Half-time sub hits 'perfect hat-trick' for Caithness United under-16s
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A slow start for Caithness United-16s at Nairn eventually turned into a high-scoring victory thanks to a far better performance in the second half.
Half-time substitute Jay Foubister came off the bench to score the “perfect hat-trick”, netting with his left foot, right foot and a headed goal. Foubister's goals added to Jamie Steven’s first-half effort, and further second-half strikes from John Hooker, Jayden Bremner and Tyler Gordon sealed the 7-1 victory for the young Caithness team.
Coach Steve Bain said: "Our squad has a really annoying habit of being slow out of the blocks. It’s as if we want to see how good the opposition are before we start to play the football we are capable of.
"Our first-half performance was nowhere near the standard of football our lads can deliver. Only a few lads got pass marks in the first 45 minutes.
"Our only goal of the first half came from a moment of composure from Jamie Steven. He is one of the younger lads in the squad, but he very much fits the bill of 'an old head on young shoulders'.
"I’m sure Nairn would have felt hard done by to be 1-0 down. The turnaround in our squad after the break may have been seen as coaches doing their job at half-time, but in all honesty the lads realised themselves that they did not have a great first half.
"Their decision-making was poor, with too many running with the ball rather than picking the right pass. We needed to start moving the ball to move the opposition to create openings.
"This was key in unlocking the Nairn defence and creating so many chances in the second half. From the second-half goals, barring Jayden's howitzer from 20 yards out, the other five were the result of neat passing moves.”
Bain added: “I have to mention Jay Foubister as well. He came on at half-time and made a big impression – he had a hand in five of our goals, by scoring three and setting up two.
"The team's second-half performance was nearer to what we can deliver. Where 1-0 flattered us in the first half, the second-half contrast in performance justified the final score."
Caithness U14s come out on top in hard-fought battle
Caithness under-14s won 3-1 in a hard-fought battle with Invergordon in Wick with goals from Ross Mackay (2) and Max Ross.
The stubborn and resolute Easter Ross side made it difficult for Caithness for long periods, making use of their physical advantages.
United coach Stewart Ross said: “The second 30-minute period was when the best football was played, where we managed to put together a series of beautifully patient and well-worked passing moves resulting in some excellent goals.
"After that the game got a bit scrappy and disjointed as Invergordon succeeded in breaking up play and making it difficult for us to break their defensive line.
"However, as coaches we were delighted and relieved to see our persistence being rewarded with goals.”
Ross added: “Our next two fixtures are against strong Balloan and Clach sides, so we will be working hard at training to try and replicate that middle 30 minutes across the whole game.”