Early cup exit for Saints

On Saturday, St. Duthus fought back from a goal down to put themselves in the driving seat on route to a place in the North Caledonian Cup quarter finals, before two second half goals for the hosts compounded them to an early exit.

In poor weather conditions, both teams exchanged chances in the early stages of the game, with Ryan Macleod coming close for Loch Ness, and Jon Campbell and James Mackay threatening for Saints.

A free kick on 16 minutes handed Loch Ness the opener when Ross Harrison fired into the St. Duthus wall and taking a wicked deflection off Alan Geegan, the ball was diverted into the bottom corner.

Undeterred, Saints had the better of it in the spell that followed and came close with a series of corners and Ben Bruce, who came close with a free which Loch Ness stopper Michael Miele had to tip over his crossbar.

With 34 minutes gone, a handball inside the Loch Ness led to a penalty award for Saints - and from the spot, Ben Bruce blasted the ball home with authority to level the scores.

St. Duthus took a deserved lead shortly before the break, when a deep cross from Finn As-Chainey found the head of the Saints striker who nodded past Miele to make it 2-1.

Saints hadn't started the second half in quite the same fashion, and shortly after the hour mark they paid the price when a looping ball into the box caused problems for John Allan in goal, as the ball cannoned off the back of Ricky Lee on the goal line to level the scores at 2-2.

There was a short interruption in the game to remove a dog from the park, but otherwise neither side produced a great deal in terms of opportunities - until the 80th minute when Loch Ness broke on the counter to take the lead, Ricky Lee again the scorer.

Saints came close in the latter stages to pulling a goal back, include one effort with Loch Ness had to clear off the line, but the score remained in the hosts' favour.

Loch Ness:
Michael Miele, Ross Harrison, Glenn Donoghue (Jon Hewitt 79), Christopher Innes, Michael Mcrobert (bkd 20), Martin Mainland (bkd 89), Craig Mainland, Steven Macdonald, Ryan Macleod (Luke Seago 71), DJ Macphee, Phil Macdonald (Ricky Lee 62)
Subs not used: Lee Tarran, Ben Hosie

St. Duthus:
John Allan, Andrew Macleod (Kyle Mackenzie 81), Alan Geegan (bkd 65), Adam Allan, Duncan Davidson, Jon Campbell, James Mackay (bkd 58), Cammy Mackintosh, Ben Bruce, Jake Lockett (bkd 69), Finn As-Chainey (Liam Rostock 79)
Subs not used: Adam Macdonald, Sean Scott, Keir Carson

Referee: James McMillan
Assistants: Stuart Randall & Callum Dey

Pic courtesy of Donald Cameron.

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