THERE was drama galore in the Northwards Shetland Works League with the Titans team folding after failing to field a team in their game against CF Cosmos. The Greek Gods, who won the treble in their debut season of their brief three-year fling with works league football, have lost a lot of players and were struggling to field a team. The management team decided they would not be able to fulfil their remaining fixtures. This narrows the league down to eight teams, still two more than when Titans joined.
Wast Linga Ramblers, in their first season, picked up their first win with a well-deserved victory over fellow new boys Mossbank. Old foes Malakoff and Banks took part in a very entertaining match, every bit as good as the recent European Championship final, with the boatbuilders taking a flattering 3-0 win in an end-to-end tussle.
Unfortunately, two more serious injuries have occurred with both referee Robert Geddes and Banks midfielder George Priest suffering knee ligament damage. All involved with the league will be wishing both of them successful recoveries.
Wrultizers v Chernobyl
The match was postponed.
Malakoff 3, Banks 0
The two friendly foes took to Clickimin South on Sunday evening in a much anticipated curtain raiser to the Euro 2008 final later that evening, and the large crowd that amassed for the game was not left disappointed.
Malakoff started strongly and gained a deserved lead when Michael Gardner’s excellent corner was superbly headed home by Michael Light.
The boatbuilders applied more pressure but Banks re-asserted themselves in the match. Winger Jeremy Duncan was creating problems down the left hand side and saw a good shot whizz past the post following good build-up play.
Jolted on by this Malakoff drove on, and were unlucky not to go two up when the dangerous Light’s shot cannoned back off the bar.
Malakoff kept pressing and couldn’t believe it when Rory Binns went on a great run only for his shot to clip the bar on the way over.
The match was now end to end with Banks causing the greater problems, Ryan Mustard and Craig Spowart as always giving the boatbuilders’ defence things to think about.
It was against the run of play when Malakoff went two up. Light, the man who was involved in everything, went on a good run before squaring to Derek Moar. He in turn sent through Allan Baptie who showed experience to despatch past Richard Polson for 2-0.
The half ended at a furious pace with Banks undoubtedly slightly aggrieved to go in two down.
Malakoff made two substitutions at half time, adding the dangerous pace of both Sakchai Makao and Steven Leckie.
Banks continued where they left off and started the half strongly with Mustard going through one on one with Malakoff stand-in keeper Craig Jenkins, who did well to quell the danger.
This gave Malakoff a wake-up call and they grabbed the game again by the scruff of the neck, Makao and Leckie immediately making a difference opening up banks on a number of occasions. Baptie was the benefactor of such pace and was unlucky to see his shot clip the bar on the way over.
The dangerous Derek Moar then burst through and was denied by a combination of great Polson goalkeeping and the post.
Unfortunately for Banks their injury jinx struck again when they lost midfielder George Priest who suffered a serious knee problem.
Polson was having an inspired second half for the Banks and just when Malakoff thought there was no way past, they found a way in the form of a dubious penalty. A Malakoff breakaway ended with the referee pointing to the spot after a defender was adjudged to handle inside the box. Centre back Richie Gardner made no mistake, tucking the ball past Polson.
Malakoff had more chances before the end but a combination of poor finishing and more good work from Polson kept them at bay. To Banks’ credit they never gave up and straight until the end they gave Malakoff problems all over the park.
Light and Moar were Malakoff’s best players while Banks were well served by Polson, Spowart, Mustard and the evergreen Stan Semple.
Mossbank 0, Wast Linga Ramblers 3
Ramblers set out looking for their first points of the season against fellow new boys Mossbank.
Both teams started well, but Ramblers’ Tammy Stewart held the wall up well and then picked out Laurence Tulloch who sent a volley home from the edge of the box.
That took Mossbank by surprise but it wasn’t long before they started creating chances through Darren Coutts and the excellent footwork of John Hutchison. This kept the pressure on the well-organised Ramblers’ back four, held together by Kevin Valente in the absence of Fraser Thompson who was out celebrating entering his 40th year.
With Mossbank pressing for an equaliser, keeper Sean Leask was brought into action, pulling off two excellent saves from the Mossbank attackers. Ramblers broke from midfield and a slide rule pass from Laurence Tulloch was taken in his stride by Tammy Stewart before turning a defender inside out and lashing a shot past the keeper into the corner of the goal.
The second half started with 20 minutes of constant pressure from the Mossbank team. Ramblers brought on the Leask trio of Jordan, Gary and Malcolm to freshen up their tiring team.
With 10 minutes remaining a long defensive clearance from Liam Williamson found its way to Stewart, who
held of two defenders and fired a shot past the keeper.
Mossbank continued to attack right to the final whistle, but were unable to break down the solid defence as Wast Linga held on for a deserved first win of the season.