Onésimo Murube evades the Rovers defenders to fire Brook Street into the lead.

Athletic kicked off the new season with a 4-2 win over Handball Rovers at New Home Park in this afternoon’s Tayside derby.

While the scoreline would suggest a fairly close match, the reality was quite different. Athletic could have been one up after only nine minutes, however Nemanja Janković’s shot went narrowly wide.

The home side continued to dominate and finally made the breakthrough in the twenty-sixth minute when Onésimo Murube shrugged off the challenge of the Rovers’ defenders to fire home.

Onésimo almost doubled the lead two minutes later but was denied by a superb Mark Niblock save. This was to prove even more important six minutes later when Viktor Ocásek silenced the home crowd with the equalising goal.

José Eransus restored Athletic’s lead nine minutes after the break, but the lead remained precariously slender until Daniel Hasnaş, an eighty-five minute substitute for Onésimo Murube, slammed the ball home to secure the points with two minutes remaining.

The final minute saw a remarkable passage of play where Andy Hautala rifled home Brook Street’s fourth goal, before Björn Larsson, straight from the kick-off, went right up the park to pull a goal back.

This final goal infuriated Arjen Bogaert who said afterwards, “We totally switched off after our fourth goal and allowed Rovers to score. This is completely unacceptable as we should be vigilant at the back, especially right after scoring. The defenders’ concentration was sorely lacking and this will be addressed, you can be assured of that”.

On the positive front, regarding the goals we scored he said, “It was very pleasing that Simo, Daniel and Andy all hit the net today. They have all been working particularly hard in training and all got their rewards today”.

He concluded, “Ok, we got the three points and were exceptionally good going forward, but the defence was not up to scratch. They’ve got to concentrate for the whole ninety minutes and their performance for Rovers’ second goal was just not good enough”.