2 - 0
North Caledonian Cup (Quarter Final)
It was another win, another clean sheet - and a place in the North Caledonian Cup semi final for Saints as they cruised to victory against Orkney today.
Saints named a full sixteen for the crunch cup tie, with places in the starting lineup for Daniel Christie, Ross Tokely and John Allan who all come back into the side having not been involved last week. Sam Ross too, earned a starting berth at right back.
Saints were the early aggressors and could have taken the lead after just five minutes when a corner kick fell to Ben Bruce ten yards out. The striker's low driven effort flew just wide of the post though.
At the other end, a chance for Zak Singh to find Aiden Drever saw the Orkney stalwart steer just wide with a first time shot.
But Saints remained in control, and chances followed for Ross Tokely who fired over and then Finn As-Chainey who rattled the crossbar with a stunning effort before goalkeeper Kevin Mackenzie blocked a rebound effort from Jake Lockett.
With twenty minutes gone, Tokely had another try from distance and Mackenzie didn't know too much about it as it rolled up his midriff and out for a corner.
Persistent on both flanks, Saints were earning corner after corner as they continued to attack, and eventually the opener arrived on 32 minutes. A nice delivery from Daniel Christie found striker Ben Bruce at the far post who struck the ball first time and with a bounce on its way it squeezed inside the post and into the net.
A minute before the interval, a late challenge on Finn As-Chainey saw Zak Singh pick up a second yellow card - only minutes after his first - and this resulted in an early shower for the Orkney striker, as the visitors were reduced to ten men.
Orkney could do little to stem the tide in the second half as Saints continued to dominate, aiming to extend their lead. Chances for Gair, As-Chainey and Lockett all went astray as Orkney rode their luck.
In goal for Orkney, Mackenzie added to his display of unorthodox handling with another body block on the end of an As-Chainey strike from distance.
With an hour gone, Paul Gair thought he had scored with a low curling free kick but his shot came back off the post. Bruce, in close proximity only managed to get a back heel to it before it was collected by Mackenzie.
The second and decisive goal arrived on 73 minutes and it came for Bruce, netting his 14th of the season. A rush of blood to the head sent Mackenzie out the edge of his area in a bid to thwart substitute Stuart Mackay, but he could do nothing to stop the nearby Bruce who dinked the loose ball into the empty net.
It should have been 3-0 with ten minutes to go when Mackay was played in on goal by Bruce, but under pressure from Mackenzie his chance flew over the bar.
The win sends St. Duthus into the semi-finals of the North Caledonian Cup where they will meet Nairn County 'A'. The Highland League reserve side beat Thurso on penalties to advance and will host the semi final tie.
Orkney Starting XI
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