WIGHTON HAT-TRICK STUNS STAGGIES

WIGHTON HAT-TRICK STUNS STAGGIES

SPFL Development League

Dundee 5 Ross County 1

After the first team’s long trip to Dingwall it was the turn, a few days later, of the Ross County Development team to make the journey to Gayfield. Coach Eddie Johnson included the experienced trio of Kevin McBride, David Clarkson and Peter MacDonald in the home line-up. The versatile Cammy Kerr lined up alongside skipper Matty Allan in central defence, with the two Blacks, Andy and John, at full back.

But the game didn’t start too well for the Dark Blues. Keeper Scott Bain played a short ball out to Ryan Gemmell, but the young midfielder, under pressure, had no option but to pass the ball back. Unfortunately for Bain the ball took a bad bounce and Staggies striker Tony Dingwall was on to it like a flash, dispossessing the keeper and stroking the ball into the empty net.

There were only five minutes on the clock at that stage, but, within four minutes, the home side were level, Craig Wighton taking the ball to the byline before crossing for Peter MacDonald to head past James McLeod in the Ross County goal.

Peaso was the creator next with a bit of trickery inside the County box setting up Calvin Colquhoun for a header that flashed just wide of the target.

However, on the half hour mark, the young Dark Blues did take the lead when MacDonald returned the compliment for Wighton with a defence-splitting pass and the striker raced through and slid the ball under McLeod.

Wighton increased the lead six minutes later with a wonder goal. Again, Peaso was involved, heading on a long ball which Clarkson helped into Wighton’s path. From 30 yards out Craig gave the keeper no chance with a dipping shot on the half volley.

Clarkson got his name on the scoresheet two minutes later when he turned and drove his shot into the far corner from the edge of the box.

Two thunderous free kicks from County’s Jordi Balk from 25 yards brought out good saves from Bain as the Staggies battled to get back into the game.

Nine minutes into the second half Wighton grabbed his hat trick when he raced to the back post to get onto the end of a cross from the left to volley the ball home from close range.

The Dens Parkers then brought on Josh Skelly for Clarkson who had led the line well, Thomas Carberry for Wighton and Max Avolio for Gemmell.

Andy Black’s surging runs down the right flank were posing all sorts of problems for the visitors, but, at the other end, Allan had to put in a superb tackle to deny Steven Ross.

From the corner kick Ross headed over the bar in what was County’s last effort on the Dundee goal.

Dundee: Bain, A Black, J Black, Allan, Kerr, McBride, Colquhoun, Wighton (Carberry 65), MacDonald, Clarkson (Skelly 61), Gemmell (Avolio 71).

Subs not used: Beattie, Lamond, Gallacher, Cameron.

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