Saints U20s 2-3 Ross County U20s

Tuesday 17th October

Saints Under 20s lost 3-2 to Ross County Under 20s at McDiarmid Park this evening. Blair Alston had given Saints the lead on 3 minutes as a clearance by County defender Kyle Johnson cannoned off the Saints midfielder before landing in the net.

However, Saints were not ahead for long as Ryan Dow had the visitors level on 9 minutes and then scored a second 10 minutes later as he won the ball from Jack Wilson before firing a strike past Ben Mackenzie. The Staggies then got a third on the half hour mark as Kyle Johnson converted a Russell Dingwall cross from close range.

It was a much improved second half performance from Saints and they pulled a goal back on 77 minutes as Kyle Johnson turned a Euan O’Reilly cross into his own net. Saints then went in search of the equaliser but they couldn’t find an equaliser as The Staggies left with the 3 points.

MATCH REPORT

After last week’s 5-0 defeat to a more experienced Hibernian side, Saints Under 20s welcomed Ross County to McDiarmid Park this evening looking to get back to winning ways. Blair Alston started for the young Saints as he got some game time after being side-lined recently due to thigh injury

Saints Under 20s got the match underway and they took the lead after 3 minutes’ as County defender Kyle Johnson attempted to clear the ball however, he was closed down by Blair Alston and the clearance hit the Saints midfielder before landing in the net.

The visitors were looking for a quick response and they were level on 9 minutes as Russell Dingwall crossed the ball into the box. Ally McCann tried to clear the ball but his clearance only went as far as Ryan Dow who knocked the ball into the net from close range.

On 18 minutes Saints were awarded a free kick after Sam Morrison had fouled Callum Hendry. The free kick was taken by Kyle McClean but his delivery into the box was deflected behind for a corner that came to nothing.

Then a minute later The Staggies almost took the lead as Greg Morrison saw his header hit Ben Mackenzie’s right hand post. Play then continued as the Saints defence tried to clear their lines but Dow did well to win the ball off Jack Wilson on the edge of the area before firing into the corner of the net to give the visitors the lead.

The young Saints battled on as they tried to find a way back into the game but they couldn’t create anything of significance. Then on the half hour mark County got a third as Russell Dingwall weaved his way past a couple of home defenders before firing the ball across the face of goal for Kyle Johnson to knock into the net.

With 10 minutes of the first half remaining McCann went on a great run forward before playing out wide to Jamie Docherty. The young winger then crossed the ball into the box to Hendry but the striker couldn’t keep his effort on target.

On 40 minutes McCann saw his effort go flying over the bar after some good build-up play. Then 2 minutes later Alston did well to close down County keeper Munro to win the ball back. The midfielder crossed the ball as he tried to setup Hendry who couldn’t make a connection with it as the visitors cleared their lines.

Then just before half time Dingwall linked up well with Reghan Tumilty who broke down the right before crossing the ball into the box but the danger was cleared by Wilson.

Saints made a double change at the start of the second half as Euan O’Reilly and Cameron Ballantyne came on for Shaun Struthers and Blair Alston.

Saints started the second half brightly as they looked to get back into the match. On 58 minutes Daniel Jardine played a good ball to Hendry and the Saints striker broke forward before having a shot which was deflected behind for a corner. The corner was taken by O’Reilly and his ball in the box picked out Hendry who rose to head the ball goal wards but he couldn’t get enough power on his header as Munro gathered.

Saints keeper Ben Mackenzie made a good save to deny Nathan Tuner on 63 minutes after the striker had been setup by Kyle McDowell.

There was a break in play on 68 minutes as Jack Wilson received treatment after going down with cramp after challenging for the ball. The young defender was unable to continue and so was replaced by Cameron Lumsden.

It was a much improved second half for Alex Cleland’s side and Saints pulled a goal back on 77 minutes as O’Reilly cut inside before crossing the ball across the face of goal and it was turned into his own net by Kyle Johnson.

Saints were then awarded a free kick on the edge of the area with 10 minutes remaining after McClean had been fouled by Tumilty for which the defender was shown a yellow card. The free kick was taken by McClean but his effort was well held by Munro.

The final 10 minutes was very competitive as Saints tried to find the goal that would draw them level and the closest they came was when Docherty had a shot from the edge of the box on 87 minutes that went over.

Saints U20s: Mackenzie, McCann, Thomson, Jardine, Wilson (Lumsden 70), Quigley, Docherty, Alston (Ballantyne 45), Hendry, McClean, Struthers (O’Reilly 45)

Unused Substitutes: Sinclair (GK), Brian, Robertson

Booked: McClean

Scorers: Alston (3), Johnson (77 OG)

Ross County U20s: Munro, Tumilty, S. Kelly (McDowell 61), Morrison, Johnson, Ashmore (Murray 90) Chow, Dingwall, Morrison, Dow (Turner 61), Maclver

Unused Substitutes: Williams (GK), T. Kelly, MacBeath, Johnstone

Booked: Tumilty

Scorers: Dow (9, 19), Johnson (30)

Referee: Stewart Luke

Match Report by Daryl Scott

Picture: Euan O’Reilly