Match Report: Carloway 4 – 4 Point
At Cnoc a’ Choilich, Carloway.
Monday, 6th May, 2019, 19.00.
Carloway gained a hard-earned but well deserved league point against champions Point in the bank holiday sun at Cnoc a’ Choilich. Despite taking an early lead, Na Gormaich had to fight back from being 3-1 and then 4-2 down in the second half and finished the stronger team. The goals were shared around with Callum “Beag” Mackay, “D.I.” Maclennan and Dan Crossley all contributing alongside Fraser Macleod’s customary strike.
Again, Billy Anderson looked to let the majority of his line-up continue their good form with the only changes being Gordon Craigie replacing Davie Beaton and Dan Crossley returning up front for Andy “Bernera” Morrison. It was a strong line-up and the pitch was perfect for the contest ahead, a credit to groundsman George Spy.
Both sides started with intent, but it was Carloway who struck first. Joe Armstrong playing in an advanced position wide left crossed from the left and confusion in the Point defence allowed Callum “Beag” Mackay to sneak in and score. (1-0)
A great start for the blues but Point were not for sitting back and nearly equalised when Angus Macdonald broke through the middle. His lob over Craigie looked goal bound but “D.I.” Maclennan appeared from nowhere to clear it off the line. Brilliant defending. Point weren’t to be denied however and their pressure paid off when Ali Gillies headed home Alexander Macdonald’s corner on 19 minutes. (1-1)
Alex, son of Point legend Donald “Tuff” Macdonald, was proving a real handful up front and was denied twice by sharp saves from Craigie. His corners were also proving dangerous and Josh Smith was close to putting the Rudhachs in front. Carloway were also threatening and created a trio of chances with Joe Armstrong hitting the side netting, Fraser Macleod hitting the Point keeper Daniel Macdonald when through one-on-one and Dan Crossley heading narrowly past from a Murdo “Squegg” Macleod free kick. So, one each at half-time and anyone’s game.
If the crowd were hoping for a quieter start to the second half in order to finish Vicky’s fine tea, they were to be disappointed. Both teams came flying out the traps and Joe Armstrong, thriving in his new advanced role, brought out a fine save from young Macdonald in the Point goal. This was to prove important as within fifteen minutes Point were two ahead.
The first was a beauty, Cammy Nicolson playing a one-two with Mikey Jones before firing past Craigie with his left foot (1-2)
Carloway will feel the second was avoidable. There seemed little danger when a free-kick was conceded on the half-way line but one straight pass freed Alexander Macdonald who slotted home calmly. (1-3)
Carloway knew they had to react quickly, and Billy Anderson did exactly that, replacing Joe Armstrong with Andy “Bernera” Morrison and switching to a more offensive 3-5-2. There was an immediate reaction with Duncan Shirkie cutting the ball back for Fraser Macleod whose drive was kept out by a combination of keeper and post. Fraser wasn’t to be denied however and he kick-started five minutes of madness with a great strike from the edge of the box following a through ball from Dan Crossley in the 75th minute. (2-3)
Carloway won the ball back from the kick off but Dan Crossley’s pass back to Craigie was charged down by Angus Macdonald leaving his strike partner Alex Macdonald with a tap-in. (2-4)
Na Gormaich were in no mood to give up however and the ball was immediately transferred down the right wing. Callum “Beag” Mackay swung it in and “D.I.” Maclennan arrived late to head in at the back post. (3-4)
So, three goals in five minutes, bedlam in the enclosure and the Chairman’s celebrations in danger of spilling onto the pitch. Carloway were in full flow now and the equaliser came in the 83rd minute and this time the Chairman was on the pitch. Fraser Macleod hooked the ball into the danger area after concerted pressure and, when Point keeper Daniel Macdonald couldn’t hold on under pressure, Dan threw himself bravely at the loose ball to head home. (4-4)
There were no more clear-cut chances and both teams drew breath with a share of the points after a terrific contest. Billy Anderson’s change in formation turned the game in Carloway’s favour and his players showed tremendous fighting spirit. UEFA are reportedly investigating the Chairman’s encroachment.
Carloway Man of the Match: Donald “D.I.” Maclennan
Point Man of the Match: Alexander Macdonald
Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur Domhnall Mackay (capt.) Euan Shirkie Donald “D.I.” Maclennan
Callum “Beag” Mackay Murdo “Squegg” Macleod Duncan Shirkie Joe Armstrong
Dan Crossley Fraser “Fraz” Macleod
Subs. used: Andy “Bernera” Morrison (Joe Armstrong) 72.
Subs. not used: Andrew “Lanky” Macdonald; Chris “Christy” Smith; Domhnall Graham; David Beaton.
Yellow cards: None.
Manager: Billy Anderson.
Asst. Manager: Iain Angus “Gus” Maciver.
Alexander Macdonald Angus Macdonald ¦
John A Morrison Mikey Jones Andrew Murray Cammy Nicolson ¦
Iain “Macca” Mackenzie ¦ Josh Smith Ali Gillies (capt.) Stuart McPhee
Subs. used: Martin Macdonald (Alexander Macdonald) 86.
Subs. not used: Daniel Macleod; Scott Campbell; Nathan Murray.
Yellow cards: Iain “Macca” Mackenzie 38; Cammy Nicolson 44; Angus Macdonald 45+2.
Manager: Angus “Stoodie” Mackay
Asst. Manager: Donald “Rab” Maciver.