WITH pre-season activities continuing for the U17s, the second leg of the friendly tournament known as the North Coast Cup was played at the Links today, as St Duthus welcomed Wester Ross in search of a win to overcome a 4-3 deficit from the first leg.
The Young Saints started well and on 20 minutes Keir Carson gave his side the lead from the penalty spot after the winger had been felled in the box. Carson double his contribution and handed Saints the aggregate lead ten minutes later with a clever low shot after breaking clear on goal. It was all square over the two legs at the interval though after referee Ian Ross awarded Wester Ross a penalty kick and their taker made no mistake with a powerful finish.
Within a minute of the restart, the visitors had completed a turnaround and it came about thanks to an impressive strike from fully 30 yards from goal - a first time volley which Aneek Khan had little chance of stopping. The next goal was crucial and in the end it arrived for Wester Ross who went 3-2 up for the afternoon and 7-5 to the good overall. The remainder of the game was marred by controversy as both Aneek Khan and Kenny Patience were shown red cards to reduce St Duthus to nine men as they battled to get back into the game. Alas, despite several late attempts to claw their way back into it, most notably with a headed chance for Scott MacIver, Wester Ross held out for the win.
Post-match, St Duthus chairperson Niall Harkiss was joined by Carol-Anne Parker of the Rotary Club of Tain & Easter Ross who presented the winners with their medals as both teams were applauded for a game contested in good spirit.