THE YOUNG Saints could not have been met with a more difficult welcome to the Scottish Highland Football League than with the visit of Clachnacuddin today, as the established Inverness club clinically struck either side of the break to take the points against the home club in their U17 North division debut.
The Tain lads started well and looked every bit as determined as their opponents for the opening quarter hour, with some resolute and no nonsense defending a particular highlight. Misfortune eventually struck on 19 minutes when a low drilled cross was diverted into the Saints net by Mikey Fraser for an own goal opener.
Keir Carson at the other end nearly got St Duthus back into the game with a clever piece of trickery on the wing to lose his man, but his eventual cross was cleared to safety.
A wicked strike from Kenneth Fraser on 23 minutes extended the Lilywhites’ lead to leave Aneek Khan with no chance; the Saints keeper having been on top form prior to that to keep the visitors at bay. Thomas Lewis made it 3-0 shortly after and the score remained the same going into the interval.
St Duthus were undeterred upon the restart and created well on a number of occasions. On the hour mark though, the depth of the Inverness side began to show as they hit three goals in the space of ten minutes, first through Ryan Walker. Sean Reid Nicol then did well to find space and side foot past Khan and Fraser scored his second of the afternoon with a stunning 25 yard volley which was the strike of the match. To compound the home side’s misery, Charlie Beattie was then dismissed for a second yellow card.
The scoreline made for harsh reading at this stage for the Saints who had given a good account of themselves in the second half. A freak seventh goal rounded off the scoring for Clach as the ball spun off the post and was carried over the line after hitting the back of Saints’ keeper Khan.
The Young Saints will now prepare to welcome Lossiemouth next week for what will be their second consecutive home game of three.
St Duthus from: Khan, Bryce, Robinson, Beattie, Fraser, Patience, Stainke, MacIver, Taylor, Anderson, Carson, Tulloch, MacLeod, Innes, Murphy, Williams
Clachnacuddin from: MacMorran, MacDermott, Neil, Cudmore, White, Fraser, Strachan, Hislop, Rodgers, Lewis, MacKinnon, Nixon, Walker, Reid Nicol