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  • Saturday 7th September
    Macleod & MacCallum North Caledonian League
    Inverness Athletic v Bunillidh Thistle
    Inverness Royal Academy 4G, Inverness
    2.30pm

    Inverness Athletic kicked off the new season with a comfortable 7-1 home win over Bunillidh Thistle at the Inverness Royal Academy this afternoon, ending their wait for an opening day win in the process.

    It was Inverness who started the game the better, putting the visitors under pressure from the first whistle. It would not long before the first chance for the home side. Dean Allison connected with a Jack Mackay cross from the right, but his header was just over the bar.

    The inevitable breakthrough came with just 13 minutes on the clock. Dean Allison this time turning provider for Jack Mackay to delightfully lob the on-rushing Cameron Yuill for his first goal for the club on his debut.

    That man MacKay was one the score sheet again just 5 minutes later.  Springing the offside trap to latch onto a Gary Cornish flick on, Mackay slotted under Yuill at the second time of asking to give his side a deserved two goal lead.

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    Jack Mackay after netting his seond of the day.
    Picture Credit - GJW Sports

    Bunillidh slowly started to grow into the game and were rewarded for their hard work on the 35th minute. Nathan Wilson turned the home defence inside out before firing a strike low and hard into the far corner of the net.

    Any glimmer of home the Helmsdale outfit had of getting back into the game was dampened just 7 minutes later as Athletic restored their two-goal cushion. Dean Allison left the visiting defenders in his wake as got on the end of a Ross Harrison pass to round the keeper and open his account for the season.

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    Dean Allison netted Athletics third of the afternoon
    Picture Credit - GJW Sports

    Half Time – Inverness Athletic 3-1 Bunillidh Thistle

    The second half started the way the first half ended, with Athletic on top and putting Bunillidh Thistle under pressure. On the 65th minute that pressure told once more as Michael Corbett netted with a cheeky back heel finish from a Gary Cornish cross to increase the home sides lead.

    The afternoon went from bad to worse for Bunillidh on the 70-minute mark are keeper Cameron Yuill saw red for a last man challenge on Gary Cornish, leaving the ref with no choice but to send the stopper for an early bath.

    Athletic made it 5 just after the 80-minute mark when a Michael Grants strike was too hot to hold for stand in keeper Jordan Hales as he spilled the shot into his own net.

    Inverness were not done for the afternoon as they continued to pile on the misery for the visitors. Gary Cornish deservingly got himself on the score sheet for his afternoons work as he rounded the keeper and rolled the ball into an empty net after Bunillidh failed to deal with a through ball.

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    Martin Macdonald netting the 7th from the spot
    Picture Credit - GJW Sports

    It was seventh heaven for Athletic as Martin MacDonald capped a fine personal performance with a composed finished from the penalty spot after the Bunillidh defended had handballed.

    A fine performance from a depleted home squad as they now move onto next week when they face Nairn County U20s in the Jock Mackay Cup at the Inverness Royal Academy.

    Assistant Manager Jason Golabek said about todays result “That was a fantastic performance from the lads today. Considering the number of boys we had missing due to the summer league cup final it was brilliant. I thought we controlled most of the game but give Bunillidh their due they came back into it just after we scored our second and thoroughly deserved their goal, but after that I thought we were in charge for the rest of the afternoon. It is a brilliant start to the season and hopefully we can build on this result next week against Nairn County in the cup”