Goal feast as Premier League sides begin season in earnest
Delting made an early declaration of intent as this season’s senior football season kicked off on Friday, as despite being understrength the champions saw off Spurs who finished third last year. Whalsay began in fine style with handsome wins over Thistle and Scalloway, while it was a victory and a defeat for both Celtic and Thistle. Meanwhile Whitedale and Ness United also posted wins in their first outings of 2009.
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Spurs 1, Delting 3
The game was a nervy affair in the first 10 minutes with both teams creating chances which neither could put away. It fell to Ross MacDougal to show them how it was done as the ball was played in to the Delting forward and he sent it past Kyle Duncan in the Spurs goal.
Spurs stepped up the pace immediately after the goal and pushed Delting hard looking for the equaliser, but again chance after chance went begging.
While Spurs were winning the battle in the centre of the pitch the Delting players found the space out wide more to their liking. Leighton Flaws’ raking diagonal balls from deep in midfield were more often than not finding the feet of veteran Peter Peterson who used his experience to deliver some testing passes into the Spurs box. Although Gregor Manson and Josie Kay managed to deal with most of them, Peterson got Delting’s second with a rasping shot that somehow managed to squirm between Duncan’s arms and body and into the net.
After half time Spurs came out looking to get back into the game and Alan Page and Connel Gresham made some progress. It paid off 15 minutes into the half when Gresham drove at the Delting defence and broke into the box. Just as he was about to pull the trigger the ball took a wicked bobble and thwarted his shot, but Page arrived at the crucial moment and drilled the ball past keeper Craig Dinwoodie.
Delting were not going to take the comeback lying down and within five minutes they were 3-1 up. When the ball was played into the Spurs box and was dropped by the keeper, Bruce Bennett stabbed it goalwards with MacDougal claiming the slightest of touches to get the visitors’ third.
Best on the night for Spurs were James Johnston and Gresham, while for Delting MacDougal and Peterson stood out.
Whalsay 6, Thistle 1
After a close opening period it was Whalsay who went on to dominate the first half. Stuart Shearer almost opened the scoring when Gary Jamieson lobbed a pass over the defence and Shearer nodded past Stephen Henry only to see his goalbound effort cleared off the line.
This was only a temporary setback as some good build-up play ended with Allister Johnson producing a great left-footed chip over Henry into the far corner of the goal.
Whalsay increased the lead five minutes later when Ross Irvine was played through and placed the ball coolly past the keeper.
The third was scored by Laurence Pearson who controlled the ball following a corner and drilled it high into the net and the fourth came from Richard Arthur who arrived at the back post area to meet a cross and volley home.
Whalsay almost increased their lead and would have done had it not been for the efforts of Henry producing fine saves from Pearson and Irvine, despite his obvious problems with injury.
The second half saw Whalsay continue to be dominant and the fifth goal came when Stuart Shearer met a long cross from the left to score at the back post.
Thistle started to come back into the game and with 20 minutes left got a consolation goal with Craig Gerty producing an opening and passing for Scott Morrison to outstrip the defence and score.
Whalsay scored a late goal to make it 6-1 when Ian Simpson played in Gary Sandison who had time and space to fire the ball past the substitute keeper.
Celtic 4, Scalloway 1
Celtic kicked off the season with a very young team with three juniors and only one player over 22, the evergreen Paul Leask at 38 providing some necessary experience.
The home side began well and Connor Regan opened the scoring in the seventh minute. A couple of early efforts slipped past before defensive failure let Regan in, the midfielder coolly rounding the keeper to open the season’s account.
Celtic continued to dominate and the second goal came in the 16th minute. Jordan Webb drove a great corner in from the left and Aly Sim sped through the box and glanced a header past the helpless Bryan Johnson in the Scalloway goal.
Scalloway, sporting an unfamiliar new all black kit, tried to get back into the game with Stephen Umphray and Aaron Leask putting in a decent shift. After a 10-minute period when they had the upper hand, in the 35th minute Gary Burns fired home after having a first attempt saved by Paul Grant.
Scalloway’s cause was not helped in the first minute of the second half when the hard-working David Bissett had to leave the field injured.
Celtic began to dominate, playing neat passing football and pressing the Scalloway players which paid instant dividends. Sim won the ball and slipped it to Scott Anderson who delivered a good cross to fellow front man Daniel Johnston who neatly lobbed the keeper for the third.
Celtic had to be secure at the back as the tireless Umphray and striker Alan Davidson can threaten at any time, Paul Grant having to look lively to save at the former’s feet.
James Aitken was unlucky with a good drive and shot before Johnston missed a gilt-edged chance to bag his second, his header from a pin-point Ryan Grant cross going wide when it was easier to score.
Johnston, Aitken and Anderson combined well with first-touch passing football to fashion the final goal for Anderson to knock home.
Scalloway had a couple of late attempts to pull a goal back but found Paul Grant in good form, saving from Davidson and David Sjoberg.
The visitors will want to put a bad start behind them with only keeper Johnson and Umphray doing enough. Best for a Celtic side with no failures were juniors Regan, Johnston and Aitken.
Thistle 4, Unst 1
The home side took the lead in the third minute when Scott Morrison’s inswinging corner found the net after completely deceiving the Unst defence to give him his second goal of the season.
Morrison turned provider in the 20th minute, again from a corner. This time his well-flighted ball was nodded home by Richard Manson.
Thistle dominated the first half, creating a plethora of opportunities. But a combination of poor finishing, the woodwork and fine goalkeeping saw the score remain at 2-0 to the Jags at the interval.
Within a minute of the restart Manson struck again, crashing an unstoppable left foot drive from the edge of the box past young Unst custodian Michael Thomson.
That ought to have killed the game off but Unst did not let their heads go down and as the second period developed, they came more into the match, creating a number of good chances. In the 65th minute their efforts were duly rewarded when Liam McGegor pulled a goal back. He received the ball following a fine run by the impressive David Thomson and coolly slotted it past Thistle debutant keeper Scott Nicolson.
Indeed Unst could consider themselves a little unfortunate when a further strike cannoned off the underside of the bar in similar fashion to that of Geoff Hurst in 1966. However, despite the comments from a few myopic onlookers the linesman is not of Russian descent and correctly judged that the ball did not cross the line on this occasion.
With the game entering the 89th minute Craig Gerty ensured all three points for the home side with his first goal of the season. Shortly after referee Derrick Bradley, sporting a rather fetching pink outfit, blew for full time and three points for the Lerwick side.
Whalsay 10, Scalloway 0
Whalsay started brightly and after hitting the post inside the first 30 seconds it only took a further half a minute to score the first goal. Ian Simpson played Keith Pearson into space and with time to pick his spot he sent a curling shot into the far corner from the edge of the box.
Despite the early setback the young Scalloway team came back into the game for the next 25 minutes until Whalsay doubled their lead through Ross Irvine, running on to a long ball from Karl Williamson to outpace the defence and fire past the keeper.
Shortly before half time Laurence Pearson was fouled in the box and took the resultant kick to put the islanders 3-0 up at half time.
The second half started well for Whalsay with a goal immediatly from the restart, Brian Irvine firing in a long cross from the right that Magnus Polson got on the end of to bullet a header past the keeper.
Scalloway almost pulled one back when Dave Sjoberg broke with the ball on the edge of the box but his effort was too close to the Whalsay keeper and was kept out.
Whalsay made it five on the hour mark courtesy of Laurence Pearson with his second of the night, producing a fine finish once again.
Keith Pearson got the sixth with a great piece of individual play on the edge of the box, once again picking his spot well, and substitute Geordie Irvine scored number seven with his first involvement, controlling a pass and firing past the helpless keeper.
Rhydian Reynolds had a moment to forget as he met another Brian Irvine cross from the right and directed his attempted clearance past his own keeper.
Inevitably the 10th was scored just before full time with defender Richard Arthur getting on the end of a corner and looping his header into the far corner of the goal.
Special mention must go to the Scalloway keeper who despite the scoreline produced several fine saves throughout the match that saved his side from an even greater defeat.
Yell 0, Ness United 6
On the 10-minute mark Ness were awarded a prime opportunity to take the lead when a Yell defender was penalised for a hand ball in the box. However, Craig Leslie’s effort was well saved by Matthew Saunders in the Yell goal.
Five minutes later a last ditch challenge from Robbie Coutts saved Yell’s blushes when Kevin Smith looked to be through on goal.
After the half hour Neil Petrie had a trademark long range free kick which narrowly cleared the bar after a deflection. As half time approached the Ness front line were guilty of some poor finishing, with Yell’s backline also proving stubborn.
Whatever was said during the Ness half time team talk had immediate effect as they found themselves 2-0 up after two minutes. First a miss-hit clearance in the Yell defence fell nicely to Kevin Smith who finished well, then a good cross saw Keiran Malcolmson arriving late to despatch a diving header.
Unfortunately for Yell the heads went down and Ness began to dominate the half. From another cross from the right, Kevin Smith’s effort ended up in the goal.
Yell did have one flurry forward and from good cross from Michael Nisbet on the wide left, Josh Miller just narrowly missed out on getting a telling touch.
Ness added three more in the last 15 minutes, Craig Leslie making up for his earlier penalty miss with a good double, and Martin Henderson heading in well from a corner.
Yell will be disappointed with their second half performance and will be seeking to improve. Ness on the other hand can take heart from a good away win.
Celtic 1, Whitedale 3
Whitedale deservedly left Clickimin on Monday night with all three points after overpowering the home side with a dominant second half display.
Celtic took the lead in the 12th minute when good passing between Connor Regan and Daniel Johnston left the latter at the edge of the area, his lob to the back post leaving Martin Young in the Whitedale goal rooted to the spot as it slipped over his head.
Whitedale pushed forward on the break well but Celtic threatened again when Jordan Webb swung in a free kick from the right back position and Paul Leask’s header went the wrong side of the post by inches.
Whitedale equalised after a good flowing move down the left, instigated by Poitr Drozdowski and continued through Jamie Wilson to Paul Molloy. The young striker coolly eased the ball over the advancing Paul Grant.
Celtic were the better side during the first period, knocking the ball around with confidence and pace, and finished the half with a James Aitken cross skimming the crossbar.
An injury to defender Jordan Hunter saw the introduction of veteran Stuart Fox but that aside Celtic simply didn’t turn up in the second half as Whitedale bullied them into submission with aggressive forward play and quick counter attacks.
A string of great saves from Paul Grant was all that was keeping Celtic in the game and the only surprise was that it took the visitors 23 minutes of the half to take the lead, a lead they never looked like relinquishing. A throw-in was taken quickly, the progression to the front was slick and Molloy struck from 12 yards.
Whitedale sealed the win with a headed goal from Kevin Nicolson in the 80th minute, the centre back rising above a static rearguard at the back post to nod home a floated free-kick from the left.
Duncan Anderson should have scored a fourth late on when his team broke with pace again, but his attempt was wide of goal.
Whitedale deserved the win and had stand outs in Drozdowski, Molloy, Anderson and Wilson. For Celtic only keeper Grant, who kept his team in the game for large periods, gained pass marks.
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Ness Utd 1, Delting 6
The game was an even affair until the 40th minute when Bryden Mowat chipped the ball over Duncan Flaws in the Ness goals and tapped it home. Mowat got his second in the 43rd minute and bagged his hat trick 10 minutes into the second half.
Delting were soon to get another goal through Shaun Manson as he drove across the face of the box and finished past the keeper, to be followed quickly by Mowat’s fourth.
Former Ness player Craig Jarvie scored on his return for Delting with a shot from out on the right wing, which looped into the goal.
Ness got a consoloation in the last 10 minutes through Chris Miller as he ran on to an Alwyn Flaws pass and curled the ball around the keeper.
Whalsay 5, Scalloway 3
Whalsay opened the scoring through Bryan Irvine after a nervy start from both teams and Danny Irvine doubled the lead with a fine header.
Scalloway started strongly in the second half after the introduction of Scott Henderson who soon had them level with two fine goals.
Whalsay responded with a Martyn Stevenson goal but John Brian Adamson equalised again for the village side beore Danny Irvine and Bryan Irvine secured the win for Whalsay.
Spurs 1, Whitedale 6
Whitedale made the break-through with a good strike from Paul Molloy and two goals from veteran Vinnie Walterson made it 3-0 before Molloy scored another.
Spurs got a deserved consolation from Grant Polson to give them a glimmer of hope but then player manager Jamie Robertson conceded a penalty after a rash challenge which Peter Drozdowski despatched for number five.
Whitedale topped off a good night’s work with Walterson completing his hat trick.
Spurs have appealed the outcome of the match on the grounds that Whitedale allegedly fielded an ineligible player.