SHETLAND defeated Orkney in both the women’s football inter-county matches at Kirkwall last weekend.
Orkney 1, Shetland 9
Shetland got the breakthrough they needed in the 26th minute when a good ball from Zoe Irvine found Karen Jarvie. Her ball found Emma Gray who in turn found Pauline Walterson who fired low into the corner to make it 1-0.
Four minutes later a Jarvie 25-yard shot was parried out by the Orkney keeper and Walterson again popped up to make it 2-0.
Four minutes later Brenda Leask intercepted a ball and sent Jessica Bradley away. She cut into the box and was brought down, resulting in a penalty. Bradley picked herself up and hammered the penalty home, bringing the score to 3-0.
The best move of the game came at 39 minutes when Sarah Grogan won the ball and fed Kirsen Robertson on the right. Her ball to Gray was moved to Bradley whose run and cross was met by Walterson, but her header just went over.
Just before half time a move involving five players saw Gray firing home to make it 4-0.
In the second half two changes were made (Pauline Walterson coming off for Amber Johnson and Karen Jarvie off for Debbie Sneddon). Straight from the kick off a crossed ball was missed by everyone on the middle, but up popped Lynda Flaws at the back post to head home number five. She came off to be replaced by Maria Moncrieff.
In the 49th minute a McKelvie cross was met by Bradley at the back post who made it six.
Shortly after Gray unleashed a great left-foot shot which crashed off the bar, but Bradley was on hand to volley the ball home for number seven..
At 68 minutes, a mis-timed pass let in the Orkney number five. She did good work and passed to the number 16 who fired low into the bottom corner.
After 75 minutes Grogan fed a ball to Leask who in turn sent Irvine hammering down the left flank. Her cross was met by Johnson who slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Two minutes before full time Robertson went on a mazy run beating three players before shooting into side netting, then in the 90th minute a great ball from her to the back post was met by Gray, who fired home to make it 9-1.
Coach Derrick Bradley said: “It was a terrific team performance from the Shetland lasses, who were well lead by captain Robertson. Fellow defenders Leask and Irvine supported well.
“The midfield was outstanding, with Grogan in her holding role hardly put a foot wrong and Flaws, Gray and Jarvie creating many chances for the front three. Walterson, Bradley and McKelvie took their time to get into finishing mode but worked well together, apart from Walterson being caught ‘offside’ on quite a few attacks.
“Couper in goal, despite being untroubled for long periods, was always sharp and ready. The three replacements brought on in the second half fitted in well.
“Stand-outs were Bradley with her four goals, Robertson and Irvine for their support play and player of the match Grogan for her overall play in midfield.
“Orkney can be pleased with their overall game, their positional play was much improved from last year and the effort and determination could not be faulted.”
Orkney 1, Shetland 7
Shetland signalled their intent right from kick off. Wth less than a minute on the clock Megan Burns won the ball, rounded a couple of defenders and fired off a shot which rebounded off the post and fell to Sara MacGregor to open the scoring.
The wide Pickaquoy pitch was the perfect stage for Shetland’s energetic wingers, Jenni Richardson on the right and Toni Sidgwick on the left, to show their class and both were to be very influential in the outcome of the game.
Shetland got their second after 15 minutes when a Sidgwick cross found her Delting team mate Megan Nicholson who coolly side-footed the ball inside the far post.
The third came after 20 minutes when MacGregor broke from the half way line and put a composed finish past Orkney keeper Charlene Wylie.
It wasn’t all Shetland, however, as Orkney were proving to be a threat down the middle, particularly the impressive Steph Tait, but the Whalsay center back pairing of Maggie Kay Irvine and Margaret Leask, who hardly missed a tackle all game, were always there to clear the danger.
MacGregor got her hat trick on 26 minutes when she pounced on a loose ball in the box to put Shetland four up.
On the half hour mark Nicholson was given a rest, making way for Amanda Johnson up front. Shetland added a fifth in the 33th minute when the trickery of Burns took her through the Orkney defence to slide a nice finish past Wylie.
Shetland keeper Julie Sandilands’ first real action came shortly before the end of the half when she had to look lively to claim a net-bound header.
There was almost a sixth for Shetland in the dying moments of the half when Richardson cut in from the right, but Wylie was sharp of her line to take the ball of Richardson’s toe just as she was about to shoot.
In the 55th minute Orkney pulled one back following a moment’s hesitation in the Shetland defence which allowed Tait time to fire a powerful shot past Sandilands.
The goal gave Orkney some belief and it was now Shetland who were under the cosh, but the hard working Monica Manson was having a stormer at left back clearing absolutely everything.
On the hour mark Shetland made a change with hat-trick hero MacGregor making way for the return of Nicholson.
The experience of Irvine was a great asset to Shetland in coping with this period of pressure and the team were working well together to gain the ascendancy once again, with some good football being played.
Shetland added a sixth when Nicolson flicked the ball over her shoulder into the path of Sidgwick who rounded two defenders and fired home a low drive past the keeper.
There was another goal for a Shetland debutant on 78 minutes when a Sidgwick cross went over Wylie’s reach and was prodded home by Johnson.