Whalsay missed out on the chance to catch up with Premierleague leaders Celtic, who slipped up against Scalloway, when they lost to Delting.
Celtic 1, Scalloway 2
Celtic succumbed to a stuffy Scalloway side at Gilbertson Park last Wednesday and handed the title initiative to Whalsay.
Celtic were the better side in the first 45 minutes, hitting the woodwork on four occasions, but they fell out of the game in the second half and eventually paid the price.
Stand-in keeper David Bissett tipped a tame shot on to the post in the sixth minute, Jordan Webb’s dead-ball effort from the edge was tipped on to the bar and over to safety three minutes later and Roy Wood saw a good effort come back off the post following a good passing move by the home side.
At the other end Paul Grant had to come to the rescue as Gary Burns lobbed the ball goalwards, tipping it on to the bar. John Simpson was next to see an attempt at goal slip past the post as the chances came and went.
Scalloway were not without a couple of efforts themselves and their best player on the night, Andrew Flett, watched as he zipped a grass cutter past the post.
The first half came to an end with the common thread continuing. Jordan Simpson floated a free kick into the box and Dominic Mann’s header came back off the post and was cleared.
Celtic never really got going in the second half and as the pace of the game dropped and both sides generally tired, that suited Scalloway.
The visitors went ahead with seven minutes gone. Route one provided the goal as Colin Grant miss timed a header and Alan Davidson had time to say thanks very much before slotting past Paul Grant.
Celtic pulled a goal back five minutes later when Jordan Webb drove at the Scalloway defence. The space opened and he finished well, shooting across the helpless Bissett.
However, Scalloway raced upfield and went ahead again from the penalty spot. Laurence Pearson, bursting into the box, was upended by Paul Grant as he rushed out and referee Robbie Leask was correct in pointing to the spot. Pearson dusted himself down and knocked the ball past Grant for what became the winner.
Celtic huffed and puffed thereafter and Scalloway did not really threaten either, although veteran Colin Grant was lucky not to gift a second penalty as he certainly looked to impede the route to goal of Pearson.
The game petered out somewhat with Celtic looking light on pace going forward. They certainly missed the speed of the young players representing Shetland in Stirling over the past week.
Delting 1, Whalsay 0
This was a bit of a shock win for the home side and will be a huge blow for Whalsay’s championship hopes. They would have hoped to put pressure on Celtic after their defeat to Scalloway. Ross Jamieson got the only goal of the game.
Ness United 1, Thistle 1
In a rare still night at Boddam, Ness entertained Thistle as the sides clamour for wins to avoid coming bottom of the league this season. Both teams were anxious for full points in this contest and it was clear as they produced an open, fast paced and attacking game of football from the off, albeit a scrappy one at times.
It was Ness who started the brighter of the sides with some decent passing and movement although they will be disappointed with their final ball when they got in some great positions down the wings.
It was Thistle that created the first real opening of the game with Erik Peterson having to parry an effort from Craig Gerty after he had made good headway and was allowed to shoot near the goal.
Ness’s strong pressing on Thistle and fast passing brought a goal as the game was still in its early stages. Kieran Malcolmson scrambled home the opener after neat interplay by his teammates. Ryan Leask in Thistle’s goal had parried the original shot but Malcolmson was in the right place at the right time to get the rebound.
For a period of time Thistle were on the back foot but the defensive duo of Garry and Kevin Teale kept them together when under pressure with the former making some good runs out from the back to try and turn defence into attack.
The Jags were looking dangerous from set pieces though and that’s how they got their equaliser. Kevin Gifford bulleted in a header from a corner and although it may have been heading towards Peterson in goals, it deflected off a Ness defender to send the county keeper the wrong way.
The second half became very frantic as both teams felt they could go and win the game. However there were few clear cut chances created despite the open play and although some dangerous crosses and balls were put in the box, both keepers can argue they had a pretty quiet second half. For all their decent play, Ness snatched at some of their efforts while Thistle will be disappointed not to have done more from some of the promising counter attacks they had.
Overall both teams will be disappointed to come out of the game with only a point, however it was a fair reflection of how the game went. Best for Ness in what was a good team effort were Ian Bray for his tireless efforts leading the line up front and Kieran Malcolmson who won most of his battles in midfield. The Teale brothers were excellent for the Jags as they restricted Ness attacks and held the team together during their poor start.
Whitedale 0, Spurs 5
Whitedale’s current dip in form continued when they suffered a heavy home defeat at the hands of Spurs.
The warning signs were there early on for the home side when Spurs captain James Johnson thundered a shot from 25 yards off the crossbar. Soon after the ball struck the woodwork again from a Josie Kay free kick. The opening goal came with a well-timed run from Joe Leask leaving the home defence standing.
Whitedale did start to come into the game with chances falling to Jamie Wilson, Paul Malloy and Duncan Anderson but when Wilson’s effort hit the post and ran along the goal line before being cleared you sensed it wasn’t going to be their night.
The score stayed at 1-0 until midway through the second half when Spurs got the all important second goal scored by David Mann. Johnson scored soon after before Mann fired in his second. Johnson grabbed his hat trick and Spurs’ fifth goal with a fine solo run and a curving left foot shot from the edge of the penalty box.
Delting v Spurs
Scalloway v Whalsay
County Shield Preliminary Round
Thistle 3, Delting 1
It was a wet and windy night at the Gilbertson Park for this County Shield preliminary encounter. Thistle were keen to build on their recent Fraser Cup success while Delting looked to seize upon their final chance for silverware this season.
The away side took the early initiative as they used the wind advantage well to pin Thistle in their own half. Peter Peterson was looking menacing down the right and put in some dangerous crosses, which were causing problems for the Thistle backline. A mixture of good fortune and brave defending ensured the tie stayed goalless for the first 15 minutes. The pressure continued and Steven Henry, returning from an injury lay off, was at full stretch on a couple of occasions to deny Leighton Flaws from 30 yards.
The Jags managed to weather the storm and started playing some good football of their own as the half wore on. Craig Gerty was causing trouble on the right wing but Thistle failed to test keeper Danny Reid with their efforts. David Thomson was gifted a great one-on-one chance after a slip from a Delting defender but wasted his opportunity by blazing over the bar.
He had a chance to make amends moments later as Calvin Leask drove forward and played him through but this time he was denied by the legs of Reid.
In the second period Thistle began to control the possession as they pressed all over the pitch but failed to create any clear chances. Delting fought their way back into the game and Stuart Lavender was fouled as he spun on the edge of the box. Henry could only parry Flaws’ quick free kick and Lavender was on hand to lash home from 10 yards.
Nethan Watson was introduced as the town side looked to get back into the game. He charged forward and played it to Thomson who beat the last man and slotted into the bottom right corner to give the keeper no chance.
This lifted the Jags and they began to dominate. Kevin Gifford picked out Thomson with a ball over the top, he cut it back into the stride of Neil Laurenson and the brewery man hit a firm first time shot past Reid into the far corner.
Delting kept fighting for an equaliser but they were left exposed at the back as they pushed men forward. Watson surged down the left and squared across the box, Thomson held off his man and let the ball run for Gerty who lifted the ball neatly into the top left corner to seal the tie.
Delting will regret not taking advantage of their early first half dominance but it is Thistle who progress to play Whalsay in the quarter final after another solid team performance.