Match Report: Carloway 4 – 1 Lochs
At Cnoc a’ Choilich, Carloway.
Friday, 26th April, 2019, 18.30.
The Highland Amateur Cup has a special place in the heart of both these clubs and it was Carloway who progressed to the first round with a dominant performance against twice winners Lochs in this preliminary round tie at Cnoc A’ Choilich. A big crowd, swelled by a fine Lochs travelling support, witnessed Fraser Macleod continuing his outstanding start to the season with all four goals and an impressive display of finishing.
Billy Anderson responded to the defeat to Point with five changes. Davie Beaton returned in goals for Gordon Craigie while the Shirkie brothers, Euan and Duncan, returned from injury to replace Joe Armstrong and Andy “Bernera” Morrison who both dropped to the bench. In addition, Albert Latorre and Dan Crossley replaced Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald (injured) and Neil Sinclair (unavailable).
Carloway’s shape, 4-4-2 with “D.I.” Maclennan at left back and Albert Latorre in front of him, looked solid from the start and Na Gormaich were on the offensive from the beginning. Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur was prominent on the right-hand side in the early stages and pushed the Lochs defence back with his overlapping runs. One such run led to a Callum Mackay corner which was headed narrowly over by “D.I.” Maclennan.
It was all Carloway and the breakthrough nearly came after quarter of an hour when Fraser Macleod broke down the left and picked out Dan Crossley at the back post. His downward header looked goal bound but was saved by a combination of the post and James Macleod. “D.I.” Maclennan again rose to meet the resulting corner strongly and this time his header was cleared off the line by David Macmillan via both bar and post.
The breakthrough had to come, and it did so in the thirty third minute. Lochs made a hash of a free kick and Murdo “Squegg” Macleod found himself free on the left-hand side. His cross field pass set up a straight race between Fraser Macleod and James Macleod in the Lochs goal which Fraser won, skipping past the keeper and walking the ball into the empty net. (1-0)
Fraser Macleod nearly doubled the lead just before the break but was deemed offside having slotted home from Albert’s pass. So, a very positive first half from the home team and a deserved lead at the break.
The tea hut was busy at half-time and Vicky was still dealing with a long queue when the second half kicked off and Carloway immediately extended their lead. Lochs stopper, Peter Mackenzie, was caught in possession at the back, leaving Fraser Macleod one-on-one with James Macleod and the Lochs keeper couldn’t keep out the striker’s chip. (2-0)
Carloway were in full throttle now with Duncan Shirkie dominating midfield and Albert Latorre causing problems down the left-hand side. The lead was extended in the sixty-sixth minute when Fraser Macleod chased down Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur’s clearance and slotted confidently past James Macleod for his hat-trick. (3-0)
Lochs could have crumbled at this point but four of their players on the pitch have winners’ medals in this competition and they were never going to go down without a fight. Lewis Mackenzie gave them hope when he burst clear on the left and fired past Davie Beaton with his left foot. (3-1)
Suddenly, there was an urgency to the Lochies’ play and Dave Martin found himself clear in the box only for his strike to hit the post with the follow-up being cleared for a corner. Andy “Bernera” Morrison replaced Murdo “Squegg” Macleod with Dan Crossley dropping back to centre midfield.
The next goal looked likely to be crucial and so it proved. Albert Latorre glided past two players cutting in from the left and as he approached the Lochs keeper, he unselfishly squared for Fraser Macleod to tap home his fourth with just over ten minutes left. (4-1)
The game looked over, but Lochs tried one last throw of the dice bringing on Gordie Mackenzie in goals and throwing James Macleod up front. It didn’t work and Carloway saw out the game comfortably.
So, a great Highland Amateur Cup night in Carloway. Billy Anderson got his team selection and shape spot on and his team carried out the plan to perfection. Four goal Fraser Macleod had a superb evening and it would take an outstanding performance from young Duncan Shirkie to deny him the Man of the Match award
Carloway Man of the Match: Duncan Shirkie
Lochs Man of the Match: Gordie Maciver
Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur Domhnall Mackay (capt.) Euan Shirkie Donald “D.I.” Maclennan
Callum “Beag” Mackay Murdo “Squegg” Macleod Duncan Shirkie Albert Calsina Latorre
Fraser “Fraz” Macleod Dan Crossley
Subs. used: Andy “Bernera” Morrison (Murdo “Squegg” Macleod) 72; Joe Armstrong (Albert Calsina Latorre) 87; Andrew “Lanky” Macdonald (Fraser “Fraz” Macleod) 88.
Subs. not used: Chris “Christy” Smith; Gordon Craigie.
Yellow cards: Albert Calsina Latorre 57; Dan Crossley 90.
Manager: Billy Anderson.
Asst. Manager: Iain Angus “Gus” Maciver.
Bryan Macleod Jim O’Donnell
Lewis Mackenzie David Macmillan John “Uig” Morrison Gordon Maciver David Martin
Allan Farrell Ali “Laxay” Macdonald Peter Mackenzie (capt.)
Subs. used: Angus Nicholson (John “Uig” Morrison) 80; Gordon Mackenzie (Jim O’Donnell) 84.
Subs. not used: Graeme Mackenzie; Ewen Maclean.
Yellow cards: Bryan Macleod 63.
Manager: Ewen Maclean