As the local football season draws to a close, Whitedale and Spurs will contest Saturday’s County Shield final at the Gilbertson Park after the West Side team narrowly defeated champions Whalsay in the semi-finals. Otherwise Delting picked up two more wins, including a first league defeat for Whalsay, and are now favourites to finish second in the G&S Flooring Premier League.
G&S Flooring Premier League
Ness United 0, Delting 2
An even opening to the game saw an early chance for Delting with a back post header.
Ness then had the better of the territory and possession in the first half, creating numerous chances with Alex White, Declan Adamson and Ian Bray all forcing saves from the Delting keeper. But much to the home team’s dismay it was Delting who went into the break one up through Ian Greenhill.
The second half continued in the same vein but Ness failed to supply the killer ball and finish and with 20 minutes to go Delting were given a dubious free kick. The ball was only half cleared and when it dropped just outside the area Leighton Flaws hit a left-foot volley straight into the top corner of the net to put the visitors two up.
County manager John Jamieson then donned the claret and blue due to an injury to Ross McDougal and five minutes later was involved in a altercation with Ness forward Ian Bray which saw the latter sent off.
Even with 10 men Ness continued to press on and create chances but were unable to convert, a disappointing result given the amount of possession the home team had.
Ness United 2, Scalloway 4
Scalloway started at a brisk pace, looking to get an early goal. Ness seemed to have weathered well but were caught out at the back post as Scott Henderson cut in to fire a shot past keeper Erik Peterson.
Ness started to get into their stride and came close on a few occasions with Kevin Smith having a goal-bound shot saved at point blank range by the Scalloway keeper.
Declan Adamson was proving a handful down the left wing and his crosses into the box were begining to cause the visitors problems. As ever though Scalloway were dangerous on the break and after a quick diagonal ball found Laurence Pearson, who had given his marker the slip, he despatched the ball into the net to put Scalloway two ahead.
Ness went in at the break feeling that they should have had more to show for their large spells of dominance in the half and were rueing their inability to convert the chances they created.
The second half started better for Ness as they began to assert more pressure in the midfield. They made a change, bringing on James Farmer for Scott Marshall-Ferguson.
After some good work in the middle saw the ball played through to Kevin Smith he beat his marker and the keeper to stab the ball home and give the reds a lifeline.
The game was played mainly in Scalloway’s half in the next 15 minutes with the visitors still looking dangerous on the break.
The Ness manager made a second subsitution, bringing on Alwyn Flaws for John Rosie and reshuffling his midfield. This move paid dividends as the reds got the equaliser five minutes later when Alex White rifled the ball into the roof of the net.
Ness pushed hard for the winner and were again hit with a sucker punch as Pearson got his second and Scalloway’s third after breaking away down the left, driving in on goal and finishing past Peterson at his far post.
With the home side seeking to get an equaliser Scalloway again hit them on the break with Henderson netting his second of the night with a few minutes left on the clock.
Thistle 1, Spurs 5
This was Thistle’s final match of the season and they continued to be without the experienced Craig Gerty and Kevin Teale, as well as Stevie Michael, while Spurs, with one eye on tomorrow’s County Shield final, took the opportunity to rest one or two players.
Spurs struck first, taking the lead in the 17th minute following a corner. Thistle defender Khalid Rasul cleared off the line but the loose ball was met by Lewis Kay who smashed it into the roof of the net. Sam Goudie doubled the Spurs tally in the 35th minute when he skilfully evaded a couple of challenges and calmly stroked the ball beyond Thistle glovesman Ryan Leask.
Leask was called into action again in the 50th minute when he tipped a shot from Goudie round the post following a fine solo run.
The Jags hauled themselves back into the match two minutes later. They were awarded a free kick on their left flank and Neil Riddell whipped in a tantalising ball which was deftly flicked into the net by veteran striker Stuart Smith.
At the other end Leask, who was having a good game in goal, dived full length to push a Scott Morrison drive away for a corner.
On the hour mark Spurs increased their advantage when a Morrison cutback was driven home by Alan Page.
With 15 minutes remaining and the home side striving to claw themselves back into the game again, Connell Gresham broke clear and finished with aplomb.
Five minutes later Gresham completed the scoring when he added his second and Spurs fifth with another well-taken strike.
Whalsay 2, Delting 3
A disappointing end to the season for champions Whalsay was further compounded by a loss to a Delting team fielding manager John Jamieson in the forward line. Indeed the visitors finished the match with 10 men after losing Peter Peterson to injury with 30 minutes remaining.
Whalsay had the wind behind them in the first half and certainly had the bulk of the play. Stuart Shearer tested the handling of Danny Reid in the Delting goal with a shot on the angle from 12 yards but Reid was equal to the task and saved comfortably.
That was the only real chance of note in the half with Whalsay failing to turn their possession into chances.
The second half was barely 10 minutes in when Delting found themselves two ahead. The first came from a John Jamieson pass which found Ian Greenhill running in from wide and the new signing finished well into the far corner.
Moments later a Leighton Flaws free kick from the halfway line saw Ross Jamieson run unchallenged into the box to nod the ball into the empty net.
Whalsay tried to bring themselves back into the game and some sustained pressure saw the award of a penalty kick when Reid was adjudged to have taken the man before the ball when making a challenge on Stuart Shearer. Ian Simpson stepped up and coolly dispatched the penalty.
Any hopes of a Whalsay comeback were dealt a blow almost immediately when the home defence rather inexplicably failed to deal with a crossed ball which Greenhill, running into the back post area, forced over the line with his chest.
Whalsay, to their credit, continued to push forward but found Reid in fine form, the keeper’s best saves coming from a Keith Pearson free kick and a Stuart Shearer header, both efforts being palmed away to safety at full stretch.
Whalsay did claim a further consolation goal deep into injury time when a free kick was slid low into the box and Brian Irvine directed the ball from six yards inside the post.
Whitedale 2, Celtic 1
With the two sides having only faced each other once this season, resulting in a 1-0 win for the Lerwick side, this was a difficult one to predict.
The first half started with Celtic taking the game to Whitedale, settling into their passing game which has been a feature this season, but the nearest they came in the first 15 minutes was a Joe Leask effort from distance which cleared the bar.
In the 18th minute a good move on the right from Whitedale involving Matthew Williamson and Duncan Fraser set up Gary Tulloch who finished with a curling right footer to the keeper’s left.
On the half hour mark Whitedale’s Duncan Fraser headed a hard driven corner kick into the middle of the net for Whitedale’s second.
Celtic, looking a little aggrieved at the way the half was turning out, went on a 10-minute blitz on the Whitedale goal. A combination of three top drawer saves from Martin Young and sound defending from Whitedale’s back four kept the score 2-0 at half-time.
Whitedale brought on Paul Molloy and Jamie Wilson for the second half to hopefully put pressure on the Celtic defence but they were to see little of the ball for the opening 20 minutes as Celtic pressed to get back in the game. They were rewarded when a strong run up the right wing from Joe Leask was met by Lowrie Simpson who placed his shot wide of Young.
Whitedale had to endure a lot of pressure as Celtic pushed for the equaliser but they weathered the onslaught and nearing the end of the game created a couple of good chances for Molloy and Wilson.
Referee Steven Goodlad blew the final whistle on a gripping game in which Celtic had greater possession but lacked the finishing touch.
Whitedale spent long periods in their own half but took their chances well when they came. Best for Celtic were Joel Bradley, who was solid in defence, and Joe Leask for his work rate.
Martin Young in goal and defenders Jordan Morrison and Duncan Fraser all had outstanding performances for Whitedale.
County Shield (semi-final)
Whalsay 1, Whitedale 2
On a wet and breezy night full credit must go to an understrength Whitedale for a battling performance which saw them come from a goal behind to book their place in the final with makeshift forward Martin Clark the hero with both goals.
Clark signalled Whitedale’s intentions from the kick off, testing young Davie Williamson with a shot from halfway that saw the keeper having to backpedal and tip over the bar.
Whalsay soon settled, enjoying most of the possession, and it was no real surprise when Stuart Shearer gave them the lead, the front man running onto a through ball to cut the ball across keeper Martin Young into the far corner.
Whalsay continued to press and more chances followed. Shearer rose highest at a corner but his effort was headed off the line by Duncan Fraser. Alistair Johnson hit the bar with a lobbed effort soon after and Keith Pearson had a drive from outside the area palmed away by Young before half time as Whalsay failed to put the game beyond the visitors.
As so often happens when a team fails to take their chances they are punished and Whitedale provided a ruthless example of this in the second half.
The equaliser came following a swift move, the ball being fed to the back post where Gary Tulloch nodded down for Martin Clark to turn the ball in from close range.
The rest of the half saw a mainly midfield battle with Whalsay probably edging the territorial advantage. But chances were few and far between, the only real one falling to Keith Pearson. A fortuitous break of the ball saw him through on goal but under pressure his attempted lob sailed over the bar.
Whitedale were gifted a chance with just five minutes remaining when Williamson was harshly penalised for carrying the ball outside the area while clearing from hand. From the resultant free kick Clark rifled the ball into the back of the net via a slight deflection off the wall to put the visitors 2-1 ahead.
Whalsay pushed for an equaliser and Brian Irvine came closest with an effort from outside the box that whistled past the post. The elusive goal just wouldn’t come, however, and it was holders Whitedale who progressed to the final to defend their trophy against Spurs.