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Health and safety far outweighs football, says Halkirk boss McElroy after friendly win against Bonar


By Alan Hendry

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Halkirk United's Ross Mackay scores the fourth and decisive goal. Picture: James Gunn
Halkirk United's Ross Mackay scores the fourth and decisive goal. Picture: James Gunn

Halkirk United manager Ewan McElroy gave credit to a much-improved Bonar Bridge side after his team ran out 4-2 winners in a friendly at a very wet Morrison Park on Saturday.

The Anglers will play in the top flight of the two-tier North Caledonian Football Association in season 2020/21, while Bonar will be in the second division. The league is due to kick off on October 17, although McElroy says everyone is very much aware that the situation could change.

He described Saturday's closed-doors game as a good workout for both teams, despite continuous rain.

Bonar travelled up with a squad of around 16, while Halkirk were again just about able to use a separate eleven for each half.

The Anglers had all the early pressure and Bobby Gunn opened the scoring with a curling effort into the right corner from the edge of the box.

They doubled their advantage when John Budge reacted quickest to a rebound.

A let-off for Halkirk United keeper Sean Milligan as Bonar come close with a header from a free kick. Picture: James Gunn
A let-off for Halkirk United keeper Sean Milligan as Bonar come close with a header from a free kick. Picture: James Gunn

Bonar reduced the deficit when a long ball caught out the defence and new signing Andrew Gow applied a cool finish.

Aiden Reid rifled home a half-volley from a corner for Halkirk's third before the break.

After multiple substitutions, the Sutherland side got themselves back in it through another new signing, Drew Sutherland, but Ross Mackay restored United's two-goal advantage from close range late on.

"Overall, it was a good workout for both teams despite the torrential rain," McElroy said. "I thought we played well in spells against a much-improved Bonar Bridge.

Kyle Henderson keeps possession for Halkirk United during Saturday's friendly against Bonar Bridge. Picture: James Gunn
Kyle Henderson keeps possession for Halkirk United during Saturday's friendly against Bonar Bridge. Picture: James Gunn

"Our passing and tempo slowed a little in the second half, but changing things almost completely will have played a part in this."

As for the new league campaign, he added: "The preparation remains the same at the minute. We might lighten the sessions this week as we have picked up a few injuries and the boys have put in huge amount of work in the last month.

"Everyone involved with the club is acutely aware this is an ever-changing situation with regard to the pandemic and all are prepared for any change if one is made. At the end of the day everyone’s health and safety far outweighs any football being played."



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