|ended on 07 Aug 2012|
|Wick Groats win by better head to head.|
HFC Leagues, Results & Reports - Season 2007/08
ALL reports are being compiled by Liam 'Duck' Bremner
Halkirk's Winter 7's team triumphed in the League Cup final against a strong Castletown side 3 goals to 1.
ALL goals came in the second half of the 25 minute spell with the first opening coming from roaming striker, Liam Bremner. This was not only a rare goal for Liam but brought the first use of 'Video Evidence' into World football - after it was claimed the ball had not crossed the line. Further discussions were held and the goal was gifted to the Halkirk side with some annoyance from the Castletown travelling party.
The Hoops hit back straight away with the Halkirk team still discussing their opener.
Overall, Halkirk were the better side, created most of the chances and rarely allowed their opponents to break the well engineered back wall.
Banks headed a neat second to take Halkirk back into the lead and Kitten finished it all off with only seconds to go.
Manager, Bungle commented that it was a great performance from his team and a fantastic ending to a hard Winter season.
HFC Dinner, Dance & Presentation - 20/10/07
Halkirk Football Club held their Annual Dinner, Dance and presentation night in the Ulbster Arms Hotel, Halkirk with a healthy contingent of players, sponsors and supporters attending the function.
Both Player of the Year trophies are nominated by the team and on this occasion, Stuart MacCulloch - the club's stalwart goalkeeper, picked up the 'James Cormack - Senior Player of the Year award' - and, Liam Mackay, a young up-and-coming midfielder with ties to Ross County FC, was awarded the 'Bain Family - Junior Player of the Year'.
Unfortunately, Stuart was unable to attend the gathering and club captain, Steven Campbell accepted the trophy and passed on a few words to merit his achievements.
The club were also delighted with the presence of ex-Halkirk FC player, Shane Sutherland and gave him a few words of encouragement - as he is now learning his skills with Inverness Caley Thistle Football Club on a full time basis. Although still at a young age, the striker has found his feet quickly, is currently playing against some of the Scottish Premier Leagues' top players and notching up a reputation as an influential scorer.
League Division 1 -
Halkirk 3 - 1 Thurso Pentland
Our final league game of the season and we finish with three points with a win that was more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.
Although this was our home game, the match was actually played at the Dammies due to Recreation Park being unplayable following the Halkirk games. The change of venue didn't affect us though as we dominated from start to finish as if we were the home team. We kept their keeper busy throughout the first half but had to wait until midway through the 45 before we finally opened the scoring. Gunny and Muttley had already passed up good opportunities before a sweeping move put Kitten through and he found the bottom corner from 20 yards. The lead was doubled instantly when Charlie got clear down the inside left channel and his left foot shot had too much power for the keeper. The Pentlands then enjoyed a wee purple patch and pulled a goal back. The remainder of the first half saw normal service resumed as we enjoyed the best of the possession and chances. Luke, who was running their defence ragged missed a snip of a header, Muttley missed another decent chance and then Crispy, playing what could be his last game for the Wildcat's went close twice when he just failed to get on the end of a cross and then he hit the bar with a great effort from 25 yards.
Half Time 2 - 1
The second half was exactly the same as the first as we dominated in all area's but we continued to pass up chance after chance and couldn't find the killer third goal. Their keeper was busy throughout and must've denied Luke alone at least 3 times on one-on-ones. We were never troubled at the back and were breaking through their defence at will but just couldn't score in what has been the story of our season. We were almost made to pay for our failure to convert our chances but Poop produced a fantastic reaction save to keep our lead intact. Finally, with about ten minutes left we made the game safe and it that was that boy Kitten, again. He received a pass on the edge of the box and netted with a finish similar to the one he scored in the first half. That was the end of the scoring and the goalmouth action as we saw the game out comfortably.
A really good performance to end the season, with a lot of good football being played and some outstanding performances. Poop was reliable when called upon, the defence coped easily with the little that was thrown at them, Kitten shone in midfield and Luke was outstanding in leading the line but he just couldn't get the goal that his play deserved. That's the season over and a respectable mid table finish for us. There have been one or two disappointing performances over the season but over the piece, it's been a successful first term back in the top division and we can look to build on it next year.
League Division 1 - 25/07/07
Wick Rovers 4 - 3 Halkirk
Our final away league match of the campaign and we slipped to another defeat despite scoring three goals. Getting off to a sluggish start, it was no real surprise when we fell behind inside 15 minutes. We got back into the game though and reached level terms soon after as Charlie seized upon a loose ball from a corner and despatched the chance into the bottom corner. The game was now quite even with the home side playing some decent football but we were matching them for effort but maybe not posing as much of an attacking threat. We did however take the lead and again it was that man Charlie that scored following a corner. Muttley's delivery to the front post was flicked on by Gunny and Charlie did the rest from all of 6 inches. We were unable to see the lead through to half time though as we lost a sloppy goal in stoppage time.
Half Time 2 - 2
Rovers enjoyed most of the possession and chances in the second period but Poop was in inspired form and denied them time and again. He had some great one on one saves, produced a fantastic double save from a free kick and the resulting follow up. The home team did take the lead, but the goal did look well offside but the flag never went up when it maybe could've done. We bounced straight back to make the score 3 - 3 following another Muttley corner. This time it was Luke who got the goal with a good looping header. The scoring was completed with about 15 minutes left when they broke quickly on us and Poop was left exposed and couldn't prevent the winner.
A decent performance, although we lost 4 bad goals. The game had an end of season meaningless feel to it, but that is still no excuse for losing sloppy goals. We need to regroup now and make sure we get back to winning ways in our final game against the Pentlands.
League Division 1 - 18/07/07
Castletown 2 - 1 Halkirk
We slipped to our second defeat of the week but this was a much improved performance against the newly crowned league champions.
We fell behind early to a controversial goal as they scored an offside looking goal as the ref never took Neillie's flag when the decision seemed quite obvious. We were soon on level terms though as Mikey netted with a cool finish. The rest of the first half was an even contest with both teams playing good football and creating some chances. The champion's were always dangerous in attack but our back line of Crispy, Kidsy and Gunny were coping well with always that was coming at them and we got to the break untroubled.
Half Time 1 - 1
We started the second half positively and could've took the lead inside the first minute but Muttley undid his good work when he snatched his shot wide when he maybe had a bit more time. The home side started to get on top without totally dominating as both teams tried to knock the ball about on the good playing surface. Poop was called into action and produced a fantastic save diving full stretch to his right. Nige made his subs as he tried to win the win the game but the unfortunately backfired as the newly introduced Rusty needlessly gave away a penalty which was scored and proved to be the winner. We continued to press for the equaliser and produced a great passing move involving Blocksy, Casper and Stevie who was fouled just as he was about to shoot but the ref played an advantage and the ball broke to Russell but he couldn't convert. Casper also had a great chance but he was caught in two minds when one on one with the keeper and his lob was just too strong. The final half chance fell to Pockets, who put in a good shift, but he couldn't quite reach Crispy's free kick.
A good effort from the team, with some good football played and much improved from Monday night. It was a good game played in a good spirit between two teams that have several good young players but in the end Castletown had the extra quality and showed exactly why they're league champions. We can only hope to keep improving and hopefully we can give them a run for their money next year.
Davie Allan Shield Round 1 -
Halkirk 1 - 2 Thurso Pentland (after extra time)
The Wildcat's crashed out of the Davie Allan Shield in the first round after a woeful performance against a team that has only won one other match so far this season.
We had a stronger squad available than the previous few matches, but on a night when the conditions were terrible, we failed to perform altogether as we put in a lacklustre performance from the very first whistle. We always seemed to look to try the hard option, never tried to play simple football, were slow to react and second in every challenge. We did have the occasional flurry in the first half and could've scored a couple but Muttley hit the post from a few yards after forcing a mistake from their keeper and Mikey had a good chance but the keeper stood up well to block his effort.
Half Time 0 - 0
We started the second half with a bit more purpose and it was no real surprise when we took the lead as Casper netted with a well taken volley from 6 yards. This should've spurred us to kill the game off as we were still on top but we stopped doing the basics right and let the visitors back into the game. Our cause wasn't helped with about 10 minutes left when Charlie saw red. Although they went close a couple of times we seemed to be holding on ok but we needlessly gave away a corner in the final minute and in the goalmouth scramble that followed, they scored the equaliser.
Full Time 1 - 1
Already a man down, we then had to move Spike up front as he was struggling badly with an injury but had to stay on as we had used all our subs. The first period of extra time was quite even although the Pentlands had the better of the chances and Blocksy did well to clear a goal bound effort of the line. The away side were well on top in the second period but didn't look like turning the pressure into a winner. But, just as penalties were looming a loose ball in the box was fired into the back of the net and the tie was over as we couldn't find a way back.
A terrible performance again on a Monday night and very disappointing to get knocked out of the DA Shield as we were hoping for another decent run in a cup competition. We just need to regroup now and look to finish off our league campaign with as many points as possible form our remaining three games.
League Division 1 - 09/07/07
Halkirk 0 - 2 Castletown
Another defeat for the Wildcat's, but it was a game where we pushed the Champion's elect all the way and were unlucky to come away without a point. This match was originally scheduled for Castletown but due to their park being waterlogged, the game was moved to Recreation Park. The visitors arrived off the back of a defeat in Maca's Cup final on Saturday but they fielded a strong squad as they look to secure the league title. We were once again struggling for a squad as a combination of injuries and holidays left us short of 8 players. This didn't show in the first half though as we competed well against the league leaders and should've went in at half time a few goals to the good. Stevie C was first to threaten inside the opening minute as he burst through the midfield and hit a shot from 20 yards that just went past the post. Mikey was next to threaten as his shot came back off the post and the rebound bounced safely wide for the visitors as we never got the run of the ball. Spike was next to go close with a fantastic header form a corner but again the effort just went the wrong side of the upright. Then, just on half time came the sucker punch as Castletown scored against the run of play and to make matters worse it was a wicked deflection off Gavin that they benefited from.
Half Time 0 - 1
The away team were much more of a threat in the second half as they showed just why they are sitting clear at the top of the table and looking like securing the championship this season. They played some good football, created some chances and when we did get forward they were always a danger on the counter attack. In saying that we had a great chance to get back level but Rusty 'sclaffed' his shot wide when it seemed easier to score. The game was then put beyond our reach as they scored the killer second goal from a breakaway that started with us having a corner. The second goal meant the game was over as a contest but we kept battling away, although they probably should've added to their lead but some good stops from Poop and some wayward finishing meant they only got two. They could also feel slightly aggrieved at not being awarded a penalty kick after what looked like a foul by Casper but the ref waved play on. The final action of the night saw Mikey trying an audacious volley from 35 yards but their keeper scrambled back and somehow managed to keep his effort out.
A valiant effort by the lads and a performance we can be proud of as we really did compete well with an almost full strength Castletown team as we once again struggled for numbers. In the end, we again lacked that extra something in the final third and the shortage of experienced players in the squad also didn't help. We should hopefully have a few guys back for our matches next week where we will be looking to progress in the David Allan Shield and also look to avenge this result as we travel to Castletown in the league.
League Division 1 - 04/07/07
Swifts 1 - 2 Halkirk
A great three points for the Wildcat's as we became the first team this season to beat the Swifts on their home ground. Coming so soon after the Stabs game, this was always going to be a difficult fixture but we started the game brightly and kept up the good performance throughout the game. The home side started slightly better and created one or two half chances but we soon found our feet and took the lead with our first real attack. Charlie showed great pace to get clear down the left and he cut into the box and squared a ball back to Kitten, his shot was well saved by the keeper but the rebound found it's way back to Charlie and he made no mistake with a poacher's finish from 6 yards. The Swifts continued to be an attacking threat but we were giving as good as we were getting and it was no real surprise when we got a second before the break. The goal again came from our left, as the ball was fed into Kitten at the front post and his sharp turn and first time shot caught the keeper out and found the bottom corner. There was still time for them to miss a couple of sitters before the half time whistle.
Half Time 0 - 2
Unsurprisingly, the Swifts came out with a purpose at the start of the second half, enjoyed most of the possession and had a couple of decent chances to get back into the game but they failed to make the most of what came their way. The longer the game went on the more we started to enjoy catching them on the break and we could've scored more with Charlie unlucky on a couple of occasions. Pockets went close and Stevie C was unlucky not to be played in after making a great run from deep. Poop made a fantastic save to deny Willie Steven with about twenty minutes left but the home team finally got one back with about ten minutes left when Nigel was left unmarked at the back post and he made no mistake. We saw the remainder of the game out relatively comfortably although they did have one final half chance in the last minute but they couldn't take it.
A great win and well deserved three points after another good display. Poop was reliable in the goals, Spike and Kidsy won everything at the back, the midfield competed for everything and got the better of their experienced line up and Charlie ran their back line ragged for the whole 90 minutes. A really good win that will hopefully give us the confidence to push on for the rest of the season.
League Division 1 - 02/07/07
Halkirk 1 - 2 Pentland United
Our 5th meeting of the season against the Stabbies and once again we came up just short against them. Suspension, injuries and holidays meant that we were once again struggling for a squad but the guys that were on the pitch performed admirably and were extremely unfortunate not to take at least a point. The first half was an even, end to end contest with both teams playing good football and creating some chances although neither goalkeeper was called into action too often. Muttley did well to track back and block a chance for Lee Sutherland and Martin Bain also went close for the visitors. The closest we came was when Casper was unlucky with a snap-shot from the edge of the box that Gray appeared to tip over the bar. After such an even 45 minutes it was no surprise when we reached the break with no score.
Half Time 0 - 0
The stabs came out with a bit more urgency after the interval as they tried to keep alive their faint title hopes and it was no real surprise when they took the lead when Grant Budge converted a one-on-one chance. They continued to press for a second and looked like they would get it when they were awarded what seemed a dubious penalty kick. Brian Gray stepped up and hammered his effort to Poop's right but the goalie produced a fantastic save and then showed great reflexes to get up and save the rebound from Sutherland. This gave us a lift, we started to attack them more and more and we got them rattled a bit as the game once again developed into an end to end tussle. Our new found belief and attacking pressure was rewarded when Tarpot was put clean through and he made no mistake as he got us back on level terms. Charlie then thought he'd given us the lead with a cool lob from 25 yards but he was ruled offside even though there linesman never flagged for it. With the game reaching it's closing stages, they struck the killer blow with a goal that served as a reminder how tough the life of a keeper is. Poop, who had an outstanding game, came to gather a simple cross but took his eye off the ball at the last minute and dropped the ball at the feet of Grant Budge who made no mistake from 6 yards to give them the three points.
A cruel blow so late on in a game in which we merited a point but it was not to be. Again, we can be pleased with our performance but we need to become more ruthless in the final third and start taking more chances. If we continue to play with the same effort and commitment, we will win a lot more than we lose.
League Division 1 - 25/06/07
John O' Groats 2 - 0 Halkirk
Windy conditions and a usual Monday night performance from a depleted side..... That's all I was informed to place on the site.
League Division 1 - 18/06/07
Halkirk 2 - 1 Wick Thistle
Halkirk went into this game trying to regain some dignity after losing their last two games and not scoring a goal. With a string of players unavailable to play Charlie, Mikey & Kidsey, one suspension, Blocks and three injuries, Crispy, Gunny and Duck - this left the management team with a headache for possible inclusions in this tussle. Fortunately, a few hardy souls were ready for action at the drop of a hat, Old timer - Jets, Missing-in-Action, Luke Sawyer and young Butcher, Matthew Mackay.
eBiGH started the opening period with the majority of play and produced most of the chances but Wick Thistle's, John 'the Snake' Farquhar proved to be the main threat on numerous occasions after breakdowns in Halkirk possession left spaces free for him to roam and run at the defence.
The best chance of the half came from young Luke Sawyer, who punished the Wick sides defence with a surging run and strike that struck the crossbar, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance. The rebound was catapulted into striker, Johnnie Tarpot's path but with the ball bouncing high and little time to react, the pressure faded leaving Wick with another lifeline.
Half Time 0 - 0
In ways of possession, the second half was similar to the first, with only slight changes forcing eBiGH midfield to be more direct and punish the Wick side. This tactical change began to take it's effect with Spike and Stevie Campbell both just heading wide on a couple of occasions.
Halkirk thought their first chance of opening the scoring was bound when Stevie C burst into the box and was 'scythed' to the ground by the oppositions defender, only for bedlam to break-out on the touchline as the referee decided to let play go on and not allow the 'PK'.
Wick began to think they had won the lottery, as a usually dependant Spike, slipped up at the edge of the Halkirk box allowing a Wick striker to shoot on goal but Halkirk's great shot-stopper, Poop pulled off a fantastic save, only for the ball to rebound to an on-rushing forward to head the ball into a gaping net.
With 15 minutes left, a more determined Halkirk started to pile the pressure on Wick and an equaliser was imminent. Again, Luke showed his prowess as a forward player and floated a lovely ball across the penalty area for, ever improving young Muttley, to unfortunately see his strike smack the bar but this time the thin frame of, Paul 'Kitten' Mackay was in place to head home.
eBiGH continued to produce a number of chances, from the 'Kitten' in particular, and looked unlucky not to secure the three points in the dying minutes.
Finally, just as the cars started to leave Recreation Park, a last minute 25 yard free-kick from Casper, 'pin-balled' it's way into the net via a Luke Sawyer touch which gave the Halkirk young team a much needed win and boost for the rest of the season.
All the best to our usual reporter, Duck - who is currently suffering an illness similar to an African colony, 'Lack of Water.....'.
Eain Mackintosh Cup - Semi-Final -
Halkirk 0 - 2 Pentland United
Our involvement in Maca's cup has ended and unfortunately we went out with a bit of a whimper as we failed to beat the Stabbies at the fourth time of asking, this season. The current holders arrived in 'H' with a depleted squad and we realised that we would never have a better chance of beating them. I'm not sure if the fact they were short made us underestimate them or inspire the players they did have, but they controlled the first half comfortably and we failed to put them under any real pressure. We seemed to show them too much respect and appeared to show a lack of belief and it was no real surprise when we went in at the break 2 goals down.
Half Time 0 - 2
The second half was a much better display as we got in their faces, played at a higher tempo and worked their keeper. We never got the rub of the green though, with loose balls in the box following goalmouth scrambles always appearing to find a PU head or foot. We pressed for most of the second period and MG made great saves from Rusty, a Blocks free kick and although he failed to hold a shot from Charlie, he showed great reflexes to deny Casper from the rebound. We never gave up but they managed to see the tie out and it is they who once again progress to the showpiece final of the County Calendar.
A very disappointing first half as we appeared to show the Stabs too much respect when they could've been there for the taking, but they have been there and done it before and their experienced players came to the fore. The second 45 was much improved as we once again showed that we can match them in a game. We need to take the second half performance into the Thistle game next week although we will have a very depleted squad.
League Division 1 - 11/06/07
Acks 3 - 0 Halkirk
A hugely disappointing result but one which was totally justified on the balance of play as we failed to perform right from the kick off. We were flat from the very first whistle and it had all the signs of a Monday night horror show right from the start as we were second to every ball, slow to react and beaten in most challenges. We didn't threaten their keeper and Poop was put under far too much pressure as the home side's will to win saw them burst through and create opportunities when they wanted. We ended up going in at the break 3 down after conceding from 3 headers, 2 of which came from set-pieces.
Half Time 3 - 0
The only surprise at half time was the fact that Nige only made 2 changes instead of 3 but at the end of the day it didn't matter how many he made as we were never looking like getting back into this contest. The second half was a much more even contest but The Acks were playing within themselves really and we never looked like scoring as we failed to create clear cut chances. Poop had a few good saves to keep the scoreline respectable.
A shocking display, end of! But it's the first bad performance of the season and we should be realistic and not put too much pressure on ourselves as we have exceeded expectations so far. We need to get back to winning ways in our next league game though to keep us clear of the bottom pack.
League Division 1 - 06/06/07
Thurso Pentland 1 - 7 Halkirk
Another three league points for the Wildcat's after an emphatic win at the Dammies.
After a 10 day break from our last game, the lads were raring to go and they showed this by taking a three goal lead inside the first 10 minutes. Charlie opened the scoring from 5 yards following a combination of good work from Kitten and a defensive mix-up. The lead was doubled shortly after when the keeper let a shot from Casper slip through his grasp. Almost immediately, it was 3. Stevie Campbell burst through from the halfway line and found the bottom corner with a shot from 20 yards. With such a convincing start, we got a bit complacent and let the home team pull one back after some slack defensive play. The three goal lead was soon restored though, with Spike getting his third goal in three games with a rasping drive from the edge of the box. We continued to dominate proceedings but couldn't add to our tally before the break.
Half Time 1 - 4
The second period was very much the same as the first as we continued to enjoy most of the ball. We were wasteful with the possession though and were only going through the motions at times. That being said, Poop was relatively untroubled throughout the whole game. We did pick up our performance with around 20 minutes left and increased our lead when Stevie notched his second of the night following another strong run. Good work by Mikey played in Russell for number six and the rout was completed when Kitten marked his 17th birthday with a tap-in from 8 yards. We had good chances to improve our 'goals for' column but our finishing wasn't clinical enough so we had to settle for seven.
A great win for the lads and another important 3 points to keep us in fourth place in the table. It's good to notch a few goals in a game and this will set us up nicely for a very important week next week with a league game versus Acks and Maca's semi final.
Eain Mackintosh Cup - QF - 28/05/07
Halkirk 2 - 1 John 'O' Groats
We progress to the semi finals of Maca's Cup with a hard earned victory against the end of the road team, despite having to play the majority of the match with a one man deficit.
We were very sluggish at the start of the game, with the weekend exertions looking as if they were taking their toll and it was no real surprise when the visitors took an early lead courtesy of a Kidsy OG. At the midway point of the first half we suffered another blow as Blocksy saw red for an alleged attempted kick at one of their players. As decisions continued to go against us, the sense of injustice felt by the players stirred them on to produce a great performance for the rest of the half. Kidsy tried to make amends for his OG with a swerving shot from almost 40 yards that the keeper did well to parry. We continued to put pressure on the visitors and it was no real surprise that we got back on level terms five minutes from the break. Good work on the left from Charlie released Casper and his cross into the box was met by Spike who had just enough power to beat the despairing dive of the keeper. We didn't settle for this though and went in at half time in the lead. A Crispy free kick from just inside our half was flicked into the box by Casper, the ball was only half cleared and Stevie C kept the ball alive. He combined with Muttley before slipping Charlie in and he was coolness personified as he found the back of the net.
Half Time 2 - 1
There wasn't quite so much goalmouth action in the second period as we tried to preserve our lead but we weren't really put under a great deal of pressure by JOG. There was always a nasty feel to the game, tackles were flying in and there was off the ball incidents going on but the referee produced no further reds when he perhaps could've done. Although they had the man advantage, it was us who could've scored more as we broke at will late on. Rusty had two good chances to put the tie beyond them but shot tamely at the keeper both times. We held on comfortably to the final whistle and secured our place in a semi final which will most likely mean another match up with the Stabbies.
A terrific performance from all the team as we bettered JOG's workrate and this with being a man down for the most of the game. Casper and Charlie put in a great shift up top, Mikey and Kitten were outstanding in the midfield and Spike was as commanding as ever at the back. There were no passengers in red and black though as all the lads put in great effort and our second really good performance in a row. A week off now to relax before we resume our league campaign next week looking to pick up where we have left off.
League Division 1 - 25/05/07
Halkirk 4 - 2 Wick Rovers
The Wildcat's get back to winning ways in the league with a great three points from a game that saw us score three goal of the season contenders!
The game got off to a flyer with Casper having a 20 yard shot saved by the keeper inside 20 seconds and Rovers responded by going straight up the field by winning a corner. The corner was cleared and the ball found its way to Mikey on the right flank. He went on a great run up the park and cut inside but couldn't get a shot away, Casper kept the ball alive though and when the cross came into the box Charlie showed great reactions to get a shot in and although the keeper got a strong hand to it, the ball spun into the net. A great start but our lead was short lived as Rovers equalised within a few minutes with a goal from a well worked free kick routine. It was a good game with chances being made at both ends and we regained the lead around the half hour mark. We got a free kick almost forty yards out and with everyone expecting a cross Mikey hit a curling, dipping shot that left the keeper with no chance as it found the top corner. We soon extended our lead with another screamer from a set piece. A corner was headed clear but Muttley controlled the loose ball and hit an unstoppable 25 yard volley that the keeper only saw on the way back out the net! We were fortunate to get to the break with the two goal lead still intact as they had a break and managed to miss an open goal.
Half Time 3 - 1
The second period continued in much the same way as the first as we continued to play some good football and pressured the visitors all over the park with a high work-rate. We continued to create chances with the midfield getting forward at every opportunity. Charlie went close with a good left foot effort from a free kick but the keeper saved comfortably. We did get the killer fourth goal just after the hour and it was another quality effort. Muttley showed good footwork to win another free kick and this time it was Blocksy's turn to have a go. He got his effort over the wall and found the top corner going across the keeper. We slightly lost our shape after this as we maybe thought the points were safe and Rovers came back into it and Poop was called into action with a couple of smart saves before they did pull another goal back after some slack play by us. The main highlight of the last 10 minutes was a fantastic piece of skill by John Harper of the Rovers as he re-inacted Ossie Ardiles's 'over-the-head-flick' piece of skill from Escape to Victory (well done that man!). We seen out the rest of the game, including ten minutes of injury time and secured a good win and a terrific three points.
Good to get another three points in the league after slipping up in our last two games. It's vital we do well in our home games and this win keeps us in mid table. The best performance of the season so far and we will hopefully have more of the same on Monday night against JOG in Maca's Cup.
Eain Mackintosh Cup 1 - 22/05/07
Thurso Pentlands 0 - 3 Halkirk
We made it through to the next round of Maca's cup with a win that was as comfortable as the scoreline suggests. For all our possession in the first half, our use of the ball was poor with too many long balls being played and we were caught offside far too often. Stevie Campbell had a couple of long range efforts that didn't really trouble the keeper but our best chance fell to Mikey who ran clear from his own half but his shot was tame and the keeper stuck out a foot to block. It wasn't all one way traffic though and Spike did well to block an effort at the back post.
Half Time 0 - 0
After a slightly heated half time talk, we came out in the second half looking to get an early lead and we didn't have too long to wait. Stevie Campbell picked up a loose ball from a corner and had a run at their defence and played in Russell who squared for Spike to tap in at the back post. We doubled our lead within a minute, good work from Casper found Charlie at the edge of the box and his sharp turn and shot found the bottom corner. It was the same combination for the third, the ball broke loose to Casper after his challenge with the keeper and his cross was headed into the empty net by Charlie. That was the end of the scoring but there was still time for Muttley to go close with a couple of efforts and Paul Mackay, who had a great game, was unlucky with his attempted effort. The only other real effort of note was from Mikey but his shot from close range was so bad that Peter Van Vossen has now come out of hiding! A special mention to the returning Martin Bain who cruised through his comeback match.
A good result if not a great display which gets us into the next round of a cup that means a lot to us. Looks like a tough game in the next round against JOG when we will have to up it a little.
Highland Amateur Cup Rnd 2 (Replay) -
Halkirk 0 - 2 Pentland United
Our Highland Cup campaign is over for another year as we failed to reach the performance level we achieved in Dunnet the previous week. A large crowd was in attendance on a bright day but there was a strong wind which affected the game.
The wind was on our backs in the first half which meant we enjoyed the fair share of possession but failed to create any real chances. Stevie Campbell had a deflected effort which Gray did well to hold and Muttley left two men in his wake with a great run but his shot lacked the power to trouble the visiting keeper. The Stabbies were never out it either and should've taken the lead but Young Brae missed a snip of a chance when he put his header wide. We continued to press but never tried enough shots on goal and failed to take advantage of the many corners.
Half Time 0 - 0.
We never really got going in the second period and the visitors enjoyed most of the possession and territorial advantage but they still weren't creating a great deal. Then midway through the half came the turning point of the game. We had a 5 v 2 breakaway but poor decision making meant we never capitalised and within a minute were behind. They were awarded a soft free kick and Young Brae stepped up to curl it round the wall and into the corner. We kept plugging away but didn't really look like getting level and had Poop to thank for keeping us in it with a great fingertip save from a Brian Gray header. We were then killed off with around 10 minutes remaining. Spike was harshly adjudged to have handled in the box after it looked like he was fouled himself but Inrig stepped up and doubled their advantage. That proved to be the end of the scoring and the end of our involvement in the HA Cup.
A disappointing result and second half display but we can be proud of our efforts as we ran the Stabbies close over the two games. Looking back, maybe our chance was lost when we never took advantage of their two red cards in the first game. Still, if we continue to put in this effort and commitment we will win more than we lose.
League Division 1 - 14/05/07
Halkirk 0 - 2 Swifts
Our second league defeat in a row as our weekend exertions appeared to catch up with us as we looked a tired team and were never really in this match.
Nige made a couple of changes to the starting eleven to freshen things up but his plans suffered an early blow as Charlie suffered a nasty ankle knock and had to be replaced, with Spike getting a run up front. The visitors enjoyed the majority of the possession in the first period and we were restricted to counter attacks and didn't really create any clear cut openings, although Muttley was unlucky with an effort. We did well to get in at the break level as there were one or two close calls in our area.
Half Time 0 - 0
The second period went very much the same as the first and we had a couple of near things as the visitors pressed. Firstly, they were awarded a penalty after Muttley fouled Anson Robertson but luckily for us we got a reprieve as Reidy's penalty sailed over the bar and soon afterwards Poop pulled of a quite miraculous save to keep out a point blank Jamie Mackenzie header. The pressure finally told however, as Swifts took the lead through, John Holmes with around 20 minutes left and then a defensive howler let in Jamie Mackenzie to double their lead. We finally started to play once we were two behind and Spike was unlucky to see his overhead kick come back of the bar and he was harshly penalised for a foul on the keeper which would've left him with a tap in to an empty net. Then, in the last couple of minutes Spike was involved in a great passing move up the wing with Kitten which started back at our own box. Spike's centre found Casper but his header went just wide.
A very poor performance and a real let down after our good display in Dunnet, at the weekend. A few days rest now before our replay against the Stabbies.
Highland Amateur Cup Rnd 2 - 12/05/07
Pentland United 2 - 2 Halkirk
We live to fight another day in the Highland Cup after this hard fought draw in Dunnet. After our heavy defeat at the hands of the stabbies on Monday, we went into this game as massive underdogs knowing we had to be on top form throughout the 90 minutes.
We made a positive start going down the slope and Mikey went close with a snap shot from the edge of the box that flew just past the top corner. The next chance that came our way fell to the impressive Muttley but he opened himself up too much when trying to curl his shot into the top corner. The match was even throughout the first period with the home team creating their fair share of goalscoring opportunities and we always looked a threat going forward. However, with the first half drawing to a close, disaster struck as we fell behind to a freak goal. Poop 'sclaffed' a goal kick and the ball went straight to the chest of Scott Mackay-Steven and his first time volley flew into the roof of the net before Poop could get himself positioned properly. This was a hammer blow and a terrible time to concede a goal.
Half Time 1 - 0
After conceding such a soft goal just before half time and playing up the Ham Park slope, we could've expected to be up against it in the second half but we didn't let our heads go down. We seemed to play better going up the hill and got back on level terms just before the hour mark. After winning a free kick about thirty yards out and Mikey's inswinging delivery found it's way into the top corner with the aid of a slight deflection. All square and we sensed the game was ours for the taking, but unfortunately the lead didn't last too long as we got caught with a breakaway goal. Pockets' mis-placed pass was seized upon by Martin Bain and his cross into the box found Tony Farquhar and he found the top corner with an excellent left foot volley. Another poor goal conceded, but again we didn't collapse and found the energy and determination to get back on level terms again with a wonderful counter attack goal. It started in our own 18 yard box when a cross was cleared and within 15 seconds the ball was nestling in Michael Gray's net. Mikey got the ball in the centre circle and ran at the home defence, two great runs from the strikers gave him good passing options and he slipped the ball through to Casper, who composed himself before scoring with a cool finish. This was the end of the scoring but not the end of the action as United had a decent penalty shout after Tony went down in a challenge with Duck but they finished the game with 9 men after Joe Steven and Willie Inrig both saw red for receiving 2 yellow cards.
All square at full time and we do it all again on Saturday. A good all round performance as we got a draw after falling behind twice in the game and not many teams do that in Dunnet.
League Division 1 - 07/05/07
Pentland United 4 - 0 Halkirk
We suffered our first defeat of the season in Dunnet at the hands of the defending champions. A surprisingly good surface at Ham Park meant there were no excuses for not playing good football and we were able to hold up to the Stabbies in an even first half when we were playing down the slope. The home team started better but we gradually worked our way into the game and came close to opening the scoring on a couple of occasions. Mikey had an effort cleared of the line after Charlie made a nuisance of himself in the box and then Blocks had a good chance with a header after more good work from his younger brother. We also had a bit of defending to do and they should have scored from a corner but Brian Gray failed to find the target when he had a free header. Poop was then called into action with a fine save from a Martin Bain shot that took a deflection. Stevie Campbell went close with a snapshot as we continued to enjoy our fair share of possession in the first period but we went in level at the break.
Half Time 0 - 0
After such a good first half, we got off to the worst possible start in the second. A combination of slack marking and a failure to react to the second ball led to the home side taking the lead. It wasn't long before they doubled their advantage from a penalty and this ended the match as a contest. As we tried to get back into the game they made it three with a breakaway goal. We almost got a consolation late on when Charlie hit the bar and Muttley was unlucky with an effort but the scoring was completed in the final minute as they made it four with a header from a long throw.
A good first half performance counted for nothing as we just did not compete in the second. Pentland United showed why they are the defending champions with some good football and clinical finishing but we have to realise that we have to compete and put in the required work-rate for the full 90 minutes in every game this season. We have to lift the heads and get focused for our next match which is another trip to Dunnet in the Highland Cup.
League Division 1 - 30/04/07
Halkirk 1 - 0 John O'Groats
Another three points for the Wildcat's as we clinched our first home win of the season against the end of the road boys in a hard fought encounter.
In a physical, even contest there were very little clear cut chances created in the first half, with the best of them falling to the visitors as they brought out a great save from Poop and also clipped the crossbar a couple of times. The only real close calls that we had in front of goal was when we had a few cross balls flash across the six yard line but couldn't find any takers.
Half Time 0 - 0
The second half carried on much the same as the first, although we seemed to enjoy more possession. It was still an even contest but there was very few chances created again with the main danger coming from set pieces and long range efforts. The visitors did have a couple of laughable claims for a penalty claims turned down as they seemed to get more desperate as the game drew to close. Nige introduced Tarpot and Muttley late on to freshen things up and this proved an inspired decision as both played very well and posed the defence problems. Another tactical change led to the winner in the final minute. Charlie switched from the right to wide left and picked the ball up about forty yards from goal. After a Mark Walters style step-over, he went on a great run to the bye-line leaving three defenders in his wake before driving a great ball across the face which Tarpot bundled into the net from all of 2 yards. There was still time for the visitors to go close with a header from a free kick but we held on to claim a great three points.
Not the best of performances, but we battled away and never gave up. A game we might've lost in the past but we kept things tight at the back and raised the tempo towards the end to push for a winner. If we can add a bit more football to the effort and commitment we showed we will win a lot more than we lose.
League Division 1 - 23/04/07
Wick Thistle 2 - 3 Halkirk
First win of the season as we claimed a good win down in Wick. Two nil up and cruising after good goals from Mikey and Gunny, but we let them back in it and they drew level. We got the winner though with two minutes left after good work from Charlie and Tarpot, the ball broke to Russell who fired the ball into the empty net.
A good win for us and good to get of the mark with our first victory with a win that proved more difficult than it should've been.
League Division 1 - 17/04/07
Halkirk 0 - 0 Acks
Our first game back in the top flight of county football resulted in a share of the points after this no-scoring encounter. The visitors came to Recreation Park with their squad slightly depleted from previous seasons but they still put up a stern test.
The first half was relatively even although the best of the chances all fell to the home team. After a slightly cagey start, we eventually started to get on top and should've gone in at the break with at least a one goal advantage. Mikey was unlucky with a 25 yard free kick that the keeper touched onto the post, Gunny had a decent chance but couldn't convert and most of the chances seemed to fall to Rusty. He had one bad miss with a free header from 6 yards that he put over the bar, but was unlucky with a couple of efforts from the edge of the box with one striking the upright. Although, they did manage to get into our final third in the first 45, we managed to restrict them to set-pieces and crosses, which Poop dealt with comfortably.
Half Time 0 - 0
The second period was very similar to the first as we again had the better of the game and created the better chances. We should've gone in-front when good work by Muttley set Blocks free in the box but he slightly snatched at his left foot effort and it went just wide of the post. It developed into an end to end contest and the temperature started to rise with the ref having his work cut out to keep a lid on the frantic action as one or two tempers became frayed. Although Acks had their share of possession, they again didn't really threaten our goal and we continued to create the better chances and pushed for the win. We twice came close in the last ten minutes, the keeper again saved from a Mikey free kick and Spike saw his header touched onto the bar. That was the end of the goalmouth action, the game ended level and although we had the best of the possession and chances, Acks will feel they deserved their point.
If we continue to put in the same effort and get a little bit of the luck in front of goal, the wins will soon come.
Halkirk FC's new sponsor and Junior trip away - 10/04/07
Rural League & Pre-Season - 09/04/07
The county season is back and The Wildcat's are back where they belong in the first division. With the obvious step up in competition, Nige has done a bit of pre season shopping and has acquired Ian Adamson and Michael Henderson (Kidsy) from Thurso Pentlands and Michael Bremner has returned to us from the Acks. These three new additions have been added to last years squad and will hopefully give us enough to have a successful season.
We played all our rural league games in Halkirk this year and got through them undefeated. 2 - 2 draws with Pentland United and Castletown was followed up by a 2 - 0 win against John O'Groats. We also played a friendly match against Lybster which was won 3 - 1.
The league campaign kicks of against Acks at home on 17th April, when we will be hoping to get off to a positive start and will hopefully be wearing our new kit, which has been very kindly donated by P Lockhart, Joinery.
Here's to a successful season.
Halkirk FC's Under 9 league winners & Junior trip away - 2007