LAST week saw crucial games at the top and bottom of the Northwards Shetland Works League which pretty well sorted out the champion and wooden spoon teams.
CF Cosmos became the new champions when they beat their closest rivals, Services, to claim their first title, only dropping two points in a very consistent season.
In a crucial basement battle Banks plucked defeat from the jaws of victory when they surrendered a 2-0 lead against Wast Linga Ramblers to lose 3-2 in a ding-dong game. The Bonnie Isle boys will be very satisfied to climb off the foot of the table for the first time this season.
Elsewhere Tizers beat Chernobyl but also lost to Malakoff, making it a close race to top the table’s middle order, and Services saw off Ramblers to stay second.
Wrultizers 4, Chernobyl 2
On the 15-minute mark Chernobyl’s Paul Baxter picked up an injury. As so often happens the team that were down to 10 started to play the better football and took the lead on the 20-minute mark when Robbie Goudie spun his man in the box. A last gasp tackle by Mark Smith proved a little too last gasp and the referee pointed to the spot. Goudie coolly dispatched the kick.
Although Wrultizers were giving a performance to forget there were flashes of the brilliance that brought them last year’s title as they showed with a well-crafted equaliser. Keeper Liam Doull rolled the ball to Davies, who played the ball inside to O’Rourke. He released Boyd on the wing who cut inside and powered past two Chernobyl defenders before laying the ball of to David McShane. McShane feinted a pass to the wing before curling in a scrumptious effort into the bottom corner.
Chernobyl’s woes were futher increased just before half time when they lost dangerous frontman Goudie and were reduced to nine. Amazingly they immediately took the lead when a speculative long ball was headed in by George Abernethy from an almost impossible angle on the byline.
The second half saw Chernobyl back up to full strength as Goudie returned with a heavily-strapped thigh and captain Craig Duncan finally made it to the game.
Wrultizers decided to change things by bringing on Adam Doull into a relatively unknown wide midfield role. Doull had barely been on the pitch five minutes when he broke up play and drove up the field before sliding the ball to McShane on the wing. McShane arrowed in a far post cross which was met by the late run of Danny Carter who headed home to make it 2-2.
Wrultizers had the bit between their teeth now and were pressing on for a winner. Boyd made a lung bursting run to support the strikers and was awarded with a ball played to him on the edge of the box and he slammed in a thunderous shot into the top corner.
Wrultizers wrapped up the points when Chris Polson made no mistake after he had beaten the offside trap.
Best on the night for the Wrultizers were McShane, Boyd, O’Rourke and Davies while for Chernobyl Malcolmson dominated midfield and Jason Shaw had his best game since his under-14 days for Spurs.
Services 4, Wast Linga Ramblers 1
No report was received.
Malakoff 1, Wrultizers 0
Both sides were missing a few key players for this match, with Malakoff on paper the hardest hit. The boatbuilders started with just 10 players but forced several corners and pegged the Tizers back for most of the first half. Goals looked hard to come by though as James Manson, Ross Herculson, and Allan Baptie all failed to hit the target.
Disaster struck the boatbuilders at half time when keeper Derek Duncan went off injured. Malakoff were reduced to nine men for the first five minutes of the second half while Steven Leckie made a phone call to a replacement keeper. Craig Jenkins stood in until the new man, Scott Johnston, arrived to bring the Malakoff team back up to 11 after around 60 minutes.
Malakoff’s moment came after about 65 minutes when Derek Moar found himself in a bit of space on the right wing. He delivered a pinpoint cross for Steven Leckie to ghost in between the defenders and finish with a superb header into the roof of the net.
Best for Wrultizers were Arnie Brown at the back and keeper Liam Doull. For Malakoff it is almost unfair to single anyone out, but Michael Light and Rory Binns in defence were superb, thwarting almost everything that was thrown at them.
CF Cosmos 4, Services 1
Cosmos got on the scoreboard first when Gregory Majikowski showed some great skill to turn his defender just inside the box and slot the ball home into the bottom left hand corner.
Number two came soon after when the ball broke inside the box to Cosmos’ Thomas Sinclair, who gave the keeper no chance from 10 yards.
Goal number three for Cosmos came courtesy of one of their most reliable players, Darren Johnson. Receiving the ball 30 yards out, he drove past a Services defender and launched an unstoppable drive under the advancing keeper.
With the weather conditions deteriorating after half time, the standard of play began to slip but the hardy crowd were treated to two more goals.
The first from Cosmos scoring machine Tor Neil Halvorsen, who from a deep run inside the centre circle, played a perfect one-two with full back Andrew Miller at the edge of the Services box and fired the ball past the keeper.
The second goal of the second half was a reward for Services efforts on a tough night. The ball broke to Neil Watt inside the box and he made no mistake.
Banks 2, Wast Linga Ramblers 3
Banks won the toss and elected to play with the wind immediately putting the Ramblers defence under pressure with several nervy moments from a series of Jeremy Duncan inswinging corners.
Ramblers had a few chances of their own, notably when veteran Neil Eunson slipped in his nephew Gary Leask who seemed to be wearing Jordan Leask’s shooting boots managing to miss from six yards.
This seemed to spur Banks on and with 30 minutes gone Craig Spowart played a long ball up to Ryan Mustard who turned his marker and ran in to calmly slip the ball past the keeper.
Banks added a deserved second five minutes before half time with a deep Stan Semple cross to the back post being met by the onrushing Craig Spowart who defied the laws of physics to apply a stunning volleyed finish.
Ramblers replied immediately with a well-worked goal started by Nick Niecho. He released Laurence Tulloch who crossed in for Alistair Mcpherson to steer it into the corner.
Ramblers started the second half on the attack and weren’t long in equalising with a quick passing move ended up with a scuffed shot from Laurence Tulloch managing to evade the Banks keeper and ending up in the net.
With 10 minutes to go Ramblers got a free kick just inside the oppositions half and up stepped Liam Williamson who overhit his cross but luckily got away with it as the wind carried it over everybody’s heads including the Banks keeper and endid up in the net.
Best for banks were Mustard, Spowart and the veteran Semple, Ramblers were well served by Niecho, Zed and the oldest player on the park Eunson.