SECOND HALF TO FORGET FOR 10 MAN ATHLETIC
Athletic suffered a second half derby day collapse yesterday as Loch Ness netting 4 second half goals without reply to secure all three points.
In what was the first Inverness derby of the season, Manager Jason Golabek made only three changes to the team that started last weekends defeat to Orkney, with Luke Mackay and Kieran Duffty returning to the starting line up along with Callum Reilly who was handed his debut.
The game started at a frantic pace, which you would expect for a derby. Both sides were creating a number of opportunities with Thomas Lewis unlucky not to give Athletic the lead with 15 minutes of the game played. He latched onto a through ball and lobbed the onrushing keeper, only to see his effort hit the bar and bounce clear.
It continued to be end to end action with both sides continuing to create chances. Ricky Lee shot over for Loch Ness before Luke Mackay had his effort saved by Miele in the Loch Ness goal.
With 35 minutes played the deadlock was broken. A long kick out from Ryan Slaney in the Athletic goal was flicked on by Kieran Duffty to set Luke Mackay free, who steadied himself and drove the ball high into the top left corner of the net. One nill to Inverness.
The rest of the half continued at the same frantic pace that the previous 35 minutes was played at, with both sides once again being wasteful Infront of goal.
Half Time – Inverness Ath 1-0 Loch Ness
The second half started with the same intensity the first had ended with as both sides looked to take control of the game.
With an hour on the clock the game was turned on its head. Matty Shewan was given his marching orders for Athletic after a second booking. From the resulting free kick Phil Macdonald fire in a low shot that rolled into the far corner of the net to draw Loch Ness level.
That Macdonald strike along with the sending off seemed to floor Athletic and ignite Loch Ness as just six minutes later the visitors were Infront. Ex Athletic man Macdonald broke free of the Athletic back line and drove his shot past the Slaney in the Athletic goal.
Loch Ness were now putting Golabek’s young side under a lot of pressure as Athletic were struggling to get a foothold in the game. Their afternoon got worse with 15 minutes left to play. Another ex-Athletic man Ryan Ingram drove down the left and crossed to find Phil MacDonald all alone at the back post to complete his hat trick.
With ten minutes left to play it was 4. Luke Seago drove down the right wing and picked out Ryan Ingram inside the Athletic box who volleyed his strike into the back of the net to round off a miserable second half for the home side.
Full Time – Inverness Ath 1-4 Loch Ness
The manager spoke to us after the game, “Gutted after that result today. Did not see that second half performance coming at all. I felt that the first half very even and that we probably deserved to go in at half time with the lead. The red card absolutely killed us unfortunately. To concede the goal from resulting free kick was a double blow. It seemed to knock the stuffing out of the lads. I am not going to be too hard on the players as they worked their socks off again this afternoon which is all we can ask of them. We will pick the lads up as I know they are feeling down after the last couple weeks results, but we regroup and we go again for Golspie next weekend.”