15th September 2019
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Whitedale beat Spurs 1-0 in Highland Amateur Cup third round

The victorious Whitedale side after defeating Spurs 1-0. Photo: Kevin Jones

Whitedale defeated Lerwick Spurs by the narrowest of margins on Saturday to progress to the quarter-finals of the Highland Amateur Cup.

A fourth-minute strike by Richard Sinclair proved the only goal of the match at Strom, although there were many other near misses by both sides.

Richard Sinclair (right) scores the only goal of the game. Photo: Kevin Jones

Spurs in particular were denied on many occasions by resolute Whitedale defending, and Connell Gresham was particularly unlucky to see his shot cannon off the post.

Sinclair’s goal came after a slide-rule pass by Whitedale midfielder Lorne McNiven, one of the standout players on the day.

Spurs almost equalised a minute later when home keeper Adrian Morrison blocked a shot from close range from Gresham.

Spurs probably had more of the play in the first half, although Whitedale arguably had the better chances. An excellent cross from Bobby Scott was just one near moment, when none of his team mates was able to apply the finish.

Sinclair tried his luck again but his left-foot shot was was just wide of goal. Then Morrison did well to hold a dangerous looking cross and then block an effort from Ronan Grant.

Just before half-time Spurs defender Andrew Flett saved his side by clearing over his head after a superb through ball by McNiven.

Spurs youngster Ronan Grant (left) keeps hold of the ball despite the attentions of Whitedale right back Allan Johnston. Photo: Kevin Jones

The second half saw Whitedale having to defend desperately on occasion, one fine tackle by Joshua Morrison denying Gresham when if the defender had been inches out a certain penalty would have been conceded.

In the 52nd minute Spurs had a golden chance to draw level. A crossfield pass found the newly introduced Lewis Harkness free on the right with the goal at his mercy, but somehow the substitute managed to fluff his shot.

Whitedale gradually weathered the storm, however, and despite one or two runs from the ever-threatening Paul Molloy the Lerwick side just couldn’t get the breakthough they craved.

Whitedale still had a few opportunities of their own, one coming when a tantalising free kick from Ali Scott was cleared for a corner.

It was Molloy who had the final close chance of the match, drawing Morrison into a low diving save although the ball may have been going wide.

Brandon Talukder puts in a fine tackle to stop the progress of Whitedale right winger Ewan Inkster. Photo: Kevin Jones

The last action came when Sam Ward fired a free kick way off target in stoppage time, before referee David Bisset blew his whistle to cue the Whitedale celebrations.

Whitedale will now face Staxigoe United in the quarter-finals after the Caithness side defeated Kirkwall Thorfinn 4-3.

The other quarter-final ties are: Maryburgh v Pentland United; Avoch v Sleat and Strath; and Wick Groats v Castletown. The games are to be played on 20th July.

About Jim Tait

Jim Tait is news editor at The Shetland Times.

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