With only a few games to go the race for the title in senior football’s G&S Flooring Premier League continues to throw up interesting results and more twists and turns than the road to North Roe. A well-organised Whitedale side battled the defending champions Delting to a draw while Spurs nipped ahead of their town rivals Celtic in a local derby that had five goals and plenty of action to move into third place in the league.
In the County Shield quarter-finals Mossbank came up short against Celtic after their win against Yell in the preliminary round, losing 8-0 to a very well organised team. Delting saw off Unst and Whalsay defeated Ness in a game that saw Ness travel to the isle for the second match in two days.
Mossbank 0, Celtic 8
Celtic were two up within five minutes and in truth the game ended as a competition as early as that. James Aitken scored both early goals, racing through gaps in the central areas to clip the ball past the helpless keeper.
Lowrie Simpson was next on the scoresheet after 14 minutes following a good passing move. Aitken then had a good effort saved before Celtic took the foot of the pedal for the remainder of the half.
The half-time team talk must have mentioned the slackness because a better sense of urgency prevailed thereafter. Aitken completed his hat trick on 55 minutes, getting on the end of a simple ball through the defence. Jordan Webb sent Aitken free five minutes later for the youngster’s fourth.
Lowrie Simpson scored his second 10 minutes later before the pick of the bunch. Daniel Johnston swung in a good corner from the left and Ally Sim glanced a header past the stranded keeper.
Substitute Bruce McCulloch completed the scoring from the penalty spot, an award which was harsh on a defender trying to save his facial appearance from a driven shot.
Celtic did well enough against a surprisingly youthful looking works side, with a sprinkling of players who could certainly push themselves to compete at a higher level if they so wished.
Whalsay 3, Ness United 0
Both sides were dipping into their reserves for this match, played in damp, colder conditions than have been the norm this summer.
Whalsay were into their stride faster than the visitors and found themselves 2-0 ahead within the first half hour. The first came after good work by Brian Irvine resulted in a ball played to the feet of Michael Williamson whose effort was tipped on to the post by Duncan Flaws in the Ness goal only for Laurence Pearson to crash in the rebound.
The second goal came when again good work form Irvine culminated in Michael Williamson picking his spot past Flaws.
After this Ness came more into the game but although they were enjoying their fare share of the possession the closest they came to scoring was a Kevin Manson effort from the edge of the box which was deflected just wide.
The second half saw Whalsay’s Ian Simpson looking the most likely player to score, bringing out two outstanding saves from Flaws, one effort from the edge of the box being tipped on to the bar and the other with the keeper diving across goal to keep a free kick from going into the far corner.
Simpson did get his reward midway through the half when he was played in by Williamson and drilled the ball past the on-form Flaws.
Unst 0, Delting 5
Unst put up a fight for 60 minutes and then fell away after a string of costly errors at the back.
The first half saw a fairly even game with both sides passing up opportunities in front of goal, with Delting having a goal disallowed and Unst’s Neil Laurenson cracking a free kick off the post.
All the goals came in the second half, the first being a Ross McDougal cross-come-shot which looped over the Unst keeper and into the back of the net. The second was a free kick in which Leighton Flaws set up Brydon Mowat who finished into the far corner.
The third and fourth were down to errors at the back with McDougal twice taking advantage, while the final goal was a good move down the right flank before switching play and cutting inside for Peter Peterson to coolly slot the ball home.
Scalloway 3, Whitedale 7
The visitors started well and opened the scoring when Scalloway keeper John Leask was unable to keep out a powerful Paul Molloy effort from the edge of the penalty area. Whitedale doubled the lead through a fine Ryan Joswick shot.
Scalloway gradually forced their way back into the game but were once again caught out as Molloy burst through to score his second before Jamie Wilson added a fourth.
In the second half Scalloway began passing well but were caught with a counter attack that released Wilson through to score his second.
Scalloway’s efforts were eventually rewarded when Robert Garrick scored from the penalty spot after Alan Davidson had been felled in the penalty area. They pulled another back when John Brian Adamson beat his opponent before releasing Gary Burns who placed his shot past the advancing keeper.
Any thought of a comeback were short-lived as Wilson completed his hat trick.
In the closing period Davidson latched to an Adamson flick on and guided his shot into the bottom corner. The scoring was completed when Molloy notched his hat trick with another fine goal.
Ness United 1, Scalloway 3
The game started at a brisk pace with both teams creating chances but it was Ness who went ahead with a Craig Leslie penalty.
Scalloway were not taking it lying down and some good work between forwards Gary Burns and Alan Davidson was causing the Ness defence problems. They equalised from a corner when Erik Peterson tipped the ball on to the bar and Scott Henderson was on hand to head home the rebound as the Ness defence were caught static.
Scalloway got their second through Burns as he hit the ball goalwards and it took a deflection off a defender and evaded Peterson in goal.
The game was ended as a contest when Kevin Smith headed a cross in to his own net and Scalloway went 3-1 up.
It was a flat performance from the home side, and good work and communication from forwards Burns and Davidson saw Scalloway head back to the village with only their second win of the league campaign.
Celtic 2, Spurs 3
Celtic started brightly enough, Connor Regan the first to test Kyle Duncan between the Spurs sticks but five minutes later Spurs were ahead. James Johnston broke free from midfield far too easily, burst into the box and his shot from an acute angle squirmed under stand-in keeper Bruce Crossan.
Celtic had chances to draw level before the break, Jordan Webb seeing two good efforts from distance shave the bar and James Aitken having a snap shot well save by Duncan.
Five minutes before the interval Spurs extended their lead. Crossan came for a harmless-looking pass across the edge of the box, as he tried to deal with it on the ground Connel Gresham robbed him of the ball, found a gap between covering defenders and slotted home.
It would be harsh to lay the blame for both Spurs goals at the hands of Crossan because his team mates left him horribly exposed on both occasions, but nonetheless the team were left wondering just how they were two goals down and facing defeat.
The passing increased in speed and accuracy in the second half with Celtic taking the game to Spurs, and they only had to wait five minutes to haul themselves back into the game. Webb found Regan on the left flank with a good pass, he controlled and delivered a great ball to the far post where Aitken turned it in with his chest.
Spurs responded immediately and were awarded a free kick on the left edge of the penalty area. Josie Kay curled the ball into the box where Alan Page nodded home.
Five minutes later the hoops scored again to give themselves hope. Webb delivered a good ball from a free kick 10 yards inside the Spurs half and Ross Moncrieff arrived late through a ruck of players to plant his header firmly past Duncan.
Celtic then proceeded to dominate the remainder of the game but Moncrieff missed an easier header than the one he scored with, Spurs cleared of the line and the men in green and white contrived to squander many other chances.
Yell 0, Thistle 9
Thistle recorded a comfortable victory against bottom of the table Yell on Monday night thanks chiefly to a four-goal haul from Scott Evans and a Scott Morrison hat trick.
Evans opened the scoring in five minutes when he slotted home a rebound, before Neil Riddell did the same after goalkeeper Matthew Saunders spilled a Morrison free kick.
Evans netted another rebound from a Morrison drive before the latter opened his account for the evening, and with half time approaching young Evans gleefully got on the end of a Riddell cross to complete his hat trick and make it 5-0.
With a breeze behind them, Yell were able to gain a little more territory in the second half with Lee Jamieson always a handful for his marker, but the visitors were always likely to add more on the counter attack.
Further goals followed for Morrison and Evans, before replacement goalkeeper Steven Saunders made the mistake of passing the ball straight to Morrison, who scored his third.
The scoring was completed when Thistle goalkeeper Steven Henry, given a 20-minute stint up front, got on the end of a loose ball and thumped it beneath the helpless Saunders.
Whitedale 1, Delting 1
A large travelling support from Brae went home disappointed after watching their side stumble once more in the run in to decide the title. A youthful starting 11 for the home side took to the field with several first team players out due to injury.
Delting were quick to settle with Brydon Mouat sending a dipping volley over the bar. Leighton Flaws and Peter Peterson were making some dangerous crosses but keeper Martin Young or the heads of Kevin Nicolson and Piotr Drozowski in the Whitedale defence took care of the danger.
After the opening 20 minutesWhitedale began to edge into the game with Stuart Donald’s strong running beginning to cause problems. Richard Sinclair turned his full back well on the left and sent in a dangerous cross which keeper Dinwoodie did well to tip over the bar. Allan Johnston found space from a through pass from Martin Clark but his well struck shot went straight to the Delting keeper who held comfortably.
At the other end a Peterson cross resulted in a heavy collision between keeper Young and Bruce Bennett with treatment required to both players.
Much of the same pattern of play emerged at the start of the second half with both teams playing entertaining football and the two organised defences cutting out the danger. That was until Flaws went on a strong run up the right wing and his perfect cut back found Ross McDougal who finished coolly to the keeper’s left.
The late introduction of Duncan Anderson and Paul Molloy lifted the Whitedale play and once more put Delting on the back foot. Dinwoodie pulled of another fine block to deny Donald but it wasn’t long before the junior player’s hard work paid off. In the 85th minute he sped on a through ball and hit a left-foot shot into the net to level the score.
Delting’s best on the night were Flaws, McDougal and Merv Jamieson while Martin Clark, Kevin Nicolson and Piotr Drowzowski were outstanding in a good team performance from Whitedale.
See this week’s Shetland Times for league table and fixtures.