Match Report: Athletic 1 – 3 Carloway
At Goathill Park, Stornoway.
Friday, 3rd May, 2019, 19.00.
Carloway followed up last Friday’s Highland Amateur Cup victory with an impressive league win over Athletic on a freezing night at Goathill. This was no stroll and Na Gormaich had to play well to subdue a hard-working Aths side. Two goals from the prolific Fraser Macleod plus a cracker from Murdo “Squegg” Macleod proved the difference on the night.
Billy Anderson naturally made as few changes as possible, with Joe Armstrong replacing Albert Latorre who has returned to Spain and Andy “Bernera” Morrison coming in for Dan Crossley who was on the bench.
The ball was like a hot potato in the first ten minutes but Carloway settled first and Callum “Beag” Mackay brought out the first save of the night from Aths keeper Craig “Ginger” Macleod after twelve minutes. Shortly after, Callum “Beag” Mackay threatened again and this time his cross from the right wing was volleyed in by Fraser. Great cross, great finish (1-0).
The lead was short-lived however and Athletic were level shortly after. Carloway conceded a free-kick thirty yards out and ex-Carloway defender Ross Macrae placed a beauty past an unsighted Davie Beaton (1-1).
The Stornowegians were not going quietly and chances came and went at both ends. Firstly, Fraser headed over from a fine cross from “D.I.” Maclennan then play swung to the other end and Davie Beaton had to save at his near post from Connor Maciver who had been played in by the speedy Jason Guilmartin. Fraser Macleod came close again, heading over from a Callum “Beag” Mackay corner, before Athletic’s midfielder Jon Clough hit the post after strong work from Lewis “Preston” Robinson.
It looked like the teams would escape indoors all square, but Murdo “Squegg” Macleod had other ideas, curling in a well-struck shot from the right-hand side of the box to bring some much-needed warmth to the Carloway support (2-1).
Unfortunately, the Aths tea hut remained closed at the break with Magnus otherwise employed delivering his half-time team talk.
The game was finally balanced at this stage with the next goal likely to be crucial in a night increasingly dominated by the swirling wind. So it proved in the fifty second minute and thankfully it was the Aths net that bulged with Fraser crashing home his tenth of the season from the right-hand side of the box via the boot of an unfortunate defender (3-1).
Aths continued to work hard and Carloway had to stand strong to protect their two-goal cushion. Joe Armstrong worked tirelessly on the left-hand side and nearly got his reward with a shot from the edge of the box which was well saved by Craig “Ginger” Macleod.
Billy Anderson brought some fresh energy to his attack with Dan Crossley replacing Andy “Bernera” Morrison but was relieved to see Lewis “Preston” Robinson being forced wide by Euan Shirkie after breaking through the middle.
Unsurprisingly, Dan Crossley didn’t take long to make an impression, and a darting run through the middle enticed a foul by Ross Macrae which resulted in a free-kick and a second yellow and then red card for the Athletic stopper. Once ref Neil Macritchie was happy with the wall, Andrew “Lanky” Macdonald on for Murdo “Squegg” Macleod forced another solid save from the home keeper.
The final ten minutes were played out comfortably with Billy Anderson finding time to give run outs to both Chris “Christy” Smith and Uisdean Read. So, a real squad effort and an important victory in a league which looks wide open with only West Side having an unblemished record so far.
Carloway Man of the Match: Callum “Beag” Mackay
Athletic Man of the Match: Jason Guilmartin
Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur Domhnall Mackay (capt.) Euan Shirkie Donald “D.I.” Maclennan
Callum “Beag” Mackay Murdo “Squegg” Macleod Duncan Shirkie Joe Armstrong
Fraser “Fraz” Macleod Andy “Bernera” Morrison
Subs. used: Dan Crossley (Andy “Bernera” Morrison) 73; Andrew “Lanky” Macdonald (Murdo “Squegg” Macleod) 75; Chris “Christy” Smith (Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur) 82; Uisdean Reid (Fraser “Fraz” Macleod) 90.
Subs. not used: Lewis Phipps.
Yellow cards: Duncan Shirkie 77.
Manager: Billy Anderson.
Asst. Manager: Iain Angus “Gus” Maciver.
Jason Guilmartin Lewis Robinson
Jon Clough Sean Macleod (capt.) Shaun Macleod ¦ Connor Maciver Steven Williams
Lewis Macdonald Todd Morrison Ross Macrae
Subs. used: Shaun Martin (Sean Macleod) 80?.
Subs. not used: Leo Swanson; Reece Montgomery.
Yellow cards: Steven Williams 58; Ross Macrae 70; Shaun Macleod 90+4.
Red cards: Ross Macrae 80
Manager: Magnus Johnson