Whitedale claimed their second piece of silverware of the season with a narrow win against Whalsay in the County Shield on Friday. The success marks a big turnaround in fortunes for the side which, until their Manson Cup victory earlier in the season, had been without a trophy for 14 years.
Whitedale 1, Whalsay 0
With both sides having already had cup wins earlier in the season the outcome of this final was always going to be difficult to predict.
Whalsay, without John Montgomery at the heart of the defence, moved Karl Williamson from midfield to fill the gap. Whitedale took the risk of playing goalkeeper Martin Young who was struggling with knee ligament damage. This gamble was to be worthwhile as the big keeper was to prove his worth later in the game.
Any latecomers to the game would miss the goal which was to be decisive. A move up the left wing by Paul Malloy saw the tricky winger play a pass to Ryan Jozwick. His return pass saw Malloy cut inside and hit a low shot under the Whalsay keeper to open the scoring.
The good travelling support from Whalsay got behind their team as they put pressure on the Whitedale defence. Whalsay forwards Laurence Pearson and Michael Williamson came close to beating the offside trap but fortunately for Whitedale their runs were timed a little to early.
Brian Irvine was giving Whitedale’s left back Donald Wilmore no peace to settle, making several telling runs down the right flank. Midway through the first half, with both teams turning defence into attack, Whitedale centre forward Jamie
Wilson raced through on keeper Thomson only to see his guided lob strike the base of the post. Soon afterwards a free kick conceded by Whitedale 25 yards out saw Gary Jamieson’s effort shave the cross bar.
The second half got underway with more urgency in the Whalsay play. Whitedale’s defence, however, played with fiery determination with Wilmore, Martin Clark and Kevin Nicolson pulling off tremendous tackles and blocks at the last minute.
Before long Wilson in the Whitedale attack took a pass on the left and cut inside to unleash a great shot, beating Thomson but once more striking the upright. Williamson found himself through on goal at the other end only to have his effort pushed around the post by Young.
In the final stages of the game Whitedale began to sit deeper in their own half and had to soak up the Whalsay pressure, which was constant.
Alan Johnston was introduced on the left wing, pushing Malloy further forward and this immediately had an impact. Johnston swung in some delightful crosses which were dealt with by the Whalsay defence. Duncan Anderson collected the ball 25 yards out and hit a dipping shot which Thomson pushed past the post. Referee Ivan Sinclair blew the final whistle on a great game that no side deserved to lose.
If a player of the match had to be chosen it would have been difficult not to opt for Poitr Drozowski in the centre of the Whitedale defence. Magnus Flaws presented the county shield to Whitedale captain Duncan Anderson in what has been a successful season for his club.