Lossiemouth got their season started with a fine win over Huntly at Christie Park. First half goals from Grant Mitchell and Kevin Flett sandwiched a Bruce Raffell equaliser, and the Coasters survived a second leveller from David Booth to go on and land all three points with further goals from Darren Bailey, Scott Dunn and Scott Miller.
Lossie were without Kevin Duguid for the trip into the Shire, but welcomed Scott Wilson back into the team following his return from holiday. Huntly continue to shuffle their pack and lost Marek Madle to Formartine shortly before the season began, and the disruption led to the Tigers shipping ten goals on their way to two defeats in two games so far this season.
Huntly started strongly and forced three corners in a row before as many minutes had been played, and the pressure almost paid off when Ian Cruickshank managed to force a header on target, only to see the ball cleared off the line.
Moments later, Lossie were ahead. Darren Bailey crossed from the shed side touchline and Grant MITCHELL powered home a header which left Grant Pennet watching.
Soon after, Thomas Johnston rifled in the hosts first effort on target which Hall got his body behind, and Craig Dorrat let fly from 30 yards only to see his effort pushed over the bar. With ten minutes left in the half, Hall was powerless to stop an accurate curling effort from Bruce RAFFELL who put the ball beyond the keeper from the edge of the box for his first Huntly goal.
The half ended in dramatic circumstances when Lossie were awarded a penalty. Grant Pennet collided with Scott Dunn on the edge of the area and referee Sim pointed to the spot, and Kevin FLETT stepped up to power the ball into the top corner, giving Pennet no chance and winning the half for Lossie.
Half time – Huntly 1-2 Lossiemouth
Before the hour was up, Huntly had drawn level once again. A diagonal pass from Ian Cruickshank cut through the Lossie defence and found David BOOTH who squeezed the ball home at the post beyond the diving Hall. Booth and Hall then tangled on the line and the Huntly striker received a yellow card for his trouble.
76 seconds later, Lossie took the lead for a third time, and this time they held on. Darren BAILEY powered a left footed shot past Pennet to increase further the frustrations of the home side, who had started the second half in poor humour. What followed did nothing to improve their mood.
The Coasters made it four with twenty minutes left. A long clearance from Hall bounced on the edge of the area and, under pressure from Shawn Scott, Pennet fumbled the ball in mid-air and watched it drop kindly to Scott DUNN who couldn’t miss.
Lossie went on to miss a half dozen good chances for more goals, with Dunn lashing a volley off the frame of the goal from the corner of the box and Miller curling a right footed effort over the bar, before Pennet pawed away a postage-stamp bound strike from Shawn Scott.
Lossie concluded the scoring with a fine fifth in the final minute. Shawn Scott out-thought the tiring Russell Guild and played in Scott MILLER for a one-on-one with Pennet, and the Lossie man converted to get the goal his hardworking shift deserved
Lossiemouth head into another busy week, first hosting Forres Mechanics in the quarter-final of the North of Scotland Cup, and on Saturday welcome Deveronvale to Grant Park for a league encounter against some familiar faces.
Full time – Huntly 2-5 Lossiemouth
Lossiemouth – Connor Hall, Scott Wilson (Mark Hector, 79), Jordan Main (Tony Ross, 70), Chris Ross, Grant Mitchell, Kevin Flett, Jordan McBain (Willie Mathers, 70), Scott Miller, Shawn Scott, Scott Dunn, Darren Bailey; Unused subs – Greig Watson, Scott Gordon, Finlay Stables, Errol Watson; Booked – Dunn, Flett, Mathers
Huntly – Grant Pennet, Neale Davidson, Lewis Ingram (Blair Johnston, 65), Alexander Thoirs, Russell Guild, Craig Dorrat, Adam McNamee, Ian Cruickshank, David Booth, Thomas Johnston (Craig Morrison, 70), Bruce Raffell; Unused subs – Sam Harrison, Kieran Day, Ross Mackie, Fraser Hobday; Booked – Pennet, Booth, Thoirs, Cruickshank
Referee – Craig Sim