Saturday 28th September
Macleod & MacCallum North Caledonian League
Inverness Athletic 2-5 St Duthus
Inverness Royal Academy 3G, Inverness
A lacklustre Inverness Athletic were brushed aside yesterday by a strong St Duthus, as Stuart Ross’s charges condemned Athletic to their first defeat at the Inverness Royal Academy.
In overcast conditions in Inverness it was a lively opening to the game, with both sides creating chances to open the scoring, but it would be the home side that would strike first with 9 minutes on the clock. A perfectly delivered corner from Ross Harrison found Ryan Stewart all alone at the back post who headed the ball back across goal where Dean Allison was there to nod past John Allan in the Saints goal.
The returning Dean Allison nods Athletic in front.
Picture Credit - GJW Sports
That goal seemed to wake St Duthus up and as the first half continued, they started to take a firm grip of the contest, pinning their host back and playing some neat football with it. It would take the visitors till the 36th minute to draw level. Jon Campbell latched onto a through ball from Ben Bruce and tucked the ball under Ryan Hunter in the Athletic goal.
St Duthus were fully in control of the game now as Athletic looked devoid of ideas of how to stop Stuart Ross’s side. With 43 minutes on the clock Saints were awarded what seemed a soft penalty when Ryan Hunter was adjudged to has brought down Cammy Macintosh in the box. Liam Rostock stepped up and sent Hunter the wrong way to put his side in at the break in front.
Half Time – Inverness Athletic 1-2 St Duthus
The second half began much as the first had ended, with the visitors very much on top and unlucky not to stretch their lead. The longer the second half went on the more Athletic were growing into the game and on the hour mark they were level. Ross Harrison again with a cracking delivery from a free kick found Dean Allison who rose highest to glace the ball into the far corner of the net.
The visitors were then reduced to 10 men just 5 minutes after Athletic had drawn level. Paul Beaton was given his marching orders after an off the ball incident with Athletic James Mackay.
Roddy Innes on the end of some neat football from Athletic, but his shot found the gloves of the Saints keeper.
Picture Credit - GJW Sports
That sending off seemed to galvanise St Duthus as they started to get a foot hold back in the game. With just over 70 minutes on the clock they were awarded a penalty. A Ben Bruce shot hit Ryan Stewart at point blank range and the referee pointed to the spot for an apparent hand ball. That man Bruce would step up slot the ball home and start a crazy 4 minutes of football.
Just 2 minutes after the penalty, Ben Bruce doubled his tally for the afternoon. The Athletic defence failed to deal with a simple long ball which Bruce latched onto and lobbed the on-rushing Hunter in the home goal.
Bruce rounded off his hat trick just a minute later when again a simple through ball cut open the home defence open and Bruce slotted the ball home to round off an awful afternoon for Athletic and give the Tain outfit all three points.
Full Time – Inverness Athletic 2-5 St Duthus
Assistant Manager Jason Golabek had this to say after the match, “We were simply not good enough today. St Duthus wanted it more and were up for the game a lot more than we were. Yes, ok we started well with Deans goal but after that we stopped, and they took charge of the game. The same in the second half, we score, and then sloppy defending costs us. Well done to St Duthus who fully deserved the 3 points. We will pick the lads up this week and get them prepared for next week’s semi-final.”
Match Day Pictures - www.flickr.com/photos/154794940@N05/albums/72157711108312587