NICK LEYDEN - Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Eugene Starikov played a substitute's role for the first time in over a month while Tomsk was soundly beaten at home by Volga Nizhny.
FK Tom Tomsk 0-3 Volga Nizhny Novgorad
Having lost only once in the Trud Stadium all season Starikov and crew would have hoped for a positive result against their fellow bottom feeders, but a combination of poor defending and stunning finishes condemned the Siberians to a thorough defeat.
After a run of six consecutive starts, Starikov returned to the bench as Valeri Nepomniachi instead paired Nikita Bazhenov with Maksim Kannunikov up top.
When the former Stetson University product finally did enter for midfielder Pavel Golshev in the 56th minute, Tomsk were already down 2-0 thanks to a pair of world class strikes from attacker Otar Martsvaladze.
The Georgian opened the scoring in the 17th minute when he latched onto a bouncing ball in the box and hit an unstoppable volley on a full sprint.
He then doubled the visitors lead in the 45th minute by nutmegging Sergei Skoblyakov and then ripping a 30 yard screamer into the far post top corner.
Sergei Pesyakov was helpless to stop either effort in the host's goal.
Unfortunately for the Tomsk faithful Starikov's introduction could not alter the game's outcome, as Volga Nizhny continued to create the more dangerous chances.
With time winding down in the 90th minute Ruslan Adzhindzhal tallied the visitor's third goal and eliminated any chance of a miracle comeback.
The 20 year veteran received a cross around the penalty spot with four defenders within a few yards. No one, however, closed him down as he calmly took a touch and slotted past Pesyakov.
Tomsk now head into a four week break with many questions to answer. They currently sit in 13th place with just 16 points in 16 games, and have not won in six successive games.
The Siberians will look to start climbing out of a potential relegation battle when the second half of the season begins on July 23 against Kuban Krasnodar.