Match Report: Carloway 8 – 2 Ness

At Cnoc a’ Choilich, Carloway.

Friday, 24th May, 2019, 19.00.

A second stunning league victory in a week and eight goals to add to the six on Monday propelled Carloway to the top of the Lewis and Harris League for the first time this season. Ness started competitively but left Cnoc a’ Choilich stunned as they were taken apart by a strong all-round team performance. Eachainn Miller scored four to add to his hat-trick in Lochs and make it seven in two appearances this season.

Manager Billy Anderson returned to the 4-4-2 formation with the only change in personnel being Ben Smith replacing the injured Kevin “Barra” MacNeil on the left of midfield. Fraser Macleod and Dan Crossley were still unavailable but it was encouraging to see Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald appearing once again on the bench.

Having fallen behind in the last three games, Carloway were determined to get going early and came flying out of the traps. Eachainn Miller made space on the right and when his cross was knocked down by Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald, Duncan Shirkie crashed a deflected left foot strike into the net in the second minute of the game (1-0).

Ness were competing strongly in midfield and Carloway were caught napping on the right on 9 minutes with Innes Smith finding time and space to drive home at Craigie’s near post (1-1).

The game refused to settle and Carloway went back ahead on 15 minutes when Eachainn Miller sliced open the Niseach defence and Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald fired home his first of the season (2-1).

Referee Calum “Chancy” Macleod let everyone draw breath when he spotted a couple of rabbit holes near the halfway line and stopped play. Assistant manager Gus Maciver may have to check his job description after being send on to remedy the situation with a bucket of sand. Ref “Chancy” was pleased with his work and play was allowed to resume.

The game continued to be fairly even with both sides creating chances. Ex-Carloway keeper Ross “Tiny” Maclean saved well from Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald following a “D.I.” Maclennan cross and Callum Mackay shot over from a cutback from Eachainn. At the other end, Craigie had to use his feet to clear a raker from Ali “Ness” Morrison before another former Carloway man Lee Johnson fired over when clear through.

It looked like Carloway would take a narrow lead into half-time but they increased their advantage on 43 minutes. Duncan Shirkie, playing with great composure and confidence in midfield, crossed from the right and when Eachainn Miller’s header crashed off the crossbar, Ben Smith was on hand to slot home (3-1).

Two goals ahead and a bit of breathing space at the break.

Half Time: Carloway 3 Ness 1.

If the first half was tight, Carloway pulled away after half-time with three goals and a fifteen minute hat-trick for Eachainn Miller. The first was a header from a Callum Mackay corner, one of many fine deliveries from Callum “Beag” (4-1); the second a clever finish after driving through the middle of Ness defence (5-1) ; and, the third, a precise right-foot lob over “Tiny” Maclean from the edge of the box following a pass from Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur (6-1).

In the midst of the goal-fest, Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald, proving a real threat going forward, shot against the post, Andy “Bernera” Morrison replaced Ben Smith and Ness lost their influential stopper Neil Morrison with a shoulder injury.

There was no respite for the Niseachs and Euan Shirkie, stepping out like a young Beckenbauer, split the defence with a precise through ball and Eachainn Miller, one-on-one with Ross “Tiny” Maclean, slid the ball home for his fourth and Carloway’s seventh (7-1).

“Tiny” may have been relieved to be told that he was to be moved to centre midfield following another Ness injury and a lack of cover on the bench. Ali Murray replaced him in goals.

Billy Anderson also rang the changes with Domhnall Graham coming on for “D.I.” Maclennan and Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald replacing Murdo “Squegg” Macleod.

In amongst it all, Ness scored a second through Mathew Maciver (7-2) and Ross “Tiny” Maclean tested Craigie with a right-foot shot from his new advanced position.

Andy “Bernera” Morrison brought the entertainment to an end in the 87th minute, firing home from close range after Ali Murray had saved a shot from Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald (8-2).

Full Time: Carloway 8 Ness 2.

So, a fine attacking performance from Na Gormaich, lots of goals and great entertainment for the home crowd. Top of the league and still in the Highland Amateur at the end of May is a great start for the players and management team whose attacking instincts have been justified by an incredible 38 goals in 11 games. Mon the Way!

Carloway Man of the match – Eachainn Miller

Ness Man of the match – Innes Smith

Line-ups:

CARLOWAY: 4-4-2.

            

Gordon Craigie

Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur ¦ Domhnall Mackay (capt.) Euan Shirkie Donald “D.I.” Maclennan

Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald Murdo “Squegg” Macleod Duncan Shirkie Ben Smith

Eachainn Miller Callum “Beag” Mackay

Subs. used: Andy “Bernera” Morrison (Ben Smith) 56; Joe Armstrong (Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald) 72; Domhnall Graham (Donald “D.I.” Maclennan) 79; Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald (Murdo “Squegg” Macleod) 84.

Subs. not used: David Beaton.

Yellow cards: Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur 90+2

Manager: Billy Anderson.

Asst. Manager: Iain Angus “Gus” Maciver.

 

Ness: 4-4-2.

 

 

Lee Johnson Innes Smith

Ali Morrison Iain Murdo Macleod ¦ Josh Harris Nathan Harris

Shaun MacDonald Kevin Graham Neil Morrison (capt.) Scott Macrury

Ross “Tiny” Maclean

 

Subs. used: Iain Macdonald (Neil Morrison) 54; Matthew Maciver (Iain Murdo Macleod) 69; Alasdair Murray (Alasdair Morrison) 72; Scott Macdonald (Graeme Mackenzie) 85.

Subs. not used: Chris Macdonald; Donald Macsween.

Yellow cards: Iain Murdo Macleod 68.

Manager: Chris Macdonald

Asst. Manager: Donald Macsween