Saints’ nine game unbeaten run in league and cup competition came to an end today, with a 2-0 loss to Orkney in the Macleod and Maccallum North Caledonian League.
A first half header from Owen Rendall which just squeezed over the line gave the Islanders the advantage before a second half penalty condemed St Duthus to defeat.
Midfield two Paul Gair and Ross Tokely were the big misses for Saints as they recalled Daniel Christie to middle, and there was a complete change in the full back roles with Will Ross and Sam Ross coming in. There was a place on the bench also U18 defender Harry Spence who had impressed midweek.
Orkney came out the traps the better of the two sides and after some pressure they found the net from a corner, albeit with the aid of a linesman’s call.
A well connected header from Owen Rendall was met on the line by John Skinner, but his block was just deemed by AR Ian Ross to have crossed the line.
Moments later, Jamie Flett went close with a header just wide, and at the other end, some good link up play created Saints’ first real chance when Ben Bruce cut inside to flash the ball across goal, with Christie and As-Chainey just short of meeting the ball.
Liam Valentine was called into action on 10 minutes when a neat ball into the box found Jake Lockett, who turned and tested the goalkeeper with a shot that had to be turned wide.
John Allan made a double save on the quarter hour mark to keep a rampant Orkney at bay, but it wasn’t all one way traffic, with Bruce and Lockett both causing problems.
The pair combined on 20 minutes with a quick one two on the right hand side and with his final chance, Lockett could have done better, hitting the ball straight at the keeper who parried it to safety.
Just minutes later, a ball into the box was headed by Bruce into the clutches of Valentine.
Saints will feel aggrieved not to be awarded a penalty kick on the half hour mark for a high boot and possible handball inside the area. With the play moving quickly referee McDade waved played on.
The weather turned in the second half with wind and heavy rain causing both teams problems, as neither created much in the way of clear cut chances.
Persistent play from Lockett and substitute Caillean Eaglesham on the 70 minute mark created arguably Saints’ best chance of the game when Lockett sent a low cross into the area and As-Chainey at the far post tapped just wide when it seemed Valentine was all at sea.
On 82 minutes though, the game was wrapped up with a mistimed tackle resulted in an Orkney penalty. Chris Simpson, a seasoned campaigner of North Caledonian football, made no mistake with the spot kick to make it 2-0.
Team: John Allan, Will Ross, Sam Ross, John Skinner, Duncan Davidson (Barry Kenny 53), Jamie Skinner (Adrian Voigt 87), James MacKay (Caillean Eaglesham 70), Daniel Christie, Ben Bruce, Jake Lockett, Finn As-Chainey (Harry Spence 70)
Referee: S McDade