Second defeat for stuttering champions

Delting suffered their second league defeat of the season when they went down to Celtic on Monday at Gilbertson Park, with Whalsay now two points behind with a game in hand. Spurs’ hopes of staying in touch were dealt a blow when they lost to Thistle, who reversed the defeat to their town rivals in the Manson Cup on Friday evening. Other cup quarter-final matches saw Whitedale beat Ness United, Delting edge out Whalsay and Celtic comfortably oust Scalloway.

Manson Cup (quarter-finals)

Whitedale 3, Ness United 2

A large crowd turned out at Strom to watch a hard-fought and competitive match.

Whitedale had the bulk of the early chances but their finishing in front of goal was lacking. Ness keeper Erik Peterson comfortably smothered and held on to a number of strikes and helped his team withstand the early bombardment.

The Ness efforts were rewarded as Grant Redfern scored with a low shot under the Whitedale keeper. Shortly afterwards a solo run by Jamie Wilson from the halfway line, beating three players before he finished with a well-placed shot high to the keeper’s left, levelled the scores.

Whitedale’s second came from a determined run and cut back from Martin Clark which found Paul Molloy in the six-yard box for the easiest of finishes. Ness equalised as a race for the ball was met by the outstretched foot of Piotr Drozowski resulting in an own goal for the Whitedale defender.

The second half continued with Whitedale trying to break down a stubborn Ness defence. Ness hit them on the counter attack and very nearly took the lead through Kyle Malcolmson as his well-placed shot beat the keeper but not the post and the ball was cleared.

Jamie Wilson snatched the winning goal in the 75th minute and secured the points for the home side.

Spurs 2, Thistle 1

Spurs despatched local rivals Thistle with a hard-working, no frills performance at Gilbertson Park.

The opening period of the match was evenly contested with both teams struggling to retain posses­sion. However, midway through the half Spurs started to assert their passing game on a Thistle team who, at this point, could not live with it. It was during this spell that Spurs opened the scoring, courtesy of a well-worked passing move which saw Josie Kay’s defence-splitting pass calmly converted by Alan Page.

Spurs were threatening to increase the lead but would live to regret some missed opportunities as Thistle drew level. Scott Morrison floated in the first corner of the game and Gary Teale rose unchal­lenged to power an unstoppable header into the far corner of the net.

Having managed to draw level Thistle were looking to push on and grab a second goal. However, they were immediately undone with another slick passing move which again saw Kay and Page combine with the latter lobbing home his second of the game just before half time.

Thistle started the second half in determined fashion, controlling the midfield and looking to exploit striker Craig Gerty’s pace by playing balls into the channels. For all their pressure Thistle failed to create many chances mainly thanks to some solid defending with Lewis Kay particularly standing out.

Spurs introduced James Johnston as a substitute halfway through the second half in order to regain possession and control of the midfield. This tactical change by manager Davy MacDonald worked a treat and from then on Spurs looked the more likely to score. Thistle failed to regain any meaningful possession and the game petered out without any further goalmouth action.

Thistle will be disappointed that their second half pressure didn’t result in goals whereas Spurs will be happy to have won the game while not playing to the best of their ability.

Whalsay 0, Delting 1

Delting made the early running, pushing Whalsay onto the back foot for most of the first half. However, the Whalsay defence managed to hold firm and despite a succession of Leighton Flaws throw-ins and long balls into the box the score remained deadlocked.

The closest Delting came was when Peter Peterson’s attempted cross veered dangerously towards the back post area but Grant Thomson managed to claw the ball away to safety.

Whalsay did enjoy the occasional foray into the Delting half and were unlucky when Brian Irvine dribbled his way from out wide into a dangerous position but his shot was blocked and Keith Pearson’s attempted follow-up was also diverted away from goal.

The second half saw Whalsay with the breeze behind them and a free kick almost straight from the re-start gave John Montgomery a chance to test Danny Seattor from over 40 yards, the Delting keeper producing a good stop to deny the defender.

Whalsay were now enjoying the bulk of the possession but the stubborn Delting defence were limiting their hosts to shots from distance, Montgomery again tested Seattor from 40 yards with the keeper palming the ball over the bar.

Whalsay came close when Brian Irvine ran on to a clearance to head the ball past the keeper but unfortunately he couldn’t direct the ball on target and the game remained scoreless.

The last 15 minutes saw Delting were coming more into it. Flaws and Peterson were causing problems on the flanks and with a succession of corner kicks awarded in the dying minutes it was almost inevitable that the tie would be settled by a set-piece and so it proved. Kevin Main, enjoying a return to first team action, ghosted in to head home at the near post area.

With a minute left Whalsay almost levelled when Irvine was handily placed to volley an effort goalwards but Seattor was quick to react with a great save.

Celtic 7, Scalloway 0

A strong Celtic side comfortably overcame a weakened Scalloway team at Seafield.

Scalloway nearly took an early lead from a corner but Celtic managed to clear it off the line. Celtic took the lead inside 15 minutes when Justin Watson headed home a fine inswinging corner from Ryan Grant. The lead was soon doubled with the move of the match, John Simpson starting it in his own half and continuing his run before crossing for Lowrie Simpson to volley home. Scalloway were struggling to contain the passing and movement of Celtic and were not helped by losing Colin Petrie and Robert Garrick to injuries. It was five for the home side before half time as Lowrie Simpson completed his hat trick and Ross Moncrieff found the top corner from 25 yards.

The second half saw Celtic increase their lead with goals from Sam Wood and Watson after Steven Umphray had seen red for lashing out at Jordan Webb. It was a good all-round team performance from Celtic who will look to challenge for the remaining honours now their squad is nearing full strength.

G&S Flooring Premier League

Celtic 3, Delting 1

Celtic will be greatly encouraged after notching up their first win over Delting since June 2000.

The game started at a fast pace with Delting playing long searching balls seeking out Ross MacDougal through the middle. Celtic’s defence closed the attacks down effectively, however with keeper Paul Grant handling confidently with some good takes.

Sam Wood was causing problems for Delting down the right and his cross after 20 minutes was met with a sweeping effort from Jordan Webb, parried wide of the post by Craig Dinwoodie in the Delting goal.

Leighton Flaws was a growing threat down the right but it was a Peter Peterson cross from the left which gave MacDougal an opportunity to open the scoring for the visitors. However, his low shot went just wide of the upright.

Brian and Alan Duncan were winning possession in midfield at this stage and Delting should have capitalised on the half hour but Fraser Hall’s effort was smothered well by Grant with MacDougal closing in.

The second half was only a minute old when John Simpson threaded a telling ball through the middle which the Delting defence failed to deal with, leaving Lowrie Simpson to slot the ball into the bottom corner to open the scoring.

Five minutes later the home side were two up. Paul Leask found Wood down the right and his cross picked out Simpson who again did well to find the bottom corner for his second.

The home side could then have effectively sewn up the game in the 65th minute had it not been for Dinwoodie’s excellent save from a Webb effort after good work by Justin Watson.

Delting were back in the game with 20 minutes remaining. Brian Duncan found Flaws down the right and his low driving cross was met by McDougall who finished superbly with a right- foot shot high to the keepers left.

Delting continued to press and could have equalised had it not been for Ali Sim’s timely tackle on Alan Duncan who was through on goal.

With three minutes remaining Celtic ended the vistors’ chances when excellent battling work from Paul Leask found Lowrie Simpson who crossed for Wood to head home.

Delting had chances to close the gap in the dying minutes with MacDougal shooting over and Grant bravely blocking at the feet of Flaws.

It was an excellent all-round team performance from Celtic with John Simpson and Sam Wood in particular excelling. Lowrie Simpson proved a handful up front with both goals and an assistn and keeper Paul Grant put in probably his best performance of the season so far. Ross MacDougal for Delting worked tirelessly and Leighton Flaws was always involved.

Spurs 2, Thistle 3

From the first minute Spurs were on the attack and Craig Leask’s attempted clearance fell to James Johnston who cut inside a sent a powerful shot just over the bar.

Soon though Spurs were defending as Scott Morrison beat two Spurs midfielders on the right and crossed but Craig Gerty’s control allowed Lewis Kay to inter­cept and clear the ball.

The game swung Thistle’s way when Josie Kay fouled Tommy Walterson. The Thistle man played a free kick in to the box before Kay could get back to defend, allowing Gary Teale to out jump Johnston and Alan Leslie in goal to head home the opener.

Spurs were good in possession but Gary Teale was covering good ground and winning a lot of aerial balls.

In the 30th minute Kevin Teale found Gerty who turned and played the ball wide for Stuart Smith whose cross to the back post picked out Walterson who finished with a half volley under Leslie.

Connel Gresham then two chances to get Spurs back in to the game but Henry smothered well at the striker’s feet. Lewis Kay then ventured forward menacingly and after a neat interchange on the 18-yard line, Johnston’s left-foot drive whistled past the post.

Spurs looked to nullify the threat of Scott Morrison by putting Josie Kay out left and it worked to great effect. Spurs were on the front foot and it was Kay who burst to the byline and cut the ball back for Johnston to drill home from 15 yards.

Just as Spurs could sense an equaliser Thistle scored their third somewhat controversially. Kevin Gifford appeared to handle the ball as he made a challenge on the edge of his box but the referee played on. The ball was cleared to Gerty in what appeared to be an offside position but the lineswoman al­lowed play to continue and Gerty finished with an excellent chip.

Spurs lifted their game again but wasted chances, first Kay, then Gresham and Tor Neil Halvorsen all failed to hit the target. Johnston had a couple of shots blocked as well before Gresham blasted Spurs’ second in to the roof of the net.

With 10 minutes remaining there was a second moment of con­troversy. As Johnston nipped around Teale in the box where the latter bundled Johnston to the ground. As Spurs claimed for what looked like a stonewall penalty, the Thistle linesman and referee played on. Spurs will be bitterly disappointed at losing a game in which they had plenty chances to win.

Shetland Chiropractic Reserve League

Celtic 4, Thistle 1

Scorers for Celtic were Lowrie Simpson (2) John Nicolson and Sam Wood. Replyng for Thistle was Saul Day.

Delting 3, Ness United 0

Ness were given the perfect chance to take the lead midway through the first half when a Delting defender handled the ball in the penalty box. However, the resulting penalty was well saved by Danny Reid in goal.

Delting started the second half strongly and took the lead with a well taken goal from Bryden Mowat. Further goals from Shaun Manson and a second from Mowat sealed the win.

Scalloway 3, Whalsay 2

Whalsay raced into an early lead when George Irvine latched on to a long ball and volleyed into the net. Scalloway were soon back on level terms when Robert Garrick scored from the penalty spot. Just before half time Blair Mackay gave Scalloway the lead.

David Clark extended Scal­loway’s lead before a late Whalsay penalty was calmly converted by Ian Anderson.

Whitedale v Spurs

The match was postponed.


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