17th July 2018
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Blues knocked out of cup after defeat to rivals Orkney

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Shetland have been knocked out of the Jock Mackay Cup following a 2-1 defeat to intercounty rivals Orkney at the weekend.

Two Orkney strikes early in each half gave the blues a mountain to climb.

While Magnus Thompson’s late strike provided a glimmer of hope, the home side were able to see out the closing minutes to seal victory and book their spot in the next round.

Shetland lined up with a back three of Piotr Drozdowski, Richard Arthur and James Farmer in front of Saul Swanson in goal; Calvin Leask, Jack Clubb, John Allan and Ryan Grant in midfield; and James Aitken in behind Gary Sutherland and Sam Maver up front.

It was relatively young starting 11 but with six players who featured in the 2015 Island Games.

Orkney started the game on top and were knocking the ball about confidently in front of Shetland’s back three, looking to feed balls out to the wide men.

Shetland were struggling to keep a hold of the ball when they won it back and the conditions were certainly not helping matters with the Dounby
pitch already beginning to cut up.

It took just eight minutes for the home side’s pressure to lead to a goal.

Shetland failed to deal with an Orkney short corner and following a frantic goalmouth scramble, Kyle Drever was on hand to poke the ball past Swanson from close range.

The goal seemed to spark the away side into life and the remainder of the first period was largely played in the Orkney half.

Arthur and Clubb both missed good chances from set pieces before Aitken saw a shot well-saved by McConnachie in the Orkney goal.

At the other end, Swanson was tested a couple of times from distance but the Thistle stopper kept the score at 1-0.

Bobby Scott, tactically introduced half way through the half, was causing problems down Orkney’s left hand side but there was no-one on hand to finish his balls into the box.

Clubb then had another effort blocked on the line and Aitken blazed a shot from 25 yards to ensure the hosts went into the break a goal to the good.

While Shetland had the better of the chances in the second half of the first period, it was certainly Orkney that were on top in the early stages of the second.

Good chances for Berry and Stout were squandered and Drever had a good chance to add to his opener but failed to find the target at the far post.

But the home side did manage to find that all-important second goal on the hour mark.

A set-piece was cleared to the edge of the box where DJ Moffat was poised and the midfielder powered the ball through a ruck of players and past the unsighted Swanson.

Shetland huffed and puffed and introduced Greg Tulloch and Magnus Thompson to the game but struggled to string together any meaningful passages of play.

With around 15 minutes to go, Calvin Leask saw an effort expertly tipped around the post by McConnachie, who was yet to concede a goal this year.

However moments later, Shetland did finally find a way through from substitute Thompson.

After a corner was cleared to the edge of the box, the Whalsay attacker took a pop-shot and the ball found the bottom corner following a serious misjudgement from the Orkney keeper.

The goal breathed new life into the tie and Shetland pressed for the equaliser with the pace of Tulloch and Scott causing problems through the middle.

With minutes remaining, Aitken was played in by Scott but was adjudged to have been offside when it looked otherwise.

However the home side were able to hold on to their lead to ensure back-to- back victories over Shetland following their intercounty success in the summer.

In a match that lacked quality throughout, Scott was the stand-out for Shetland while goal-scorers Drever and Moffat were the difference for Orkney.

About Adam Guest

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as a senior news reporter at The Press and Journal, The Barnsley Chronicle and as a freelance reporter for The Doncaster Free Press. Alongside news reporting I specialise in music and sports journalism. Pork pie lover.

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