St. Duthus 2 Thurso 2

St. Duthus left it late in their home league clash against Thurso on Saturday, with Adam Allan netting on 89 minutes to secure a point for the home side.

There will were only a couple of changes to the St. Duthus team who won at Halkirk the week before, with Sean Scott coming in for Adam MacDonald and Chris Mailley returning to the side at centre half.

Within a minute of kick off, James Mackay unlocked the Thurso defence with a good through ball and Asa Sinclair had to be off his line quick to block a Jake Lockett shot at goal, and the Thurso keeper collected well seconds later from a long range Cammy Mackintosh effort.

A couple of minutes later at the other end, Grant Aitkenhead had his head in his hands after a quick one two with Bobby Gunn, the striker blasting a clear opportunity in front of goal over the bar.

Despite plenty of attacking play at both ends, there was little in the way of chances as the game progressed. On 17 minutes, a long free kick from Christopher Mailley was headed towards goal by Finn As-Chainey by the far side assistant adjudged the winger to be in an offside position.

It looked as though Thurso had taken the lead on 18 minutes. A nice curling cross from Craig Kennedy was met with a bullet header inside the six yard box, and showing great reflexes Johnny Allan was able to steer the ball onto the crossbar, but waiting at close range was Bobby Gunn to nod into the net. The nearside assistant though, deemed the Vikings forward to be in an offside position.

As the game hit the midway point, Saints were beginning to feel hard done by as a series of contentious offside decisions went against them, and frustrations were understandably beginning to show during what was becoming a scrappy opening half.

Saints put Sinclair under pressure on 28 minutes with a well taken corner and they continued to put Thurso on the spot with a set piece shortly after, As-Chainey again heading into the arms of Sinclair.

There was a second offside call against Thurso ten minutes before the break when a neat through ball found Gunn but the striker's net bound effort was once again chalked off.

With no further chances of note, the first period ended goalless.

Saints started the second half well and chances for Jake Lockett and Jon Campbell offered the suggestion that they would take a hold of the game.

But it was Thurso on 58 minutes who took the lead and gained the foothold with a well worked move from the back. A ball from centre half Luke Manson was laid off to Grant Aitkenhead who looped the ball over John Allan and off the crossbar. Bobby Gunn wasn't to be denied this time, knocking home the rebound to make it 1-0.

Within Saints in a spell of disarray, Thurso were awarded a free kick right on the edge of the box, but Sean Campbell's attempt at goal fell way short of what would be required, as John Allan easily collected his tame strike.

At the other end, a clever ball over the top played Ben Bruce in on goal, but again the offside flag pulled play back.

On 67 minutes though, the Vikings made it 2-0 thanks to a quick counter attack. Breaking past his man, Cameron Montgomery found Campbell who tapped home from close range.

The two goal deficit was short lived as three minutes later Saints pulled themselves back into the game. The goal came from Ben Bruce, who, with the aid of a generous deflection, found the net to make it 1-2.

With Saints upbeat after the goal, Jon Campbell came agonisingly close to levelling on 75 minutes with a bursting run into the box, but his effort zipped low and just wide of target.

On 85 minutes, a long Liam Rostock throw was nodded into the path of Adam Allan who found the far corner with his header, but the well established offside flag was raised once again, disallowing the equaliser.

Adam Allan was not to be denied though, and he got his deserved goal on 89 minutes, this time side footing home on the end of another knock on from a Rostock throw.

An end to end finish to the game nearly ended in defeat when an attempted header back to the keeper from Alan Geegan called Johnny Allan into action for what proved to be the save of the match.

St. Duthus:
John Allan, Adam Allan, Sean Scott (Alan Geegan 65), Christopher Mailley, Andrew Macleod (bkd 60), Jon Campbell, Finn As-Chainey (Kyle Mackenzie 65), Cammy Mackintosh (c), Ben Bruce, Jake Lockett (Liam Rostock 71), James Mackay (bkd 86)
Subs not used: Keir Carson, Adam MacDonald

Thurso:
Asa Sinclair, Craig Kennedy (bkd 63), Innes Mackintosh, Robert McLean, Luke Manson, Scott Macdonald (Conor Trueman 62), Cameron Montgomery, Sean Campbell, Bobby Gunn (James McLean 80), Grant Aitkenhead (Aaron Wilson 78), Kuba Koziol (Sam Barclay 62)
Sub not used: Dean Cowie

Referee: John Nicolson
Assistants: Ian Ross & Stuart Randall

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