The Highland derby sides met to decide who would lift the North League Cup trophy. Both teams were eager to show exactly why they had made it to the last stage of the tournament and be the ones to take home the silverware, as well as showcasing why the match deserved to go to a nail-biting 15-goal penalty shootout.
There were early chances for Ross County through Beth Macdonald who led the attack, but the Inverness defence was ready for anything that came their way. Kayliegh Gray had an opportunity for County not long later with a strong kick that sent the ball just inches wide. Minutes later a corner kick was expertly punched away by Inverness keeper, Josie O’Brien.
Inverness’ Jessica Gibson led a strong defence that Inverness could get through no matter how many times they came knocking. Inverness had a few good chances themselves in the first half, but Ross County keeper Sophia Whall kept the scoreline goalless through some quick saves and equally quick footwork.
The second half saw an Inverness side looking to test the strength of the Ross County defence through some link-up play that pushed them into the final third of the pitch. Jasmine Nicolson of Ross County managed to gain the ball and have a great run up the field before it landed at the feet of Inverness’ Lacey-May Woolley who made an equally impressive run toward goal and a great shot that went ever so slightly wide of the net.
The Inverness attacks continued but by the full-time whistle, this final was yet to see a goal.
Extra time awaited the 203 vocal spectators in the stand, and they got to witness a number of chances from either end, which also meant that Whall and O’Brien were kept very busy in their respective boxes.
Ross County did come close to the goal through a shot by Ellie Fraser, but she could not break the deadlock.
The first goal, however, was to come with just five minutes remaining through a strike by Maria Cruz that had put Inverness in the lead. Just mere minutes later though, Ross County equalised through Macdonald to send the game to a penalty shootout.
After an intense and impressive shootout, Inverness Caledonian Thistle won 8-7 on penalties.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Player of the Match: Sarah Morrison
She was an expert at getting herself into spaces that could enable her team to gain control of the game and interrupt the flow of the ball when needed. She also took a couple of hard knocks but bounced back and gave her all throughout her time on the pitch.
Ross County Player of the Match: Beth Macdonald
She created several goal-scoring opportunities throughout the game and was able to hit the net to send the match to penalties.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Magic Moment:
The early high number of a saves from Josie O’Brien showed just how much of a threat she was going to be in the box when her services were needed.
Ross County Magic Moment:
Ross County’s Jasmine Nicolson ran almost the full length of the pitch to try and take a shot on goal, it really highlighted the attacking talent on display.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Reds U14s
1. Josie O’Brien
2. Orla Anderson
4. Lea Beaton
5. Mckenzie Thain
6. Catie Smith
7. Halle Cran
8. Eliza Higgans
9. Jessica Gibson
10. Sarah Morrison
11. Maria Cruz
12. Lacie-May Woolley
14. Sienna Petrie
15. Lily Kerr
16. Isla Mackenzi
Ross County U14s
1. Sophia Whall
2. Millie Forster
3. Katie Mchardy
5. Hannah Macritchie
7. Jasmine Nicolson
8. Ellie Fraser
9. Yvie Chisholm
11. Ellie Huton
14. Olivia Parker
17. Evie Mackinnon
18. Kayliegh Gray
19. Beth Macdonald
/ 1 week ago
Harmony Row’s U13s welcomed St Cadoc’s to a rainy Sir Alex Ferguson Park on...