Ross County clash an invaluable experience for Caithness U13 side
After a few weeks' break from matches over the New Year period, Caithness United under-13s were pitted against their age equivalent Ross County academy team as a warm-up for both squads before embarking on their respective league fixtures that begin next month.
The game at the Highland Football Academy ended with a comfortable 4-0 win for the Scottish Premiership outfit, who dominated for long periods.
Caithness, although not at their best, provided a good test for Ross County and could have got themselves on the scoresheet with a couple of well-worked moves and efforts on goal. However, County were more than a match for the Caithness boys and showed their class by using the ball very effectively when in possession, seeing them carve out some excellent opportunities on goal.
Caithness coach Steve Bain said afterwards: “Firstly, I’d like to thank Ross County for agreeing to host the match, and congratulate them for putting in a fine performance.
"I’m a little bit disappointed that we didn’t impose ourselves more on the game, as we feel that we’re a lot better than that performance. The occasion may have got the better of some of our lads.
"I’m conscious not to sound too downbeat, as we competed more as the game wore on, and there were a few ‘top performances’ from Caithness players who certainly didn’t look out of place in that company.
"I am also certain that this match will prove to be invaluable in the development of all our squad, and they will now be aware where they need to be to compete at that level.
"The coaches at Caithness United under-13s have also learned a great deal from this game, certainly compared with most of our league games this season, so all in all it has been a very worthwhile exercise.”
Bain added: “Our top performers shared the Caithness United ‘men of the match’ accolade. Firstly, Tom Armitage did a brilliant job in goal and managed to keep the score down to four with a fine performance, pulling off a series of fine saves and showing safe hands when under some intense pressure.
"His assured handling at times belied his years.
"Euan Kennedy again put in an excellent, powerful performance box-to-box, giving our team added energy and strength in the middle of the park, and he was integral to our positive play.
"Sam Shearer proved how valuable a player he is in effectively carrying out the work that sometimes goes unnoticed. His tackling, break-up play and distribution was superb again.
“We will now focus on the positives from this match, and also on the aspects where we feel we can improve, to ensure the squad are ready for another tough away match in a couple of weeks, against Elgin City.”