 15 minutes to get into the game, but from then on I was delighted with the work ethic and tempo the boys managed to maintain.

Unfortunately, he will be reminding the entire squad about this over the next week or two.

“We had a really strong bench which helped massively going into the second half and if anything I think we should have scored more.

"It was a real squad effort with all 16 playing their part. After a slightly shaky first 15 minutes, the back three of Ian Ross, Aidan Reid and Stuart Sinclair were composed and solid.

"The three goalscorers were excellent and took their goals well. Kyle Henderson got the first and has been tremendous since I started. James Mackintosh scored the second and it was basically a case of wanting it more than the opposition, which sums him up perfectly at the minute

“Ben scored probably the pick of the goals with a curling right-foot shot from outside the box. Unfortunately, he will be reminding the entire squad about this over the next week or two."

Halkirk entertain Bunillidh Thistle at Morrison Park on Saturday and, while the visitors have yet to register a point, McElroy is taking nothing for granted.

He added: "It will be a difficult one, for sure. Our injury list is stacking up and we have a few new injuries from the Inverness game along with few more boys away on holiday.

"However, we have a large and determined squad who are pushing each other all the way during training and we are all looking forward to Saturday."

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