Caithness United U13s keep up winning run in double header
Caithness United under-13s had a double header last week, playing two games in three days as they took on their Clachnacuddin counterparts in Inverness before meeting Fort William in Dingwall.
United sent out a massive statement on Thursday evening by winning 3-1 in the Highland capital. It was another invigorating display against a much-improved Clach side.
A good crowd braved the bitterly cold evening and were treated to an enthralling contest between two in-form teams under the piercing glare of Millburn Academy’s floodlights. Clach were eager to put a halt to their opponents' unbeaten run, but it wasn’t to be as Caithness produced a courageous display to grind out a victory with goals from Matthew Mackay, Owen Bain and Euan Kennedy.
Caithness coach Derek Shearer said: "We had most of the play, but that doesn’t always win you matches. Tonight our lads also showed energy and heart to overcome a strong side.
"We learned a lot about our boys as they had to work really hard and dig in to win.
"Although it was against the run of play, Clach had a great opportunity to equalise at 1-2, which could have changed the outcome, but we defended our goal brilliantly. Lewis Swan caught the eye, and I’m pleased to see him getting back to his best.
"What was most pleasing was that our lads kept playing football while matching Clach physically too, and deservedly won a very competitive match."
Regarding the goals, Shearer added: “Matthew’s goal resulted from a defensive error but he took full advantage and finished decisively. Matthew’s overall performance was absolutely superb, both in attack and defence.
"We were also delighted for Owen, scoring a rare right-footed effort from range. What a great strike it was. We had a great view of it, and knew it was in as soon as he hit it.
"Euan’s goal capped off another powerful performance from him. It came from a rehearsed short corner. What wasn’t rehearsed was the finish – an audacious back-heel volley from outside the box!
"That sealed a very memorable evening for us in Inverness.”
The man-of-the-match award was shared by Euan Kennedy and Matthew Mackay.
Caithness made hard work of their match against Fort William, although they eventually ran out 5-0 winners.
Caithness appeared to show the effects of the two long-distance away games in three days as their early opening goal from Matthew Mackay was not added to until late in the second period.
In the third period United played their best football of the match. They used the ball wisely, overpowered the Fort William midfield, and capitalised with some excellent goals.
Jayden Bremner scored twice, with Sam Reid and Scott McDonald also on the scoresheet.
Coach Derek Shearer said: “It’s very difficult being critical of a team who have won every game this season. However, the first two thirds of that match was a hard watch, as we know they can perform to levels way above that.
"We scored early on through Matthew, who again produced a super finish, but we struggled to get the ball down and play football like we normally do. We were uncharacteristically sloppy. It was pretty evident that there were a few tired legs out there, which is understandable.”
Shearer highlighted the performances of Arran Bain in goal, who was faultless, and Lee Gordon for showing excellent composure.
"The fact that we managed to win 5-0 even though we weren’t at our best says a lot," Shearer said. "We were all delighted for Jayden Bremner, who took both his goals brilliantly, along with Scott McDonald who finished off a great move to score towards the end.
"Sam Reid too was full of running and managed to add to his goal tally."
The man-of-the-match accolade went jointly to Arran Bain and Lee Gordon.