Caithness U13s meet Staggies' co-managers ahead of victory over Alness
Caithness United under-13s rounded off their fixtures in the west section of the U13 Moray Firth Youth Development League with a fine 5-0 victory over Alness at the Highland Football Academy in Dingwall on the last Saturday of December.
When the Caithness youngsters arrived at the academy they watched intently as the Ross County first team trained adjacent to where they were due to play, and they were thrilled when the management team of Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson made time to go over and chat to each of the boys as well as the Caithness coaches. The Staggies' co-managers showed genuine interest in the team and congratulated the boys on their remarkable run of form before offering to pose for a photograph with them.
United went on to win the match comfortably. They were seldom bothered defensively, and used the ball effectively when in possession.
From the outset, Caithness pressed Alness high up the pitch and used their wide players whenever possible. Matthew Mackay capitalised early in the game with a cross-cum-shot that flew into the Alness goal from wide on the left.
Shortly after the restart, Lee Gordon received the ball in the left channel. He skipped past a number of challenges before passing the ball into the Alness goal.
In the second period Caithness came close to extending their lead on a number of occasions. Striker Morgan Kennedy converted his chance and extended the lead to 3-0.
The final period saw two more excellently taken goals for United.
The first was from Euan Kennedy, who received a bouncing ball just inside the Alness half with his back to goal. He cleverly flicked it over an on-rushing defender with his heel, then turned and took the ball under control before making his way into the box and delivering a powerful shot into the corner of the net.
The concluding goal was created and finished on the left side and involved Matthew Robertson and Matthew Mackay.
Robertson collected the ball in his own half and powered his way past his marker before playing a quick one-two with Mackay. Robertson then drove into the box and drilled a low shot just inside the near post to make it five.
A series of other close calls occurred before the end of the match, notably a bullet of a shot from the edge of the box by Tom Armitage that rebounded off the bar.
One more goal for Caithness would have seen them reach 100 goals scored during their 14-match campaign (while conceding only five), but it wasn’t to be.
Caithness coach Alan Kennedy said it had been a pleasing performance.
“We hadn’t trained or played in a few weeks, and at times throughout the match that showed,” he said. “However, credit to the boys for digging in, playing some nice football and scoring a few excellent goals.
“It’s not often in a 5-0 win that your man of the match is a defender who didn’t score, but Scott McDonald’s all-round game and attitude was absolutely excellent. He never put a foot wrong, and was always a threat down the right-hand side of our attack.
“We have a few weeks now before we play again, when we come back to Dingwall to play in a challenge match against the Ross County 2007 squad. So we will have to make sure the squad are ready for that extremely tough match before we begin the second half of our Moray Firth Youth Development League campaign away to Elgin City in February.”