Works pace set by Chernobyl with four victories out of four
Chernobyl lead the Northwards Shetland Works League, having won all five of their matches so far. Hot on their heels are Services, with four wins from four, and unbeaten Burra. Mossbank moved up to fourth spot, just ahead of Malakoff and Wrultizers.
West Linga Ramblers 2, Burra 5
The Burra scorers were Ian Uren (2), John William Laurenson, Maurice Fraser and Jake Williams. Ramblers replied through Tammy Stewart and George Polson.
Chernobyl 11, Lerwick PL 1
A sizeable crowd saw Lerwick PL take to a sun-kissed Gilbertson hoping for an upturn in their early season fortunes. However, it was Chernobyl who got the perfect start when Simon Swift finished off a flowing passing move after only five minutes.
Robbie Goudie then raced clear to fire over the advancing keeper before Magnie Malcolmson rifled a 20-yarder into the roof of the net following a good run and cutback from Goudie.
The hoops defence then did a convincing impression of the Red Sea as they obligingly parted allowing Gregorz Majowski to waltz through and slot the ball into the bottom corner. The Poles then enjoyed a period of pressure only to squander two clear-cut chances in as many minutes. Chernobyl were quick to respond with Goudie adding a quickfire double to complete his first half hat trick.
The second period saw Chernobyl continue to exploit the new boys’ defensive frailties with Sammy Sjoberg (4), Alan Taylor and David Smith completing the rout.
Wastside Rebels 2, Services 3
Wastside gave Services a stern test, coming back from 3-0 down to make it a close 3-2.
Rebels unfortunately scored both Services opening goals through Guy Tindall and a rocket from Ryan Tulloch.
Services made it 3-0 in the second half when Martin Gibbs scored. Wastside refused to buckle and staged a great comeback with Guy Tindall scoring at the correct end before a Jordan Leask strike made it a nervous finish, with Services holding out for the victory.
Wrultizers 2, Chernobyl 3
Electing to play against a strong breeze Wrultizers soon found themselves under pressure with Robert Wright heading over a David Smith corner.
The boys from the north soon weathered the storm before taking the lead on 10 minutes. David McShane latched on to a hopeful long ball before driving into the box and drilling the ball into the bottom corner with everyone expecting a cross. Wrultizers soon doubled their advantage when a well-worked short corner was headed home by Mark Davies.
Chernobyl then had the chance to halve the deficit on 20 minutes following another Smith corner. Again the ball fell to Wright but Liam Doull spread himself to block his close-range drive. McShane then broke clear a minute later but his curling effort was expertly tipped to safety by Colin Fraser, effectively keeping Chernobyl in the match.
With the hoops looking increasingly disjointed and the men in orange increasingly resolute it took a piece of good fortune to get Chernobyl back into the match. With the interval approaching David Smith drove through the middle of the park to hit a speculative effort which took a wicked deflection to beat the helpless Doull.
On the stroke of half time Smith again tried his luck and although Doull denied him Adam Swift reacted first to net, again with the aid of an even bigger deflection.
Despite playing against the wind Chernobyl started the second half on the attack with Smith going close in the opening minute. Clearly inspired by his brother, Peter Smith tried his luck on the hour mark. Fortunately his wayward shot was diverted by Robbie Goudie allowing Robert Wright to fire the ball into the bottom corner.
Adam Swift then earned a penalty when he was felled in the box minutes later. Swift picked himself up but his kck was well saved by keeper Doull. Fortunately for Swift his miss did not prove costly as his team-mates held on for a hard-fought victory, with Magnie Malcolmson particularly impressive.
Malakoff 7, Lerwick PL 0
On a dreich evening for football a boatbuilding side, which had in the previous two games hit more bullseyes than Phil “The Power” Taylor, looked to continue their good form against league newcomers Lerwick PL. The shipchandlers found it tough going early on, however, and were met with a well-drilled response from PL in the opening 20 minutes.
It was all Malakoff pressure at this stage and the impressive James Manson was unlucky not to open the scoring, only to see his shot cannon off the post. The equally impressive Michael Gardner was also very unlucky when his excellent shot come off the post and across the face of the goal.
Just when it looked like one of those famous nights in the boatyard the breakthrough occurred. The hard-working Derek Moar burst through on the PL goal and he was ruthlessly hauled down, giving referee Derrick Bradley no option but to point to the spot. Ross Herculson made no mistake.
This settled Malakoff into a rhythm and Michael Gardner sped down the wing and provided James Manson with a great pass for the second. Derek Moar went through to be hauled down again and Gardner converted the penalty to make it 3-0.
Malakoff rang a few changes at half time, including taking Paul Johnson on at full back. Johnson immediately got involved and was unlucky not to score with a dipping long range shot. He kept working hard and provided a majestic cross for the non-stop Steven Leckie to make it four.
Ross Herculson fancied adding to his goal and almost made goal of the season with a dipping volley from 30 yards, only the bar preventing it from going in.
Malakoff were now enjoying the game and James Manson and Michael Gardner were enjoying plenty of possession. Manson burst though and again was defied by the PL keeper, but Michael Gardner was on hand to finish nicely with his left foot.
Then came the goal of the night for Malakoff a move that started with Paul Johnson ended up with a deft flick by Craig Jenkins. There for his hat trick was the unstoppable Gardner who unleashed a marvellous finish for number six.
James Manson had more bad luck, smashing the post again, while Steven Leckie forced a clearance of the line before a seventh was found in the shape of yet another Michael Gardner effort. Impressive substitute Laurence Abernethy opened up PL on the right and swung it in for Gardner to claim his fourth.
Banks 2, Mossbank 5
In the first 10 minutes Mossbank’s John Hutcheson scored two identical goals, going past the defence with ease and slotting into the far right corner.
Instead of letting their heads drop Banks raised their game with Ronnie Calderwood running the show in midfield. Banks came close when a flighted free kick was missed by the Mossbank defence and then fumbled by Michael Owers in goal, only a desperate lunge preventing the ball from crossing the line.
Mossbank scored a third after the break when decisive chip over the top saw John Hutchison motor past the Banks defence and place a shot in the far corner.
Shortly after a long ball from Banks created havoc in the Mossbank defence. After many mishaps and mis-challenges the ball eventually dropped to Calderwood who drilled it superbly past the outstretching Owers.
Banks pulled another one back after with a well-worked goal from David Thomson. However, any hopes of an equaliser were scuppered straight from kick off when Craig Sneddon saw his 40-yard pile driver soar past the outstretched Sutherland in goals, a goal of the season contender.
Banks didn’t let their heads drop but it seen an improved and concentrated come back into life. Some fine defending and “acrobatic” saves from Sutherland in goals kept the scores at 4-2 until that man again Hutchison added another with a typical poacher’s goal.
Richard Turi will deem himself unlucky not to score on his Mossbank debut with his shot from the edge of the box shaving the goalpost. Mossbank ran out deserved winners but Banks showed what their capable of and shouldn’t be disheartened with the score line.
Best for Banks were Ronnie Calderwood and Aaron Priest and tops for Mossbank were John Hutcheson and Michael Forrester.
Fixtures (kick offs 6pm weekend, 6.30pm midweek unless otherwise stated)
Saturday – DITT Cup: West Linga Ramblers v Malakoff at Whalsay (referee to be confirmed, 3.30pm); Wastside Rebels v Services at Aith (Ivan Sinclair, 5pm); Chernobyl v Wrultizers at Clickimin South (Sarah Couper); Mossbank v Lerwick PL at Seafield (Derrick Bradley)
Thursday – Northwards Shetland Works League: Mossbank v Malakoff at Clickimin South (Michael Grant)