Two wins over Unst could give Whalsay premier football title
The destination of senior football’s G&S Flooring Premier League is now firmly in the hands of Whalsay. Victories in their remaining two games, both against Unst, will see the trophy heading to the Bonnie Isle for the first time in eight years.
Delting can keep the pressure on but to do so they must take full points from Friday’s match against Thistle. Friday also sees the climax of the County Shield knockout competition, with Whalsay taking on Whitedale at Gilbertson Park.
Whalsay 0, Delting 0
(after extra time, Whalsay won 4-3 on penalties)
Another cup encounter in the Bonny Isle between the two was played out to a large home support and as usual was a tight, tense affair from beginning to end.
Delting had their customary fast start and for the first half hour enjoyed the bulk of the possession and territorial advantage but with the home defence holding firm this allowed the islanders to gradually gain a foothold.
Whalsay could and should have taken the lead towards the end of the half when Stuart Shearer, in attempting to control the ball in the Delting penalty area, was fouled from behind and Ivan Sinclair showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Up stepped John Montgomery but his kick was smashed high of Craig Dinwoodie’s goal to the relief of the Delting contingent.
After this let-off Delting once again pushed forward and almost took the lead on the stroke of half time when a corner kick was touched away by Whalsay keeper Grant Thomson only on to the head of Peter Peterson whose effort from the acutest of angles went narrowly over the bar.
In the second half the game developed into a very scrappy contest with neither side able to gain any real momentum. Delting’s rock solid defence was limiting Whalsay mainly to shots from distance and Dinwoodie had to look lively to keep an Ian Simpson free kick out while at the other end Peterson and Brian Duncan were testing the handling of Thomson.
Delting suffered a blow with 15 minutes remaining of the half when Ross McDougal, in attempting to chase down Gary Jamieson who was making a clearance upfield, lunged rather rashly into a challenge that Sinclair deemed to be bad enough to warrant the red card.
Whalsay were probably slightly on top at this stage but the only real chances were being created by long throws and flighted free kicks. A couple of half chances fell to Shearer and Montgomery but neither could direct their headers on target and the game remained goalless at full time.
With ferry timetables being considered the decision was taken to reduce extra time to 10 minutes each way and despite the numerical advantage of Whalsay it was Delting who were retaining the ball better at this stage. But like the first 90 minutes the chances wouldn’t come and it was the inevitable conclusion of the penalty lottery that finally arrived.
With the first six being scored it was the unfortunate Merv Jamieson who had his effort saved by Thomson. Montgomery then atoned for his earlier miss to put Whalsay into a 4-3 lead and the last taker for Delting, Brydon Mowat, also had his effort saved which gave Whalsay a place in the final.
Celtic 5, Whitedale 9
On a night hardly suited to football, the incredible result was actually little affected by the elements other than perhaps making the ball harder to command for both goalkeepers.
Celtic were two up inside 14 minutes. Lowrie Simpson finished a good flowing move from box to box while Jordan Webb made it two by curling a free-kick into the top corner from 20 yards.
Whitedale pulled one back a minute later when Jamie Wilson hit home from an impossibly wide angle. The visitors drew level within 60 seconds of the restart when Martin Clark scored from 30 yards with a free kick that Grant Wood in Celtic’s goal will want to forget.
Celtic’s Justin Watson hit the post with a header before Ross Moncrieff put Celtic ahead again, tapping home following a Webb set piece which hit the cross bar and dropped kindly.
John Simpson gifted the equaliser, passing directly to Wilson who skipped forward a few yards before curling the ball beyond Wood from the edge of the box. Moncrieff then scored his second to make it 4-3, heading home a Webb corner.
Whitedale then made it four apiece, Alan Johnston strikig a shot from distance which hit the bar, hit keeper Wood on the shoulder on the way down and ended in the net. Thirty seconds later, in first half stoppage time, Wilson completed his hat trick capitalising on a sleepy Celtic rearguard to make it 4-5 to the visitors ending an astounding first half which saw a goal scored on average every five minutes.
Three minutes into the second half Celtic confirmed their charitable status for the night when Bruce Crossan put past his own keeper to make it 6-4.
Celtic went up the field and were denied access back into the game by two good saves from Martin Young in the Whitedale goal. The play swung to the other end where Paul Molloy’s pace outdid the elder statesmen in Celtic’s defence and he finished well to make it 7-4.
Lowrie Simpson hauled a goal back for Celtic, but it was to no avail as at the other end Moncrieff and keeper Wood failed to communicate at the edge of the box and the former headed past the latter to make it 8-5.
Paul Molloy completed the scoring, finishing from a corner while the defence in green stood and watched him pick his spot.
The Whitedale attack made Celtic look like rabbits in the headlights at times, the home side should consider applying for an official charitable status. Molloy, Wilson and Johnston did most of the damage for the visitors, ably assisted by the home side, none of whom could receive pass marks.
Delting 3, Celtic 0
A young Celtic team took to the park at Brae to meet a Delting team ravaged by injury and suspensions.
The home team were the first to settle and Robert Balfour opened the scoring from close range after a defensive mix up in the Celtic box. Celtic came more into the game with their young players passing the ball well without achieving any end product.
Delting took more command in the second half, and Merv Jamieson increased their lead when he rose above the Celtic defence to powerfully head into goal from a corner.
Celtic did have a couple of opportunities to test Craig Dinwoodie but the big keeper saved well. Peter Peterson then skipped past a defender before unleashing a powerful shot past the keeper to secure all three valuable points.
Scalloway 9, Yell 2
Scalloway opened the scoring when Scott Henderson ran through the Yell defence before unselfishly setting up Alan Davidson for a simple tap in. Davidson scored a second just minutes later after pouncing on a loose ball and blasting it into the net.
Davidson turned provider as his pass gave David Sjoberg the opportunity to notch Scalloways third. The forth was created by Robert Garrick who set up midfield partner Steven Umphray for his first of the evening.
With half time approaching Yell pulled a goal back as Danny Peterson rose to head home a free kick.
In the second half Yell started brightly but were caught out when Umphray broke through and his saved shot was calmly passed into the net by Sjoberg.
Yell keeper Mathew Saunders pulled off another fine save from Davidson but this time Umphray was on hand to score from the rebound.
Yell pulled another goal back when Jason Jamieson’s persistence forced an error in the Scalloway defence and the forward calmly placed the ball into the bottom corner.
Davidson scored a second-half brace, one from the penalty spot and the other after an excellent pass from Garrick. The scoring was completed when Umphray was first to pounce on loose ball.
The young Yell side deserve praise for battling right to the end with Danny Peterson in particularly having a fine game.
Scalloway have finished the season looking a much improved side and can look to the future with a bit of optimism after unearthing several talented youngsters. Whitedale’s Alan Davidson did just enough to edge out midfielders Garrick and Umphray for man of the match.
Thistle 1, Spurs 1
This town derby provided a very entertaining match at Gilbertson Park on Monday. The home side were missing a host of regulars, while Josie Kay was suspended for Spurs.
After an even start Spurs began to dominate possession and James Johnston’s jinking run ended with his shot well wide of goal. Alan Page turned in a similar effort before Connel Gresham brought Steven Henry into the action with a powerful drive which rebounded to Sam Goudie. He thumped the ball off the inside of the post, the Thistle defence scrambling the ball clear.
Not that the Jags were entirely out of it. Impressive youngster Calvin Leask fed Neil Riddell but he scuffed his shot just wide of the post from the edge of the area. Both sides forced several corners but to no avail.
In the second half Spurs, who surprisingly withdrew strikers Page and Gresham from the action, broke the deadlock following a Thistle corner. Sam Goudie picked up the ball and ran 50 yards before releasing Johnston, who found substitute Danny Finnie and his chip dropped into the corner .
At this stage it looked more likely that Spurs would add to their lead but Thistle promptly got back into the game when the energetic Stevie Michael turned well on the corner of the penalty area and fired a tremendous left-foot drive into the far top corner.
Spurs came straight back at Thistle and Henry had to dive full length to turn a Johnston shot around the post. The Thistle defence, well marshalled by Kevin Gifford, began to restrict Spurs – dominant in possession for long spells in the second half – to shots from outside the box with both Finnie and Jordan Leask being off target. Johnston then broke down the right and his cross picked out Finnie, but his header only looped into Henry’s grateful arms.
Both sides had a chance to win the game in the closing minutes. Johnston’s superb run into the box required Henry to produce an equally good save while at the other end Riddell broke away and had a good chance to chip Kyle Duncan, who was well out of his goal, but put the ball just over the bar from 30 yards.
On the balance of play Spurs will perhaps feel they should have won but heroic defending from Gifford and keeping from Henry kept them at bay, while for Spurs the threat of Johnston was well augmented by Shane Jamieson in midfield.
Whitedale 2, Whalsay 2
With both teams due to play in the County Shield final in three days time, this encounter at Strom proved to be a good appetiser.
Whalsay, cheered on by a good travelling support, created the first opportunities but the final ball tended to overshoot their forwards. An interesting battle in midfield between Martin Clark and Duncan Anderson for Whitedale and the Whalsay duo of Karl Williamson and Ian Simpson was developing.
With Jamie Wilson and Paul Molloy causing problems for Whalsay, Wilson opened the scoring after 25 minutes when his shot from the middle of the box found the net. Stuart Donald prodded the ball under the keeper to put Whitedale two up at the interval.
The half-time team talk from Whalsay’s John Montgomery meant his team went out knowing exactly what was expected of them and the skipper led by example by winning a header from a corner. The ball fell to Michael Williamson who scrambled the ball over the line and into the net.
Whitedale again took the game to Whalsay with Wilson and Donald both causing problems with their powerful running. With the game in its final stages Laurence Pearson grabbed the equaliser, which could prove a valuable point in the title race. Two evenly-matched sides with no weaknesses was how one spectator described it.