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Foubister's late winner as Caithness U16s battle back after first-half errors

By Alan Hendry

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The Caithness United under-16s who beat their Dingwall counterparts 5-4.
The Caithness United under-16s who beat their Dingwall counterparts 5-4.

Coach Alan Kennedy admitted his blood pressure "hit new heights" after Caithness United under-16s conceded three tap-ins in the opening half-hour before battling back to beat their Dingwall counterparts 5-4.

Jay Foubister grabbed the winner with a couple of minutes remaining in the SHFL Under-16 Highland fixture at the Highland Football Academy.

In an uncharacteristic 15-minute spell, the Caithness defence made a series of unforced errors in their own penalty box which gifted Dingwall three goals with only 30 minutes gone.

United got a goal back before the break, through a Cory Miller penalty, but Dingwall’s tails were up and Caithness looked a deflated team going into the break.

However, they were a different proposition in the second half and put Dingwall under intense pressure for most of the 45 minutes.

Caithness drew level at 4-4 with only eight minutes to go. In the closing stages Caithness forced a corner and the ball was bundled over the line by Foubister.

Their other goals came from John Hooker, Steven Esson and Jamie Steven.

Coach Kennedy said: “To go three goals down after 30 minutes in the manner we did was incredible. We encourage the lads to be brave, play out from the back, move the ball about quickly and use the keeper to provide overloads.

"Yes, it can be a little risky at times, but we work hard on that style of play in training and the boys have shown not only an appetite for it but an ability to perform it very well so far this season, and it has proven to be a big asset to us in games.

"We do expect it to break down at times and give us problems, but we didn’t expect it to fail so catastrophically in such a short period of time in the same match!

“I suspect there was still an element of ‘bus legs’ at play there, but the lads must take some responsibility in their decision-making and focus too. But they will definitely learn from that, and credit to them too as they showed great character by really digging in, particularly in the second half.

"They worked very hard for each other. I always felt we were in the game, even at 3-0 down.

"A last-minute winner is always a nice way to finish a game, but I was more relieved than anything else at the final whistle. I felt for Dingwall there too, as they put a lot of effort into that game and came so close to taking something from it.

"They will feel hard done by, but I thought over the course of the 90 minutes we created lots of opportunities to score and controlled possession for large periods. Us heading back up the A9 with the three points was about right, although my blood pressure hit new heights in the first 30 minutes!”

He added: “We’ve got a tough run of games in the league now, but that type of game will help us enormously going into those matches – starting with Ross County on Sunday, at home."

The Caithness United U14 squad who won 3-2 against Tain Juniors.
The Caithness United U14 squad who won 3-2 against Tain Juniors.

Caithness United under-14s won 3-2 against Tain Juniors. Ruaridh Kean and Morgan Timbrell put United 2-0 up and they looked to be comfortable.

However, Tain got back into the game and pulled it back to 2-2 before Max Ross scored a late winner.

Caithness coach Craig Ross said: “It was an excellent battling performance considering how little football the boys have played lately. All in all we are pleased with our day.”

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