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Pictures: Forres Mechanics win in manager Charlie Rowley's last away game while Huntly boss Allan Hale hits out at his team's Christie Park collapse


By Craig Christie

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ALLAN Hale admitted his Huntly team “capitulated” to a 5-2 defeat in Saturday’s Highland League game at home to Forres Mechanics.

Referee Chris Fordyce gives Huntly centre back Michael Clark his marching orders. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Referee Chris Fordyce gives Huntly centre back Michael Clark his marching orders. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

The Cans may have been shell-shocked by manager Charlie Rowley's pre-match announcement that he was leaving his position, but they continued their Huntly bogey in some style.

The Moray side clocked up their ninth consecutive league win at Christie Park, scoring four times in a 20-minute blitz after Huntly had taken an early lead through Michael Dangana.

Owen Paterson scores the Forres equaliser. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Owen Paterson scores the Forres equaliser. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Owen Paterson levelled on 17 minutes, Thomas Brady scored his first goal in Forres colours and further strikes by Paul Brindle and Paterson had Forres 4-1 up at the break.

Thomas Brady (centre) celebrates his goal for Forres. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Thomas Brady (centre) celebrates his goal for Forres. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

A second-half revival saw the homesters pull one back through Cameron Heslop and strike the woodwork three times as well as force some good saves out of the Forres keeper.

Paul Brindle slots home past Huntly keeper Tom Ritchie. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Paul Brindle slots home past Huntly keeper Tom Ritchie. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

But a fifth Mechanics goal - a second for Brindle - was followed by a red card for Huntly centre back Michael Clark for kicking out at Brindle in stoppage time.

Paul Brindle wheels away after scoring for Mechanics. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Paul Brindle wheels away after scoring for Mechanics. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Forres manager Rowley said: It was far from easy for me to tell the players about my decision, but the main thing is we got a positive result and a really good performance.

"When we came in at half time I said ‘I’ve changed my mind’ because we were 4-1 up but that was more to break the ice.

Forres forward Lee Fraser is stuck between Huntly's Michael Clark (left) and Jack McCormick. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Forres forward Lee Fraser is stuck between Huntly's Michael Clark (left) and Jack McCormick. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

"The football aspects of the changing room was no factor in my decision. It was arguably that the football side was keeping me there.

Huntly skipper Glenn Murison and Forres' Jack Grant compete for the ball. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Huntly skipper Glenn Murison and Forres' Jack Grant compete for the ball. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

"As much as we weren’t getting the results, it’s that sort of dressing room aspect that lures you in and keeps you there, and you are always a bit wary of what you are going to miss out on when you are not there.

Action in the Huntly goalmouth. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Action in the Huntly goalmouth. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

"But all things considered it is the right decision for me just now.

"We had that ruthlessness and were much more clinical.

Forres Mechanics' Paul Brindle looks for a way past the home defence. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Forres Mechanics' Paul Brindle looks for a way past the home defence. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

"If we had shown that more often we would be much closer to the top six than we are just now."

Huntly manager Allan Hale was puzzled by his team's collapse.

Huntly's Glenn Murison (left) and Forres' Lee Fraser tussle to win the ball. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Huntly's Glenn Murison (left) and Forres' Lee Fraser tussle to win the ball. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

“We started the game really well, countered them and I thought we were in control of the game, with and without the ball, which was pleasing,” said Hale.

Forres' Jack Grant (#8) is the attention of the Huntly defence and goalkeeper Tom Ritchie. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Forres' Jack Grant (#8) is the attention of the Huntly defence and goalkeeper Tom Ritchie. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

“We scored a really good team goal, we broke away down the left hand side and a great finish from Michael, his first goal for the club.

Huntly goalkeeper Tom Ritchie has words with referee Chris Fordyce over Forres' Jack Grant's challenge. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Huntly goalkeeper Tom Ritchie has words with referee Chris Fordyce over Forres' Jack Grant's challenge. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

“But then we had a 15-minute spell when we just capitulated, and from the reaction after the second goal you could see the belief and the work rate had drained out of the players.

Fans in the Christie Park stand saw seven goals in the Huntly v Forres clash. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Fans in the Christie Park stand saw seven goals in the Huntly v Forres clash. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

“It’s a first-half performance that really isn’t acceptable in terms of the standard we are trying to set and what we are demanding of the players week in, week out.

A high boot from Huntly's Reece McKeown as he competes against Forres' Martin Groat. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
A high boot from Huntly's Reece McKeown as he competes against Forres' Martin Groat. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

"That’s a lesson we need to learn as a collective quickly to make sure that type of first-half performance doesn’t happen again.

Huntly captain Glenn Murison goes in for a challenge on Forres' Paul Brindle. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Huntly captain Glenn Murison goes in for a challenge on Forres' Paul Brindle. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

“If you look at the stats, we had more shots on target in the game. But the damage was done, you can’t give away four goals in a short period and still expect to get something out of the game."



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