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Anglers reel off an amazing recovery

By Matt Leslie

Halkirk United v Inverness Athletic, Halkirk United, Jock Mackay Cup
Halkirk United v Inverness Athletic, Halkirk United, Jock Mackay Cup

HALKIRK United pulled off an astonishing comeback on Saturday as they edged out Inverness Athletic in a nine-goal thriller.

After 50 minutes, it looked like Halkirk's adventures in this season's Jock Mackay Cup would be over as the visitors had steamrollered their way to a 4-0 lead.

Ryan MacLeod, Ryan Dow, Phil MacDonald and Dean Allison had all scored and seemingly the Inverness side were on their way into the next round.

Halkirk's cup dreams looked done and dusted – but then something quite extraordinary happened.

The Anglers rolled up their sleeves, cast their lines and netted a superb catch of a comeback that will have those who were there carping on about it for years to come.

Three goals inside a 10-minute spell from Korbyn Cameron, Matthew Mackay and Louis Webster had Halkirk supporters wondering if the impossible was on.

When Jonah Martens smashed home an equaliser with 14 minutes left, all bets were off.

The unbelievable turned into reality in 87 minutes when Webster bagged his second of the game and a remarkable winner for Halkirk.

Boss Gordon Macdonald said: "I told the boys at half-time when we were 3-0 down that we were still in this game.

"I said if we scored the next goal then it would make the game interesting. However, Inverness got that next goal – although that one did make the game interesting.

"Inverness probably thought it was all over and a couple of their players were asking their bench to substitute them.

"It would have been so easy for the boys to let their heads drop and either concede more goals or just try and play out the rest of the match as a damage-limitation exercise.

"But they never gave in and showed that, with belief and determination, anything is possible. After Inverness got their fourth, it was one-way traffic from us."

Not only did Halkirk have to battle against a four-goal deficit, they had to fight the elements as well.

Macdonald added: "It was bitterly cold. I didn't make any substitutions because our subs' feet were frozen.

"The linesman on our side of the pitch was struggling to beat the freeze as well. There was not a strong breeze but it was cold enough and with it raining it all added up to a miserable day.

"Some of the fans found shelter in the stands but it was noticeable a few cars had disappeared early in the second half – that might have been more to do with the score at the time.

"To show you how cold it was, we celebrated with glasses of hot orange. Orange juice diluted with hot water – just to get ourselves warm again."

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