League title is in Maryburgh hands concedes Avoch manager
AVOCH manager Martyn MacAllister believes his side are now third favourites for the Inverness and District Amateur League title after they were held to a 4-4 draw against leaders Loch Ness at Bught Park.
The Black Isle side’s title hopes are now hanging on a thread after a fiery encounter against Loch Ness which produced three sending offs, two of them for Avoch.
“I can’t fault the players for their effort – they showed great character to come from 4-2 down,” said MacAllister.
“But poor decisions cost us, it will go right to the wire.
“We are probably third favourites for the title – it is in Maryburgh’s hands now.”
Ian Penwright pounced on a handling error by the Loch Ness keeper to give Avoch the lead in the sixth minute.
But Loch Ness hit back through top scorer Johnny Hewitt. James Murray fired the Inverness side ahead from the penalty spot in the 28th minute.
Avoch went down to 10 men in the 55th minute when goalkeeper David Harrison took out Ryan Ingram. Harrison had to go and Murray beat stand-in keeper Craig Morrison from the spot.
When Phil MacDonald tapped in an Ingram delivery four minutes later it looked all over for Avoch. But they were awarded a penalty in the 75th minute which Shaun Kerr coolly converted.
Loch Ness defender Mark Kennedy and Avoch’s Jordan Knight were both sent off for second bookings shortly afterwards.
But in the final piece of drama Avoch sub Fraser Houston bundled the ball into the net following an Arron Christie free kick with seconds to spare to make it 4-4.
In the only other premier match played due to flash floods at Maryburgh and Culbokie, Ardersier and NMM Sam’s played out a 2-2 draw at Cromal Park.
In Division One, Ruaraidh Patience scored four times as Fortrose and Rosemarkie Union went on a goal-spree in a 9-0 romp against Drakies PDG at King George V Park.
In Division Two, Black Rock Rovers had to rely on a last minute penalty to see off Ross rivals Muir of Ord Rovers in a 3-2 win at Culcairn Park.
Liam Hutchinson scored the decisive spot kick to maintain Rocks’ title challenge.