Monymusk were hit for six in this Division 2 (East) game at Hazlehead in the city. A 6-1 victory showed why Highland Hotel are in a three-way battle to be league champions against a Musk side missing several key players.
The visitors started the game without Calum Nicolson (suspended), Andrew Moss (injured) and Andy Cruden, Chris Florence and James Stewart all unavailable but welcomed back Andy Murray, Dan Clark and Faustino D’souza into the side.
The pitch was very heavy after overnight rain with players finding it difficult to stay on their feet in the early stages. Andy Murray fired a free kick just over the crossbar after six minutes but Hotel took the lead in 13 minutes when Musk were not alert to a quickly taken throw-in and Hotel’s speedy No.10 gratefully accepted the opportunity to find the net.
Just as it looked as if Musk had recovered from this early setback Hotel doubled their lead in 22 minutes after slack play at the back which a home player took advantage of despite the good efforts of Mikey Fyffe to keep the ball out of the net.
It was 3-0 in 34 minutes when the referee awarded Hotel a very soft penalty after a challenge by Daryl Hutchinson in the box in which he appeared to win the ball.
Fyffe produced a great stop with six minutes of the first half remaining to deny the strong-running Hotel front line claiming a fourth. Hotel continued the onslaught in the second half with Fyffe blocking an effort from Hotel’s No.10 again with his legs and the resultant corner was headed narrowly over. Fyffe was being kept busy and produced a great save from a player clean through on goal and then in 55 minutes produced the best save of all when he somehow diverted a goal-bound effort on to the crossbar and to safety.
He was powerless, however, to prevent a great strike from 20 yards hitting the net in 62 minutes to make it 4-0 in Hotel’s favour.
Musk were battling as best they could and Murray went close after he was sent clear on the right after good work by substitute Scott McWilliam. Musk got a consolation goal in 70 minutes when Dan Clark raced down the left and set a beautiful cross in from the bye-line which was met by MURRAY with a great header. Phil Stewart then had an effort saved by the Hotel keeper before the home side made it 5-1 in 73 minutes, the No.10 again running on to score after winning the ball on the left. Hotel added a sixth goal in stoppage time following a free kick. The Hotel officials gave the Monymusk man-of-the-match award to Faustino D’souza although Fyffe must also have been a contender with some great stops throughout the game.
Monymusk: Fyffe, Hutchinson, Lyon, P. Stewart, Mackie, Smart (McWilliam), Murray, O’Connor (Harkness), Forsyth (Moir), D’souza, Clark. Unused substitute: Doverty.
Monymusk have a home league game this Saturday, weather permitting, against Banchory. Kick-off at Deer Park is at 2pm.