21st May 2018
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Good week for Ness United with two wins in senior football’s GS Flooring Premier League

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Ness United had their best few days in senior football for some time with wins over Lerwick sides Thistle and Celtic in the GS Flooring Premier League. They comprehensively defeated a struggling Thistle 6-0 on Friday and followed it up with a 2-0 victory against Celtic on Monday, the green-and-whites having gone off the boil somewhat after a bright start to the season. Elsewhere former champions Delting again found the going tough, drawing at home with league leaders Whalsay and then going down to Whitedale.

G&S Flooring
Premier League

Delting 3, Whalsay 3
Both teams served up an entertaining game with the points shared. Whalsay took the lead early in the first half when Erik Thomson cut in from the right and fired a fierce shot past the Delting keeper.

Delting got back into the game when Robert Balfour prodded the ball home from close range after a corner. Whalsay regained the lead when Thomson found himself unmarked at the far post and he headed the ball into the empty net.

Leighton Flaws brought Delting level with a superb free kick from 25 yards and then just before half time Danny Reid saved a penalty from Thomson.

Whalsay started the better in the second half and again took the lead when Thomson completed his hat trick by outstripping the Delting defence to shoot past the keeper.

Delting never gave up and Stuart Lavender equalised with minutes left.

Ness United 6, Thistle 0
Ness welcomed back some of their first team regulars and started brightly against the town visitors.

Some quick passing saw Ness break down the right and when the ball was cut back to the on rushing midfielder it looked like an early opener but unfortunately the home side blasted over the bar.

Similar chances ensued before Kieran Malcolmson stroked the ball into the far corner of the net from 15 yards.

Ness continued to press the visitors but Neil Riddell was looking sharp up front and the Ness defence had to be wary of the counter attack. Ness had another good opportunity when Ian Bray found space in the box and smashed a shot just over the keeper’s near post but it remained 1-0 when the half time whistle blew.

Ness came out in the second half looking for goals to kill the game off but to fair to a young Thistle side missing four of their most senior players they made Ness work for it until Ness were awarded a penalty.
Craig Leslie dispatched the spot kick which relaxed the home side and further goals came from Kevin Smith and then a lovely move was finished well by Scott Ferguson.

Thistle threw players up from the back and Ness seemed to lose their shape a bit and for about 10 minutes Thistle had decent territory. However, Tomas Smith scored the fifth and then sent a great cross to the back post for Kevin Manson to head back across the keeper into the far corner of the net for the sixth.

Scalloway 4, Whitedale 3
The two sides have a history of competitive encounters and this game was to be no exception.

Whitedale opened the scoring on 12 minutes from a corner with Jamie Wilson’s flick to the far post being met by Brian Duncan who side-footed the ball into the net. Moments later Duncane had to leave the field after a collision left him with a nasty eye cut.

Scalloway also suffered a blow when centre back Darren Thompson fell awkwardly and suffered a shoulder injury.

In the 27th minute a moment of indecision in the Whitedale defence allowed Steven Umphray to nip in and grab the equaliser. Three minutes later Whitedale took the lead again when a high lob from Piotr Drozowski caught the keeper off his line.

In the 40th minute a through ball from Kevin Nicolson found Wilson who outpaced his marker and side-footed past the keeper to give Whitedale a deserved 3-1 lead at half-time.

Whatever was said in the Scalloway dressing room certainly had an effect as a fired-up side started to take the game to Whitedale. On the hour mark they got a goal back after Laurence Pearson’s shot was saved by Martin Young but in the scramble the ball came of Duncan and into the net. Soon after Umphray grabbed the equaliser to send the game into a tense last 10 minutes.

For the first time in the half Whitedale showed a little desire to win with Kevin Nicolson and Allan Johnston creating chances. But in the final minute slack defending from the home side allowed Alan Davidson the simplest of finishes to give the villagers a hard-earned victory.

Ness United 2, Celtic 0
Celtic started without a couple of key players who were sidelined with injuries and a raft of juniors unable to play before the junior inter-county on Sunday.

Ness could have opened the scoring in the first minute if Barry Martin had got more power behind a low shot from 12 yards which was easily smothered by Paul Grant in the Celtic goal.

The visitors were dangerous down the left flank and could well have taken the lead had Jordan Hunter not put in a well-timed block to deny Ian Bray from close range. In the 10th minute Alex White blasted a half chance over the bar.

Celtic weathered this early pressure and could have taken the lead themselves but Sam Wood’s effort from the edge of the box was deflected high and wide. On 20 minutes Justin Watson got on the end of a corner but his downward header was scrambled off the line to safety.

John Simpson and Lowrie Simpson had further efforts for the home side but never troubled Eric Peterson in the Ness goal. Scoreless at the break was probably a fair reflection of how the game had gone.

Kieran Malcolmson forced a good save from Grant early in the second half and minutes later the best chance of the game fell to John Rosie who should have done better after good work down the left by Kevin Smith left him a clear opportunity.

On the counter attack a mazy run from Lowrie Simpson took him to the edge of the six-yard box but his shot was angled wide. Jordan Simpson then came on for impressive Celtic youngster Glenn Henderson and immediately got involved but will be disappointed he did not hit the target after Joe Leask set him up with a well-weighted pass across the box.

Ian Bray proved a constant threat for the Celtic defence and after 25 minutes was unlucky not to give Ness the lead when his effort was deflected over the bar. Five minutes later, however, the Celtic defence was breached and the visitors were ahead as Bray ran on to a loose ball and slotted home past the advancing keeper.

Celtic pushed hard for an equaliser as the game went into added time. This left them more exposed at the back and Kieran Malcolmson took full advantage, albeit with a little luck on his side, as his shot deflected of a Celtic boot and gave Grant little chance.

Best for Ness were the central defence pairing of Leigh Smith and Craig Leslie with Ian Bray always dangerous in attack. Colin Grant and John Simpson for Celtic played well in the heart of the defence.

Whitedale 5, Delting 1
Both teams were missing players for this important league fixture.

Delting took the lead with a goal from Lee Jamieson and this seemed to spur Whitedale into action and they equalised with a well-struck shot from Piotr Drozdowski.

Whitedale had a goal blitz at the start of the second half with a Jamie Wilson hat trick and a strike from Duncan Anderson to round off a comfortable win.

Spurs 3, Scalloway 1
A strong second-half performance from Spurs was enough to see off an understrength yet determined Scalloway.

The first half was a fairly even contest with neither side able to convert any of their chances into goals. The best opportunities for the visitors saw Connell Gresham and Scott Morrison both places shots wide of the target.

Scalloway’s best chance came when Laurence Pearson got behind the Spurs defence and his powerful volley was tipped over the bar by keeper Craig Dinwoodie.

Spurs made the breakthrough early in the second half when Sam Goudie squared the ball to Gresham who powerfully finished into the cornert.

Poor defending at a free kick saw an unmarked Scott Morrison volley home a back post cross from Josie Kay for number two.

Determined play from Laurence Pearson resulted in a goal for Scalloway as he tracked back to win possession before charging forward and playing Alan Davidson through on goal, the striker finding the net despite a valiant attempt from keeper Dinwoodie.

Spurs made sure of the points when James Johnston won possession and allowed Alan Page the chance to fire the ball inside the keeper’s near post.

In the closing minutes Scalloway keeper Bryan Johnson pulled of a fine save from a Shane Jamieson free kick from distance.

Spurs fully merited their win with Shane Jamieson deserving mention for some timely interceptions and tackling throughout. Scalloway will take encouragement from the solid performance of central defenders Liam Macgregor and Magnus Henry while Laurence Pearson also impressed on the left flank.

Whalsay v Thistle

Thistle were unable to field a team and Whalsay were awarded a nominal 2-0 win.

For Reserve League results, league tables and fixtures see Friday’s Shetland Times.

About Jim Tait

Jim Tait is news editor at The Shetland Times.

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