THERE were goals aplenty in the Northwards Shetland Works League in a weekend that could go a long way to determining where the league title ends up.
In a crunch top-of-the-table clash Cosmos overpowered Chernobyl 5-2, while the previously unstoppable Services crashed to earth with a bump at the hands of on-form Mossbank and Malakoff’s luck finally changed as they worked hard to win 6-1 over West Linga.
This weekend could well decide the league title with Cosmos due for a showdown with Services. Elsewhere Malakoff will take on a Wrultizers side keen to get back into fourth position while Banks will face West Linga on Sunday in an intriguing tussle.
The Association Cup semi-finals take place next week with Chernobyl facing Banks and Tizers keen to continue their quest for a cup double against CF Cosmos.
Banks 0, Mossbank 6
Mossbank, looking to follow up their win against Cosmos the previous Sunday with a victory over Banks, took to the field knowing three points would bring them level on points with north rivals Wrultizers.
It didn’t take long for Mossbank to get on the score sheet, as Darren Coutts broke down the right and rounded the keeper to cross for Sandy Chalmers to score with a fantastic back heeler.
Mossbank were in cruise control during the opening stages and the travelling support didn’t have
long to wait for a second goal to come. Connel Richardson hoofed a long ball forward and Coutts smashed the ball past the Banks goalkeeper.
Banks found themselves down to 10 men before the end of the first half when one of their central defenders received a second yellow card. However, that did not stop them creating a chance, forcing Ben Fulton in the
Mossbank goal to pull off a fine save.
Mossbank put the game beyond doubt when John Hutcheson picked the ball up on the right wing and cut inside to score.
Hutcheson was seeking glory again moments later as he scored his second. And the talented player would find himself the toast of Mossbank as he set up Chalmers to score his second of the game.
Liam Rees completed the scoring late on with a thunderbolt from 20 yards.
Mossbank 9, Services 2
Resurgent Mossbank took on the league leaders looking to carry on their recent fine league form, while Services were looking to keep themselves in the title race.
Mossbank got off to a great start when John Hutcheson played in Craig Thomson. His shot was well saved only for the ball to rebound off an unlucky defender into the net.
Mossbank doubled their lead moments later after a ball was played over the top from Hutchison. A lack of communication led to Services scoring their second own goal when the defender headed the ball past the keeper.
Two then became three when Darren Coutts outstripped the Services defence for pace and slotted the ball home with ease.
If scoring three in the first 10 minutes wasn’t enough, three became four when Services’ comical defence self destructed once again. While passing along their back four, a defender played the ball to striker Sandy Chalmers who rounded the keeper to slot the ball home.
Mossbank scored their fifth when after a scramble in the Services box, player-manager Stephen Downton managed to stab the ball to Shaun McGregor to slot in his first goal in Mossbank colours.
Mossbank made it six after half an hour when Darren Coutts slotted in a Chalmers cross.
Services got a consolation when Tony Farquhar slotted home a penalty. Moments later Robbie Leask gave another penalty against Mossbank, however Farquhar this time blasted the ball high, wide and not very handsome.
Mossbank started the second half well and got their seventh when Craig Thomson finished off a jinky run. Hutcheson created his first goal by beating at least four Services players and striking a powerful shot into the corner of the net.
Hutcheson got his second moments later again beating several players and again slotting the ball home. Services managed to get a consolation goal near the end, however this couldn’t dampen Mossbank’s mood as they managed to achieve the best result of their history.
Chernobyl 3, CF Cosmos 5
First met third on a glorious Saturday night at Seafield with both sets of supporters anticipating a classic end to end tussle.
Five minutes in and expectations had been met. A testing cross by Cosmos forward Peter Calderwood was judged by referee Michael Grant to have struck the arm of Chernobyl defender Ian Smith. Man-on-form for Cosmos Tor Neil Halvorsen found the corner of the net from the spot with a clean strike.
Stirred into action by the early goal, Chernobyl countered and took the lead with two quick goals from David Smith.
Battling hard, Cosmos equalised just before the half with the Calderwood brothers providing both the start and finish to the move. First, Peter Calderwood floated over a perfectly weighted cross for Halvorsen to head towards the goal with Ronnie Calderwood flicking it home for 2-2.
Minutes after half time the men in black had edged back in front. Cosmos workhorse John Sim got himself into the Chernobyl six-yard box just in time to fire the ball into the net after a goalmouth scramble.
Back came Chernobyl to tie the game at 3-3 with a neat finish from inside the 18-yard box by Robbie Goudie.
With 15 minutes left and most of the players tiring in the heat, the fans would have been excused for predicting a draw. But Cosmos kept pushing and were rewarded with the goal of the game. Peter Calderwood collected the ball midway inside the Chernobyl half, and after playing a delicate one-two with Mick Davies, rounded the hoops sweeper and slotted past the advancing keeper.
With both teams attacking there could have been half a dozen more goals before full time. As it was there was only one, Cosmos making it 5-3 with a snapshot finish from Mick Davies from 12 yards out with five minutes left.
Malakoff 6, Ramblers 1
Malakoff produced their best display of the season and marched to a 4-0 lead at half time courtesy of some majestic attacking football from front to back.
In truth they could have made it more but for some slack finishing and some good goalkeeping and defending from West Linga. The goals in the first half came from Steven Leckie, Michael Gardner (2) and Craig Jenkins from the penalty spot.
The average onlooker would have predicted a further rout for the boatbuilders in the second half but full credit to West Linga who fought back and made a better fist of thing. They got a reward when Gary Smith forced a good shot through a packed defence to make it 4-1.
Malakoff took this as a wake-up call and reasserted themselves. Derek Moar made it five before the ever-dangerous Michael Gardner felt sure he had completed his hat-trick only for the ball to come back off the post for the grateful Thorfinn Craigie to slip it home for 6-1.
Malakoff could have added more but came face to face with the woodwork on a few occasions, Michael Light being denied the goal of the evening rampaging from the back to crack his shot narrowly off the bar.
Malakoff were well served by all, especially James Manson, Michael Gardner, Michael Light, Rory Binns and Richie Gardner.
West Linga can take great heart from an improved second half, with George Polson, Laurence Tulloch and Gary Smith doing well.