ALL roads lead to Gilbertson Park in Lerwick tonight as the senior Shetland football team takes on the Western Isles, attempting to gain revenge for their 3-1 defeat in Stornoway two years ago.
Meanwhile tomorrow’s County Shield climax is between Delting and Celtic, with the green-and-whites having made it to their third knockout final of the season. On Monday Celtic narrowly overcame town rivals Spurs while Delting comfortably saw off Whalsay, the Bonnie Isle team seemingly having gone off the boil big style since their league challenge effectively ended.
County Shield (semi-finals) Celtic 3, Spurs 2 Spurs could have had the game sewn up by the interval if the truth be told. Both sides had started well enough but Celtic quickly slipped into the season’s bad habits of sloppy passing, long balls and intermittent work rates while Spurs were more direct, kept the ball on the deck in the main and worked harder.
Despite the fact that Celtic almost opened the scoring in the fourteenth minute, Ross Moncrieff broke free from his marker, strode forward and unleashed a great shot which came back of the junction of post and crossbar.
Spurs continued to make the better of the running and created more goalscoring opportunities while Celtic waited too long on the ball, didn’t work as hard and were simply poorer at the basics of the game.
Spurs opened the scoring on the half hour mark. A good flowing move down the right flank ended with the ball falling at the feet of Alan Page, the big striker reacted quickly and prodded the ball home from seven yards out.
Spurs came very close to scoring twice more before the interval. James Johnston started a move in midfield, opening up the play with a pass to the right flank where Stuart Jamieson floated it into the box but the clearance was poor and the loose ball fell to Page, who should have had his second of the night. Stuart Hall then found himself clear and did well to have the presence of mind to lob the onrushing keeper, sadly for him and Spurs his effort slipped wide.
Somebody must have flicked a few switches at half time because a transformation of roles occurred. Celtic took control and Spurs lacked any bite they had in the first half.
Joe Leask saw the first effort of the second half go over the bar from the resurgent Hoops, Dominic Mann had a free-kick well handled by Kyle Duncan in Spurs’ goal before in the thirteenth minute and John Simpson opened his own account for the season with as good a goal as you will see, the proverbial 25 yarder into the top corner.
Celtic, despite a five minute shake late on, never looked back and were ahead seven minutes later.
Joe Leask crossed from the right, Duncan came for it but spilled and Lowrie Simpson was on hand to tap the loose ball home.
Celtic all but ended the contest almost straight from the restart.
The ball broke in midfield and was sent forward, Simpson found himself isolated but drove forward in determined fashion, he took a shot which deflected and spun into the air, the striker was quickest to react again and neatly headed over the ruck of players into the net.
It was one-way traffic now and fresh legs added further impetus. Connor Regan found Ryan Grant wide on the left, his pass into Mann was crisp and the striker was unlucky to see his effort go wide.
As unlikely as it had seemed, with five minutes left Spurs were thrown a lifeline.
A cross into the box was parried by Paul Grant in Celtic’s goal; it fell to Adam Sharp and he stuck it away. Josie Kay then had a great chance to force extra time but his free kick from a central position was little more than a pass into Grant’s arms.
Best on the night, and particularly the first 45, for Spurs were Josie and Lewis Kay and Gregor Manson. Celtic’s best performers came to light in the second half when Ross Moncrieff, John Simpson and Lowrie Simpson took the game by the scruff of the neck. The Celtic side as a whole can be pleased with their second half display but to come anywhere near Delting in the final they will have to do the basics better and work hard for the full 90 minutes.
Delting 4, Whalsay 0 No report or scorers was received.
G&S Flooring Premier League Unst 7, Scalloway 3 Unst improved their points total with a good win against Scalloway last Friday. Both sides were missing key players but managed to serve up a ten goal thriller for the fans.
The home side started well and put a lot of good passing moves together, without really threatening the well-marshalled Scalloway defence. Scalloway always looked dangerous on the break and Scott Henderson struck home when the Unst defence failed to clear. Unst renewed their efforts and went even when Erik Thomson drove in a left foot strike. He got a touch for the second goal too when Jordan Johnson drove the ball in from the left, the ball deceiving the keeper to be glanced past him. Unst made it 3-1 before half time when Thomson claimed a proper hat-trick after heading home from a corner.
In the second half, Scalloway used the wind advantage to attack the Unst goal and they made it 3-2 when the defence again failed to clear, allowing Sean McCaffrey an easy chance. Stung into retaliation, Unst pushed forward and made it 4-2 from a good move ending in a powerful header from sub Simon Robin, on for the injured Johnson. Scalloway again drove at the Unst defence and struck again through a David Sjoberg shot. Now it was Unst’s turn and Robin cut in from the right and drove home to make it 5-3. Scalloway appeared to give up the ghost at this point and referee Mark Goodhand had no option but to send off David Bissett for a wild challenge on Paul Henderson. The Unst midfielder rubbed salt into the wounds by scoring number six. Gary Harrison rounded off a fine team performance with a half volley from a Neil Laurenson cross.
Yell 2, Whitedale 8 A brace from on form Lee Jamieson gave Yell their goals. For Whitedale Paul Molloy (2), Craig Nicolson (2), Ryan Joswik (2), Duncan Fraser and Poitr Drozdowski were on target.
Bloomfield Cup (group one) Delting 3, Celtic 1 Celtic opened the scoring midway through the first half when a fine passing movement was finished off with an excellent strike from Lowrie Simpson. Delting equalised early in the second half with a volley from Robert Balfour.
With 10 minutes left and the game heading for a draw the appearance of Brian Duncan at centre forward proved decisive. Within 30 seconds he scored Delting’s second goal with a stunning header and five minutes later he sealed the win with a fine strike.
Whalsay v Whitedale The game was postponed due to the SIC strike and no ferries running.
Bloomfield Cup (group two) Thistle 3, Scalloway 5 The visitors got of to a good start when Gary Burns opened the scoring. However, poor finishing allowed Thistle back into the game and Alan Williamson scored twice just before half time.
Scalloway equalised with a Magnus Henry penalty but Williamson completed his hat trick with a fine header to once again give Thistle the lead.
In an exciting finish Jamie Allan equalised with a tremendous shot from distance before Scott Henderson scored twice to complete the scoring.
Ness United 2, Spurs 4 Ness went into the game looking hard for the win to put their Bloomfield cup campaign back on track, and they got off to a good start when they were awarded a penalty inside the second minute. Liam Thomson stepped up to take the spot kick and dispatched it past Alan McLeod in the Spurs goals.
Ness were playing some good football and kept Spurs under the cosh and soon added a second after some good work saw James Moncrieff add another strike to his season’s tally.
This only galvanised Spurs resolve. They fought hard to get themselves back into the game and Adam Sharp helped things along with a goal from a poorly defended set-piece as the Ness defence were caught napping.
Tommy Walterson added the equaliser before the break to leave it at 2-2 and Spurs on the up.
The second half started with Spurs hungry for the win and Sam Goudie put them ahead.
The home side tried fight back but it ended 4-2 to Spurs as Sam Goudie got their fourth and his second.
Reserve League Ness United 4, Whitedale 1 Ness secured third spot in the league with two goals each from Kevin Smith and Kevin Manson. John Rutherford got Whitedale’s reply.