Whalsay open up six-point gap in G&S Flooring Premier League after win over Thistle
Whalsay have opened up a six-point lead with a game in hand in senior football’s G&S Flooring Premier League, after a reasonably comfortable win over Thistle on Monday. Celtic remain second after defeating Delting at Brae on Monday, completing a miserable home weekend for the former champions who had earlier slumped to defeat against Scalloway on Friday. Saturday afternoon sees the Manson Cup final at Gilbertson Park with Whalsay taking on Scalloway.
Delting 1, Scalloway 2
No report was received from the home side but scorers for Scalloway were Alan Davidson and Scott Henderson.
Delting 1, Celtic 3
Delting began well but Celtic soon began to push forward and within the first 11 minutes found themselves two goals ahead and seemingly coasting.
With nine minutes on the clock James Aitken did well down the left flank, outstripping Alistair Williamson before cutting the ball into the six-yard box. The Delting clearance was half-hearted to the edge of the box where Aly Sim met it first time and his powerful shot sailed past Danny Reid into the goal.
Two minutes later Celtic doubled the lead when a long and apparently lost cause was chased down by Joe Leask. He got the better of defender Leighton Flaws who fouled him and referee Michael Grant did not hesitate in pointing to the spot. Jordan Webb stepped up and calmly sent Reid the wrong way, the ball nestling in the right corner.
Aitken once more did some good work down the left and crossed for Lowrie Simpson but the striker’s effort went past the post. Sam Wood was sent free down the right and he skipped past Lee Balfour but his shot across the keeper missed the far post by a foot.
Delting dominated proceedings for 15 minutes either side of half time and Ross MacDougal pulled a great save out of Paul Grant. The ball spun out from his body and was goal bound but John Simpson somehow managed to hook it off the line and out for a corner.
On the 55 minute mark Delting pulled a goal back through a very fortuitous route. A free kick wide on the left was driven towards goal by Flaws and Joel Bradley, under pressure, headed the ball into his own net.
The onslaught continued but Celtic held firm and in the 65th minute killed the game off with a third. Lowrie Simpson dropped deep to collect the ball, turned and played in Sam Wood down the right. His cross found Aitken driving in from the left and he shot through a ruck of legs past Reid.
Peter Peterson tried in vain to lift his side in an attacking sense. His cross in the 70th minute found no takers and a shot from a dead ball was well saved by Grant.
Aitken had another drive saved by Reid and Robert Smith pushed forward from right back, setting up Leask who was unlucky with a first touch as Celtic finished the stronger.
It was a worthy win for Celtic with Joel Bradley, John Simpson, James Aitken and Joe Leask standing out while Delting’s better performers were Peter Peterson, Leighton Flaws and Fraser Hall.
Scalloway 2, Whitedale 4
The game was won in the first half as Whitedale punished a disjointed Scalloway side who perhaps had one eye on the forthcoming Manson Cup final.
The first real chance saw Steven Umphray race towards the Whitedale goal only for keeper Martin Young to pull of a string of excellent saves before the ball was cleared to safety.
Whitedale opened the scoring when a slack pass was intercepted in midfield before Richard Sinclair’s well-placed shot found the bottom corner.
Sloppy defending saw Whitedale double their advantage as Duncan Anderson’s long throw was headed into the net by Jordan Morrison on the goal line.
Scalloway forced their way back into the game when a partially-cleared corner was picked up by Lawrence Pearson and his driven effort across the face of goal found the back of the net.
With seconds remaining in the first half Whitedale delivered another blow when Jon Moncrieff rifled a shot past keeper Bryan Johnson.
In the second half Scalloway tried desperately to get back in the game. However, it was Whitedale who extended their lead when striker Jamie Wilson burst through the defence before setting up Sinclair with a simple tap-in from close range.
Scalloway were given a glimmer of hope when Alan Davidson released Steven Umphray through on goal and he calmly placed the ball past the outrushing keeper.
In the closing 20 minutes Scalloway managed to create a number of chances to reduce the deficit and put pressure on their opponents but on each occasion failed to hit the target.
Whitedale fully deserved their win with Jamie Wilson and Duncan Anderson the stand-outs in a good team performance. For Scalloway Andrew Flett was the only player to get pass marks.
Thistle 0, Whalsay 4
A beautiful, calm sunny evening in Lerwick saw many onlookers attend Gilbertson Park on Monday evening.
The first half hour was fairly even and saw both sides sparring to gain the initial advantage, with the away side probably having slightly more of possession.
As Thistle gradually came more into the game it was Whalsay who opened the scoring in the 35th minute through Geordie Irvine. Initially his shot appeared to have been mishit and, while on target, did not look to be causing any danger. However, the ball somehow squirmed through the hands of stand-in keeper John Scott Cluness and over the line.
Five minutes later and the men from the Bonnie Isle doubled their advantage. Slack home defending at a corner allowed Geordie Irvine a free header and he made no mistake.
In the second half Karl Williamson almost increased his side’s lead in the 50th minute when his 25-yard effort crashed back off the bar and Cluness reacted well to push the follow up header over the bar at the expense of a corner.
Neil Riddell had the opportunity after an hour to pull the Jags back into the game but his firmly-struck shot was well saved by Whalsay custodian, Grant Thomson, diving full length to tip the ball the round the post.
There was drama in the 72nd minute when Cluness clattered into a Whalsay attacker just outside the home penalty area and referee John Saunders, obviously deciding not to be as lenient as Howard Webb the previous evening, deemed the offence worthy of a red card.
Midfield stalwart Richard Manson donned the goalie’s jersey and gloves as the home side now faced a mountain to climb. Manson’s first task was to defend the free kick and he was mightily relieved to see defender Tristan Sinclair spectacularly head the ball off the line to safety.
Whalsay clinched the points with two goals in the space of three minutes. In the 83rd minute referee Saunders again found himself having to make a big decision, this time pointing to the spot, adjudging that Gary Teale had brought down Bryan Irvine, who, it must be said, appeared to make a meal of the challenge. Irvine picked himself up, dusted himself down, and slotted the ball past the despairing replacement keeper Manson.
Three minutes later a Bryan Irvine shot struck a home defender and looped up over Manson into the net to complete the scoring.
• See Friday’s Shetland Times for league table and fixtures.