Whalsay stay in hunt for title
SENIOR football champions Delting gained another three points this week after two more wins over Thistle and Whitedale while Whalsay remained in contention after a comfortable victory over Celtic. The other matches saw wins for Scalloway, Spurs, Thistle and Ness while Celtic and Spurs fought out a draw.
Scalloway 3, Yell 0
The visitors could only field 10 players but managed a spirited performance against a lacklustre Scalloway at Fraser Park.
After an uneventful opening period Scalloway opened the scoring when David Sjoberg picked up a loose ball and finished well. When Sjoberg added his second minutes later onlookers would have been forgiven for thinking the floodgates would open but Yell refused to concede defeat and went on to give what must be one of their best performances of the season.
Poor decision-making and misplaced passes began to litter Scalloway’s play, a direct result of many of the players’ inability to communicate with team mates.
The second half continued in much the same vein with Yell working hard as a team while Scalloway were wasteful in possession. Yell almost got themselves back in the game when a cross ball rebounded off the Scalloway cross bar.
The visitors’ best chance arrived when Lee Jamieson beat a number of players down the touch line before crossing to an unmarked Ranald Wilkie who headed into the side netting. Jamieson was then foiled by a fine Brian Johnson save after the forward was sent through on goal.
Scalloway finally raised their game and passed up a number of goal scoring opportunities before finally adding a third goal. A defence-splitting ball from Steven Umphray sent brother John Robert through on goal only to be blocked by keeper Mathew Saunders, but the ball broke to Alan Davidson who lobbed it into the net.
It was a night to forget for the home team with many of the players passing up an opportunity to impress and earn a place in the squad for next week’s Fraser Cup final. Yell, on the other hand, will take encouragement from the match with Ranald Wilkie and Lee Jamieson the stand-outs in a good team performance.
Thistle 3, Delting 4
Thistle started better than the visitors who fielded yet another understrength side. However, they failed to create a good chance to test stand-in keeper Brian Duncan.
Delting came more into the game and in 15 minutes an astute pass from Alan Duncan allowed Peter Peterson in on the left. He coolly placed his shot beyond Steven Henry in the Thistle goal.
Midway through the half the a speculative free kick was not dealt with by the Thistle defence and Alan Duncan reacted first to prod the ball home from close range.
The home side replied a minute later when Scott Morrison got free on the right and his cross found Richard Manson unmarked in the six yard box and he planted a header firmly into the top of the net.
Thistle equalised five minutes later when a long clearance from Henry was not cleared by the Delting defence and Craig Gerty ran through to place the ball past Brian Duncan.
The second half saw Thistle take the game to Delting but it was the visitors who almost took the lead in their first attack and only a point blank save from Henry kept the scores level.
Delting gained a secure lead with two goals in two minutes. First, a misplaced clearance found Peter Peterson with time and space to pick his spot from the edge of the penalty area, then a free kick from Alan Duncan floated in at the far post.
The goals knocked back the home side and the visitors looked comfortable until a 25-yard drive from Manson took a wicked deflection with five minutes to go.
Thistle gave their all in the last few minutes and had considerable pressure but Delting held out for another close win. Credit to the younger Delting players who worked extremely hard throughout the game while
the home side can reflect on what might have been if they had been more resolute in defence.
Whalsay 5, Celtic 1
Whalsay were for once fast out of the blocks and had Celtic pinned into their own half for long spells in the opening exchanges.
Laurence Pearson had a good chance when he cut inside from the right but his rasping shot was well saved by Paul Grant who appeared to take the ball full in the face.
Michael Williamson was proving a real handful and it was his efforts that led to the first goal, knocking the ball past Grant on the edge of the box and forcing the Celtic keeper to bring him down for a penalty for which the Celtic contingent breathed a sigh of relief when he was only booked by the referee. John Montgomery stuck the penalty away with his usual aplomb.
Whalsay increased their lead shortly after when Magnus Polson provided a great ball for Allistair Johnson to control then smash past the keeper.
Celtic started to find their feet and after 30 minutes pulled a goal back when Joe Leask was the subject of a careless challenge from Colin Leask inside the box. Jordan Webb dispatched the kick into the corner.
The second half started with Jordan Webb firing in a curling shot from the edge of the area that the Whalsay keeper pushed away.
Just when Celtic looked to be in the ascendancy Whalsay hit them with a classic sucker punch, then a devastating 10 minutes followed which finished the game as a contest.
Firstly a long punt upfield by the keeper was seized on by Williamson who showed a great touch to control then turned inside and executed the ball from the edge of the area past the keeper.
Five minutes later Pearson won the ball out wide and came inside, catching it on the volley from 30 yards and firing past the stranded keeper into the roof of the net.
In the 70th minute Johnson scored his second, turning and volleying from just outside the area to send the ball looping into the far corner to put Whalsay 5-1 up and killing the game.
Celtic, to their credit, kept going to the end but this was a night when several players shone for a slightly depleted Bonnie Isle side, none more so than the departing Connor Muchmore. The youngster will be sorely missed by his team mates and everybody wishes him all the best for the future.
Celtic 2, Spurs 2
Spurs nearly scored in the first 10 seconds but Paul Leask brought down James Johnston as he was bursting clear. Leask was fortunate to escape without a booking.
Celtic then had the best of the first half and took the lead through Ross Moncrieff after Spurs failed to clear a corner.
Celtic pressed for a second but despite constant pressure they failed to test Kyle Duncan in the Spurs goal.
Spurs took control in the second half with Johnston becoming more influential. Twice he could have scored after beating a number of Celtic players but both times failed to hit the target.
Spurs equalised when Alan Page turned in a right wing cross. They went in search of a winner but it was Celtic who took the lead. Lewis Kay fouled John Simpson in the box and substitute Lowrie Simpson scored the penalty.
Spurs got a deserved equaliser with two minutes left when a long throw was headed on for Shane Jamieson to score.
Yell 1, Ness United 6
Goal scorer for Yell was Neil Petrie while Alwyn Flaws (2), Kyle Malcolmson (2), Thomas Smith and James Moncrieff were on target for Ness.
Delting 6, Whitedale 3
No report was received.
Ness 0, Thistle 3
The Jags came away from Boddam with a comfortable victory on Monday night. They were on
top for much of the opening period and took the lead after around 20 minutes when a neatly clipped through ball from Kevin Gifford released Neil Riddell and he coolly lobbed the advancing keeper.
Further goals could have followed, but Erik Peterson was in good form to deny Riddell and Scott Morrison. Shortly before the interval Craig Gerty scampered down the right, outstripping the Ness defence with his pace. Peterson was able to tip his shot onto the post, only for luckless Ness defender John Robert Burgess to turn the ball into his own net while attempting to clear.
On the hour mark the game was put beyond any real doubt when Gerty, the smallest man on the pitch, burst to the near post and bulleted a header past Peterson from a Morrison corner. to take his personal tally for the season into double figures.
Ness did create a few late opportunities to grab a consolation, with Steven Henry having to look sharp to beat away a strike from Kyle Malcolmson, while Thistle veteran Stuart Smith may feel fortuitous to have only received a yellow card for what appeared to be a professional foul. Nevertheless, the Thistle defence were able to hold out to record their first clean sheet of 2008.
Spurs 6 Unst 1
The score flattered the Lerwick side who were made to work hard for their victory on Monday night. Unst were strong in the tackle and skilled in attack, taking advantage of some slack passing and lacklustre movement from the home side.
Unst deservedly went in front when Lewis Kay conceded what looked like his second soft penalty in three days. Paul Henderson left goalkeeper Kyle Duncan a statue to score.
In the 15th minute and against the run of play Spurs’ James Johnston picked up a loose pass and commited two defenders before slipping in Alan Page to bend the ball cleverly in to the bottom corner.
Unst were still fluent in attack, moving the ball quickly through Erik Thompson in midfield, but their shooting couldn’t match their build-up play, Neil Smith unable to capitalise on a couple of half chances.
In the 35th minute the ball broke from a Spurs corner to Josie Kay who volleyed into the roof of the net from 18 yards to make the half time score 2-1.
Spurs seemed a different team in the second half, Sam Goudie adding speed down the right wing and from one of his mazy dribbles the ball broke to Connel Gresham who found the net via the inside of a post.
The pick of the goals was Spurs’ fourth, Johnston evading a couple of tackles on the halfway line before driving towards goal, dropping the shoulder twice to beat the Unst defence and chipping the onrushing goalkeeper.
Gresham added his second and Spurs’ fifth before substitute Ali Graham twisted and turned in the box, nutmegged a defender and placed a curled shot into the far top corner to make the final score 6-1.
Scalloway 1, Delting 5
The visitors raced into a three-goal lead in the opening quarter with two Fraser Hall goals and one from Brydon Mowat.
Half-hearted tackling and an inability to communicate allowed Delting to easily brush aside their opponents but Scalloway began to drag themselves into the match late in the half, passing up some good chances and being denied a stone wall penalty.
In a fairly even second period Delting added to their tally with two more goals from man of the match Hall while Magnus Henry scored a consolation for Scalloway.