Colin Charlesworth reckons Huntly’s emphatic victory against Deveronvale can be a turning point in their season.
The Black and Golds returned to form with a 5-1 Breedon Highland League triumph against the Banffers at Christie Park.
Huntly made a flying start to the season, taking 22 points from their first nine games.
However, from the next 10 league fixtures, prior to this win, the Strathbogie side amassed only eight points.
As a result the victory against Vale was a welcome one for manager Charlesworth, who succeeded Allan Hale in December.
He said: “We’ve been on a bad run for a while, we haven’t had the results from some games that have reflected our performances.
“But we’ve also had performances where we’ve got exactly what we deserved out of the game.
“I think this can be the turning point in Huntly’s season and we’ve got big games coming up.
“We want to pick up as many points as we can and the players are fighting for a place in the team next season.
“We will be looking at bringing in a couple of new faces, but the aim just now is to get as many points as we can and finish as high as we can.”
Huntly are seventh in the Highland League table and Charlesworth was pleased with the reaction of his players following a 4-0 loss to Fraserburgh in the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup in midweek.
He added: “We got a lot more of what we wanted from the lads, I asked a lot of questions after Wednesday and they responded how we wanted them to.
“We’ve got quality in the team, it’s just trying to get the best out of them which is what falls at my door.”
Black and Golds impress
Early on Vale goalkeeper Sean McIntosh did well to block Andy Hunter’s effort from eight yards, but Huntly took the lead in the 19th minute.
James Connelly found Hunter on the right flank and his low ball across was flicked in by Ryan Sewell from close range.
Five minutes later it was 2-0 when Robbie Foster raced clear on the right and picked out Hunter to finish from inside the six-yard box.
The visitors’ best attempt of the first period was after half an hour with goalkeeper Fraser Hobday parrying Innes McKay’s angled strike.
As the interval approached Foster could it have made it three after being put in the clear by Callum Murray, but failed to hit the target.
In the second period Michael Clark headed onto the roof of the net from Sewell’s corner then Deveronvale threatened midway through the half.
Ben Allan’s 30-yard drive was tipped away by Hobday at full stretch. From the resultant Max Stewart corner Jamie MacLellan’s header was also kept out by Hobday.
However, Huntly sealed victory on 71 minutes with Hunter finding space on the right before crossing for Angus Grant to score from six yards.
Four minutes later the Black and Golds struck again with Foster’s hanging cross from the right nodded into the net by Grant.
Deveronvale got one back on 79 minutes with Harry Noble’s low ball in from the left finished by Ryan Park from six yards.
After that subs Fin Allen and Ruari Fraser threatened a fifth for Huntly and it arrived in the 82nd minute when Grant teed up Sewell to score from 12 yards.
Banffers didn’t adapt
After victory against Forres Mechanics a fortnight ago, Deveronvale manager Craig Stewart was disappointed with what he witnessed from his side.
He said: “We never did enough, it was a difficult surface and it didn’t really suit our style.
“We needed to adapt and I don’t think we did, we tried to play a bit too much, despite telling them to be a bit more direct.
“We didn’t really get to grips with it and I’m really disappointed with the five goals, I think they’re very soft.
“I’d like to say they were well played, parts of it for Huntly were good bits of play, but from our point of view the defending was disastrous.
“I don’t just mean from the point of view of the backline, it was the whole team from front to back.
“After getting a result at Forres a fortnight ago and having three clean sheets from four games it’s disappointing.
“We wanted to build on that, but unfortunately it went totally wrong for us.”
Elsewhere, Buckie Thistle v Banks o’ Dee and Forres Mechanics v Turriff United were postponed.