North of Scotland Under-20s League
Elgin City U-20s 14, Inverness Athletic U-20s 1
INVERNESS Athletic suffered a baptism of fire in their opening fixture of North of Scotland Under-20s League at Borough Briggs against a rampant Elgin City side.
It looked ominous for Athletic when they found themselves 4-0 down after just 13 minutes. It was practically one-way traffic in the first half and City piled on the agony by adding a further five goals by the interval without reply.
Athletic's best chance of the first period came in the 19th minute. Good work from Logan Dunsmore on the left set up Owen McGhie with a chance but the centre's effort was desperately cleared off the goal-line.
But credit to the young Athletic team - making their debut at this level - they refused to lets their heads go down and battled away for the entire second half. Their efforts were justifiably rewarded in the 81st minute with arguably the best goal of the game. Lewis MacLeod started the move when he sent Kieran Syrjanan careering down the left flank. Athletic's number 10 swept the ball across goal and McGhie fired the ball into the net from close range.
City ran out 14-1 winners in the end with Dylan Lawrence, Oliver Hamilton, Fin Allen, Aidan Sopel and Josh Peters sharing the goals for the hosts.
Athletic's under-20s manager, Mike Hall was philosophical about the outcome, he said: “It was a learning curve for the boys. It was their first outing against a far superior team. But the boys didn't give up, they kept going. We know the level we have to get to – it is a work in progress.”
He added: “We can take a lot of positives from the game considering we only had 13 players. You could see they (Elgin) were a group of players who had played together for years, whereas we had few new guys in the squad who were not used to the way we play. It was certainly a baptism of fire, but I'm proud of the boys. It was a hard shift. They could have given up but they didn't.”
Elgin City U-20s – Oliver Kelly, Alex Innes, Jamie Tinnock, Ben Cormack, Andy Milton, Charlie Hay, Dylan Lawrence, Fin Allen, Oliver Hamilton, Josh Peters, Aidan Sopel.
Subs – Alek Matczak, Dylan Cummings, Jack Royan, Jack Hamilton, Correy Crawford.
Inverness Athletic U-20s – Scott Fraser, Lewis Strachan, Brodie Watson, Lennox Lauder Smith, Lewis MacLeod, Ethan Brown, Gavin Urquhart, Logan Dunsmore, Owen McGhie, Kieran Syrjanan, Liam Smith.
Subs – Leon Cameron, Neil Davidson.
Referee – Darren Munro.
Match Report by John Macleod