Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell praised 17-year-old right-back Ben Williamson for his display in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Livingston.
The Staggies came from two goals down to draw with Livi who surged in front through Lyndon Dykes and Salim Kouider-Aissa before Ross Stewart and Liam Fontaine netted for the visitors.
The Staggies split their squad in two for the weekend double-header with Saturday’s bounce game against Livingston followed by yesterday’s friendly with Celtic.
Kettlewell was pleased to see youngster Williamson take his chance.
He said: “In the first five or 10 minutes of the game, he dealt with the scenarios that came down his side of the pitch and that set the tone.
“We want that positive message for the young players that there is no fear in coming into join the first team group and going to play.
“He was up against tough opponents and guys who have done very well in the Premiership last year.
“It was a great character test for him as much as anything.
“The technical side of the game was also there from him so I was delighted.”
Kettlewell felt the friendly with Livingston was a useful exercise, particularly after the club’s scheduled friendly against Hibernian the previous weekend was postponed at the last minute due to a delay with the Easter Road’s coronavirus testing results.
The County boss said: “Fundamentally it was an exercise to try to get our match fitness but Livingston was a place we went to last season and found it exceptionally difficult.
“I felt we dealt with a lot of scenarios we knew we would face.
“We went two goals down so I was very pleased with the character shown and the goals we scored to get back in the game.
“We had one or two young lads out there and we bedded in one or two of our new players and guys who aren’t maybe quite up to full fitness.
“I thought it was a good exercise.
“Taking the second game against Celtic really stretched our squad.
“We tried to form two 11s for both games which we knew would stretch us to our limit at this time of the year but with what had happened the previous weekend against Hibs I couldn’t turn down a friendly at Parkhead.
“We felt we were able to go with a strong 11 at Livingston and at Parkhead which gave everyone game time.
“We had to keep virtually the same 11 on the pitch while Livingston were able to freshen it up and you saw that in the last five or 10 minutes of the game.”