Kyles’ premiership title hopes dented
KYLES Athletic’s title chances suffered a blow when they lost 2-1 to Lovat at Balgate.
Lovat defended deep making it difficult for Kyles to create chances and Stuart MacDonald in the home goal was untested during the opening 45 minutes.
Kyles took the lead on 51 minutes. A shy from the right fell to Roddy MacDonald who he found enough space to strike the ball low into the net from just behind the penalty spot.
Lovat’s leveller five minutes later came from a corner on the right. Greg Matheson controlled the ball and held off a couple of challenges before scoring from the edge of the box.
Two minutes then defined the outcome of the match, and maybe even the title race. On 62 minutes Stuart MacDonald produced a miraculous save from Roddy MacDonald, throwing himself full length towards his goal to one-handedly scoop the ball off the goal line with his stick.
Just a couple of minutes later, Roddy MacDonald was sent off after reacting to a crude Martin Mainland challenge.
In the space of 120 seconds, Kyles could have been leading 2-1 but instead were level and a man down.
The Kyles players responded positively to the situation and showed great fight in an attempt to win the game. Grant Irvine and Dunkie Kerr were linking up well but they couldn’t get their team in front. After a Marc MacLachlan shot was well saved with his feet by John Whyte, the winning Lovat goal came on 83 minutes when Greg Matheson produced a composed finish to make it 2-1.
This was a match with both defences on top, with few efforts on goal over the course of the 90 minutes. Kyles may have fallen a point behind in the title race but they know three wins from their final three matches, including against Kinlochshiel at Kirkton, will make them champions.
The task, though, will be all the more difficult for Roddy MacDonald’s absence due to suspension in two of these games.
Kyles' Cammy Keith keeps the ball from Greg Matheson, Lovat.