A NEW LOOK St Duthus turned in a solid pre-season performance last night with a commanding 4-1 win over Brora Rangers U20s at the Highland Football Academy in Dingwall.
It took the Saints just two minutes to break the deadlock. St Duthus' trialist midfielder sent an impressive looped pass into the path of Jake Lockett, and the returning forward finished the move expertly with a neat lob over the reach of Will Counsell, to notch his second goal in as many games during the pre-season.
With fifteen minutes gone, last season's Club Young Player of the Season Finn As-Chainey thought he had doubled his side's lead with a powerful header which drew the best out of Counsell who tipped the chance just over. The Brora custodian had to be at his best again five minutes later when he pulled off another great save to deny the Saints.
At the other end, Shaun Urquhart had his head in his hands with a shot that cannoned off the upright and along the goaline with half an hour gone for what was the best chance for Mark McKernie's side during the first period.
A flurry of substitutions followed upon the restart as a number Brora first team candidates were introduced to the field, including former Saints midfield captain Jon Campbell. A spell of pressure from the Cattachs followed and the leveller came on 65 minutes after a neat ball into the box was headed beyond trialist keeper Will Macrae.
A brilliant final 20 minutes won the game for St Duthus - and it started with a stunning piece of counter attacking play. Hitting Brora on the break, Finn As-Chainey burst clear down the left wing and sent a perfect cross into the area where Cammy Mackintosh connected with the ball after a great run to slot the ball underneath Counsell.
Great individual work from As-Chainey led to the Tain side's third as the winger found space outside the box before curling a shot over substitute keeper Cameron Yuill.
New signing Kyle Stewart completed the evening's scoring when he finished a neat passage of play down the right with an authoritive shot which gave Yuill no chance.
The win will likely serve as the perfect preparation for this weekend's Football Times Cup 1st Round tie as the Saints travel to Nairn to meet the local County U20s at Station Park. A place in the quarter final awaits the winners.
Trialist, Andy Young, Sam Beeston, Paul Beaton, Andreas Broomfield, Rory Patience, Robbie Murray, Cammy Mackintosh, Jake Lockett, Trialist, Finn As-Chainey,
Liam Rostock, Liam Hutchinson, Kyle Stewart, Justin Rogers, Alan Geegan, Aneek Khan
Will Counsell, Adam Mackay, Ally Macrae, Adam Allan, Colin Macrae, Ryan Patterson, Ben Campbell, David Calder, Robbie Allan, Shaun Urquhart, Eoghann Davie, James Griffiths, Ruben Aitchison, Cameron Yuill, Niall Docherty, Jon Campbell
Referee: Molly Alexander