Grounds for complaint are nil for Anglers boss
"No complaints" was the verdict from Halkirk United boss Ewan McElroy following his side's home defeat at the hands of Invergordon.
The Anglers had gone into Saturday's North Caledonian League fixture looking to erase the memory of an 8-0 hiding at the home of their visitors earlier this season.
While there was no repeat of that drubbing, Invergordon were still too good for a Halkirk side that will be happy to see the back of them.
Two strikes inside the first quarter of an hour from Darran Goller and Scott Houston effectively put this one out of the Anglers' reach, with a further goal from Goller and a late effort by Ian Penwright sealing a 4-0 victory for the Easter Ross men.
McElroy said: "We were beaten by the better team on Saturday and have zero complaints. We were slow to start and in fairness I don’t think we prepared as well as we could have, and I will shoulder the responsibility for that.
"Invergordon pressed high and we really struggled to keep the ball for any length of time. We were disappointed with both the goals we conceded in the first half but you have to take it on the chin, learn from it and move on.
"They are comfortable on the ball all over the pitch. We knew they had travelled up with a strong team and are technically a very good side.
You learn a lot about the squad in these difficult games.
"The boys themselves knew we were not at the races in the first half. We started the second much better and the boys were showing a lot more energy and intensity. We were beginning to get a foothold in the game and we knew that the next goal was important.
"Unfortunately, we can’t have any complaints with their third goal either – it was an cracking strike on the volley and it was hard not to applaud the finish.
"I was really disappointed with the first half. However, it’s a learning curve for both myself and the team. You learn a lot about the squad in these difficult games and it’s what you do next that really matters."
Halkirk move their attentions this weekend to the Football Times Cup and their latest North Group match away to Bunillidh Thistle.
McElroy said: "When you lose a game in that fashion, as we did to Invergordon, the best thing is to draw a line and move on.
"I will be looking for a reaction from the boys, starting at training this week, and then hopefully an improved performance at the weekend. Bunillidh will be desperate to get something out of the game and are always more difficult away from home.
"Stuart Sinclairand Cameron Mackay are both out due to work. James Mackintosh hobbled off early on Saturday and will be a major doubt, and Ben Gordon is still probably a week away from returning.
"However, we are hoping to welcome back both centre-halves, Aidan Reid and Jordan Howden, to the squad for this one and we might even look to freshen things up with a couple new faces depending on how training goes."