Spurs turned the clock back 12 years on Saturday afternoon by lifting a first piece of senior silverware in that time, leaving the Gilbertson Park with the Madrid Cup following a somewhat nervous 1-0 victory over Delting.
Madrid Cup Final
Spurs 1, Delting 0
The early exchanges were scrappy with neither side seemingly capable of stringing three passes together as they struggled to settle into any pattern of play or gain dominance.
A half chance apiece came and went before Spurs scored what turned out to be the only goal of the game in the 20th minute.
Alister Williamson dealt easily with a Spurs ball into the box and a Stuart Lavender free-kick swanned through the penalty area as both defenders and strikers looked on.
The goal itself was taken well, Josie Kay feeding a great ball through to Sam Goudie and the diminutive wide man finishing past Danny Reid.
Five minutes later and Ross McDougal should really have equalised for the men from Brae. He skinned the static looking David Mann at the heart of the Spurs defence, ghosted past Lewis Kay and bore down on Bobby Wiseman but crucially hesitated before taking the ball past him. By then he had made the angle to goal so acute that his shot hit the post. A real let off for Spurs.
Five minutes later Connal Gresham was guilty of squandering a chance at the other end. He was sent through but hesitated before taking his shot and should really have doubled the lead.
Danny Reid in the Delting goal was clearly carrying and injury to his right knee, his kicking leg, but Spurs made no effort to try and capitalise on that by putting pressure on him.
With two minutes to go until half time Spurs were awarded a soft looking free-kick out on the left flank. Shane Jamieson whipped in a good ball but Dominic Mann could only knock the ball off the corner of his head and it didn’t trouble Reid.
Spurs had matched Delting during the first 45 minutes but it proved to be a more backs to the wall effort for the Lerwick side during the second period. Perhaps mindful of the collapse in the final of the same competition last season, Spurs appeared almost reticent in pushing men forward, relying instead on the pace of one or two individuals. However, that might be harsh on Spurs because a different Delting side emerged after the break.
Driven on by old heads Ross Jamieson and Peter Peterson, the Delts camped in the Spurs half for long periods. In particular the left flank was producing the most options with Spurs right back Scott Anderson coming second best to Peter Peterson to such an extent that the management hooked him after 20 minutes to be replaced by Martin Leishman.
Spurs were not without a few efforts at goal however. Dannie Finnie had a shot tipped away before being replaced by Alan Page, Gresham hit the post after drifting inside and unleashing a good shot and a 36th minute counter by James Johnston brought out a good save from Reid.
Between those efforts though Delting dominated proceedings. Robert Balfour headed off the woodwork after a minute of the restart to post the Brae side’s intentions.
Lavender had another drive tipped past by Wiseman. Peter Peterson robbed Anderson, played the ball into Lavender who, from an acute angle, chose the impossible by shooting at goal while a simple cut back to McDougal would surely have levelled the scoreline.
Alister Williamson saw his goal bound header from a corner held by Wiseman on the deck low to the big keepers’ right hand as the onslaught continued.
Williamson missed another good cross from Peterson but the ball dropped to McDougal and his drive was blocked by despairing defenders.
Then with 10 minutes to play a moment of controversy. McDougal, in possession of the ball, appeared to be crudely brought down inside the box by David Mann. Referee Steven Goodlad waved the appeals away when most within the confines of Gilbertson Park didn’t concur with the man in black. A crucial moment but as they say, these things tend to even themselves out through time, just ask Fabio Cappello.
Spurs captain Josie Kay then headed a goal-bound McDougal headed effort off the line with his keeper beaten and Wiseman turned another effort over the bar as the crowd suspected that this was just not going to be Delting’s day.
The shouts from the Spurs players and support at the final whistle were as much of relief as they were of joy. They had been made to fight hard and did so and in Wiseman and Josie Kay had the two outstanding players on the park.
Delting fought back to dominate the second period but the final ball and the finish were missing aspects of their play. Ross Jamieson, Peter Peterson and Neil Hay were the standouts for them.