Whitedale claim third piece of silverware thanks to Fraser Cup victory
Whitedale claimed the Fraser Cup in front of a large crowd in Scalloway on Saturday by pipping Spurs 3-2 after extra time.
With both sides nearing full strength, it promised to be a tight affair. Spurs had comfortably beaten their opponents in their two league meetings, however Whitedale had triumphed in the Madrid Cup final.
From the start it was clear that space would be at a premium on the cramped Fraser Park pitch, with both sides lining up with five in midfield.
Spurs started the brighter though, and fashioned the first real chance when a great through ball put Dominic Mann clear. However his effort was well saved by Whitedale custodian Martin Young.
Following a period of concerted pressure Spurs took the lead, as a corner was not dealt with and Sam Maver was on hand to turn the ball into the net from six yards out.
This seemed to spark Whitedale into life, and they began to find Lorne McNiven and Richard Sinclair on the wings. It was McNiven who grabbed the equalizer, picking up a loose ball and driving past a defender before slamming in a shot which took a big deflection before flying past Grant Wood in the Spurs net.
Whitedale were on top now and they took the lead before half time when McNiven danced past a couple of challenges before sliding a terrific through ball to Jamie Wilson, who took a touch before finishing with aplomb past Wood.
Spurs would have considered themselves unlucky to be behind at the break, as there had been nothing to separate the sides during the first period, and they came out in determined mood for the second half.
The match was being played at a frenetic pace, as Spurs began to play more directly and put the Whitedale defence under pressure. Neither side could gain the upper hand in the midfield battle, and the play raged from end to end with neither goalkeeper called into action very often. The heat and intensity of the match was beginning to tell on both sets of players, with Spurs suffering a blow as midfield talisman Sam Ward was forced off.
With 10 minutes remaining, Spurs got the equalizer. A corner was headed clear to the edge of the box and fell to Jordan Webb, who shimmied past a challenge and struck an excellent shot through a ruck of bodies and into the bottom corner. It proved to be enough to take the game into extra time.
Both sides would have felt that a single goal would win the cup, as both sets of players looked exhausted. Whitedale manager Martin Gibbs still hadn’t used any of his substitutes and his gamble paid off as young winger Richard Sinclair, who was laboring more than anyone, summoned the last of his energy and embarked on a fantastic run past several despairing challenges before hammering the ball home.
Whitedale were now content to sit back and hold onto the lead, and Spurs were unable to create a clear-cut chance over the next 20 minutes, referee Robbie Goudie blowing the final whistle to jubilant celebrations from the Whitedale players and supporters.
Over the 120 minutes Whitedale perhaps just shaded the match and deserved their win, their third piece of silverware of the season.
For Spurs, Lewis Kay was a tower of strength, and until he went off Sam Ward was impressive. In an excellent Whitedale team performance, Jordan Morrison was superb at the back, coping admirably with the presence of Mann, and McNiven produced another brilliant, all-action display on the wing.
* See Friday’s Shetland Times for a full round-up of the past week’s football action.