25th February 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Spurs through to face either Whalsay or Whitedale in final of senior football’s County Shield

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Spurs made it through to the final of senior football’s final knockout competition of the season, the County Shield, after defeating Thistle in the quarter-final on Friday and following it up with a win over Delting in the semi-final on Monday. Their opponents will be either Whalsay or Whitedale, who overcame Scalloway and Ness United respectively in their quarter-final ties.

County Shield
(quarter finals)

Whitedale 5, Ness United 3

Ness got of to the best possible start when Kieran Malcolmson scored after two minutes from close range when the home side failed to clear from a free kick.

Whitedale replied soon after when Jon Moncrieff struck a half volley past Ness keeper Erik Peterson. Paul Molloy made it two for Whitedale with a sweet left-foot shot from the edge of the penalty box which went in off the cross bar.

Then on 25 minutes the best passing move of the half saw Ness moving the ball quickly from defence into attack with Scott Marshall picking out the bottom corner of the net with his excellent finish to level the score.

Moncrieff found himself in the right place at the right time to prod the ball home after good work on the left from Drozdowski and Molloy to give the home side a 3-2 lead at half-time.

Seven minutes into the second half Whitedale were awarded a free kick a few yards outside the box. Molloy’s shot went over the wall into the bottom corner past Peterson at full stretch.

Ness then had the best spell of the game and brought out a good fingertip save from Martin Young in the Whitedale goal sending Kevin Smith’s effort out for a corner. The resulting far post corner was well met by the head of Craig Leslie to get them back in the game at 4-3.

For the next 10 to 15 minutes Ness pressed hard for the equaliser. However, Whitedale sealed the victory late on when Jamie Wilson rounded of his excellent performance with a strong run in on goal and a great finish.

This was the best team performance from Ness against the West Siders this season, playing some good football with Leigh Smith, Kieran Malcolmson and John Robert Burgess all putting in sound performances.

The home sides best on the night were Duncan Fraser, Moncrieff and Wilson up front and two special goals from Molloy made him the player of the match.

Spurs 3, Thistle 1

On a lush Gilbertson Park, on possibly the worst night for football this summer with horrible driving rain, the slickness of the pitch probably suited Spurs’ passing style.

Spurs started the brighter of the two teams but Thistle always looked dangerous on the break through Stuart Smith and Neil Laurenson breaking forward.

The home side created good chances from midfield with Sam Ward and Scott Morrison prominent, with Sam Goudie squandering the best two chances, shooting wide on both occasions.

Spurs broke through on the half-hour mark when Josie Kay latched on to a corner from Shane Jamieson to swivel and knock in from a few yards out.

The second goal followed quickly when good work from James Johnston and Ward ended in a cut back for Morrison to scuff into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

The second half started as the first finished with Spurs dominant but Thistle trying a bit harder to press the ball. Ward again found a gap and despite screams from Johnston who was making a trademark bursting run he rifled his shot to the Thistle keeper’s left.

At  3-0 the game was now basically over as a contest and started to get a bit scrappy with Thistle now getting a bit more of the ball through Kevin Gifford and Stevie Michael.

Thistle did grab a consolation with about 10 minutes to go when the ball was slid across the Spurs six-yard line for Neil Riddell to pounce, stroking into the corner.

Thistle can take heart from a battling performance, missing key players in Craig Gerty and Kevin Teale, but Spurs were superior for most of the game with David Mann, Ward and Johnston prominent throughout.

Delting 3, Celtic 2

No report or scorers was received from the home team.

Scalloway 4, Whalsay 5

The games between these two sides have been anything but dull and this was to be no exception.

Scalloway started well but found themselves a goal down when Ian Simpson picked up the ball on the edge of the penalty area and drilled a shot into the bottom corner.

Whalsay doubled the lead when Brian Irvine sent an unstoppable shot into the top corner from 20 yards and added a third when Stewart Shearer fired home from close range.

Whalsay were given the chance to add to their tally from the penalty spot after what looked like an excellent last-ditch tackle by Steven Umphray was deemed a foul, Brian Irvine stepped up but his effort rattled the cross bar.

Whalsay were given a second chance from the spot after Scott Bridges was red-carded for handball on the goal line, but once again the woodwork came to Scalloway’s rescue.

After a blistering 25 minutes from Whalsay onlookers would have been forgiven for thinking the match was all but over, but Scalloway had other ideas as they pulled a goal back with an excellent dipping volley from Laurence Pearson.

A tactical reshuffle at half time saw Scalloway make an encouraging start and they were given the chance to pull a goal back after Steven Umphray was clipped in the penalty area. Pearson stepped up but his powerful effort was brilliantly saved by keeper Davie Williamson.

The 10 men of Scalloway continued to take the game to their opponents and were rewarded when Scott Henderson squared the ball to Alan Davidson and the striker fired the ball into the net. The equaliser arrived soon after when Henderson placed an excellent shot past the advancing keeper.

With the game in the balance it was Whalsay who landed he next blow when Allister Williamsons cross was headed into the net by Keith Pearson.

Once again Scalloway rallied and when an awkward bounce from a high ball deceived keeper Williamson, Umphray was on hand to head the equaliser.

With the game now swinging from end to end and the crowd becoming increasingly vocal it was Whalsay who netted the decisive goal after a driven pass was turned into the net by Ian Simpson.

In the closing minutes Scalloway were denied a strong penalty claim after Henderson was sent crashing in the box and Whalsay clung on to progress to the semi-finals.

County Shield
(semi-final)

Spurs 2, Delting 0

The town team started the brightly with some neat play in the midfield between Shane Jamieson and James Johnston, the latter carving out a few chances for his front men, but they found the Delting keeper in fine form.

Spurs broke the deadlock after 15 minutes when a shot from outside was adjudged to have hit a Delting arm. Referee Michael Grant did not hesitate in pointing to the spot amd the penalty was superbly despatched by Jamieson into the keeper’s top left-hand corner.

The early goal really settled Spurs and they went on to dominate for long spells of the half. This has been the story for the Lerwick side many times this season controlling possession but not turning that into goals.

The closest Spurs came to adding to the early goal was a fine bit of skill and shot by young Sam Goudie but his left-foot drive was well tipped over by Reid in the Delting goal.

The second half started with Delting looking in a far more determined mood. They had Spurs pinned back for long spells and were unlucky on a few occasions not get an equaliser.

Spurs always looked dangerous on the break with there pacey wide men Sam Ward and Scott Morrison causing the Delting back line all sorts of problems.

The second goal for the town side came from a quick break upfield involving Morrison and Connell Gresham, the latter outrunning Neil Hay to coolly slot the ball past the diving keeper.

With the game coming to an end Delting pressed for a lifeline but to no avail, and referee Grant blew for full time, sending the Spurs players wild as they reached their second final of the season.

Best for Spurs was to hard to call as it was probably one of the best team performances of the season. For Delting Merv Jamieson and Leighton Flaws were pretty much faultless.

It was a disappointing end to the summer for Delting and means their first trophyless season for many years.

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