Match Report: Carloway 3-1 Point
At Cnoc a Choilich, Carloway.
Friday, 2nd July 2021, 19.00.
With both manager Billy Anderson and assistant manager Graeme “Windy” Miller unavailable it was left to team captain Domhnall Mackay to take on the managerial responsibilities for the evening. With Duncan Shirkie, Neil Sinclair and Callum “Beag” Mackay unavailable from the Aths game, he selected a back five of David Beaton as goalkeeper along with, Owen and Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur, “DI” Maclennan (retaining the captain’s armband) and Kevin “Barra” MacNeil at left back. Callum Masson, John A Bain, Andy “Bernera” Morrison and Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald and Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald made up the midfield quintet. Jack Buchanan was selected as the main striker with the veteran, Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald supporting him from an advanced midfield position.
Having missed the past three fixtures following injury, Domhnall Mackay made himself available for the subs bench and was joined by Warren Mackay, James Mackinnon, Conor Cunningham and Morgan Macleod.
After such a disappointing start to the league campaign (with no victories in five outings) tonight’s visit of top of the league, Point, was met with some trepidation by the Carloway faithful (probably reflected by how few of them turned up) if not, by the players themselves.
On a balmy summer evening, ideal for football, the home support’s worst fears were realised as within 5 mins of kick off Ally “Wally “MacIver picked up the ball on the right wing, got to within a yard of the touchline, drove the ball across the face of the Carloway goal to find Mikey Jones free at the back post with an easy tap in from a yard out (0-1)
Fortunately, Carloway did not let this affect them and were back in the game within five minutes when in the 10th minute, Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald equalised after winning the ball from Angus Macdonald and smashing a fantastic strike from long-range low and left into the corner of the net leaving Daniel MacDonald in the Point goal helpless (1-1)
In the 17th minute, the game was turned on its head when “Bubble” (who had been causing problems for Point in the early stages of the game in the left-wing area) was bundled over in the Point six-yard box and the subsequent penalty award was converted by Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald hard and low into the bottom corner to Daniel MacDonald’s left hand side. (2-1)
In the 24th minute Point almost equalised when Angus Macdonald, bearing down on goal from the right-wing area, found himself one on one with Beaton but the custodian made a fantastic save from point blank range with the ball looping over the bar to keep the Carloway lead intact.
On the 28th minute Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald won a free kick which resulted in a booking for Point’s Sean “Bayble” Macleod. The kick was well struck by Jack Buchanan, but unfortunately it skimmed the top of Point crossbar.
Then, in the 40th minute, Carloway almost extended their lead when Jack Buchanan picked up the ball just inside the left touchline ran across the face of the Point goal, gliding past three Point defenders and unleashed a powerful shot which was heading for the bottom corner but Daniel MacDonald produced a terrific save, diving low to his left and turning it round the post.
With half time approaching the Point manager Angus “Stoodie” Mackay’s frustration earned him a yellow card for questioning one of referee, Andrew Macaulay’s decisions.
It had been a great first half for ‘Na Gormaich’. Stuart “Bubble”, Jack Buchanan and Kenny “Dokus” were causing problems for the Point defence, while “DI” MacLennan, Kevin “Barra” MacNeil and the “Tiger” combo along with Beaton were looking solid at the back so confidence was high for the second half.
Half Time: Carloway 2 Point 1
The second half saw Point have the greater share of possession and pressure with Carloway limited to few opportunities to threaten the Point goal. However, the Carloway rear-guard stood resolute and firm, ably supported by the midfield players who also played their part and this team effort resulted in Point failing to have any clear-cut chances to allow them back into the game. As the game progressed, with his team’s failure to have any impact on the Carloway goal, Angus “Stoodie” was forced to change his tactics and adopt the long ball approach a la Sam Allardyce but this also failed to produce any clear goal scoring opportunities. He also deployed the usually dangerous Angus Macdonald on the right wing, but he was well contained by Kevin “Barra” resulting in him having little impact as a result of his positional change.
As the game went into the last quarter and players began to tire as a result of their efforts there was a plethora of Carloway subs: Warren Mackay came on for Kenny “Dokus” in the 73rd minute, Morgan Macleod and Connor Cunningham replaced Callum Masson and Andy “Bernera” respectively in the 77th minute to add fresh legs to the cause.
Shortly after coming on Warren Mackay intercepted a Josh Smith pass, ran toward the Point goal with the ball and with Smith bearing down on him, he unleashed a thundering strike from 35 yards which hit the centre of the crossbar to the relief of the Point management and support
Carloway at this stage had begun to regain a foothold in the game and after a determined run and some fine play by John Bain in the 95th minute, he made his way into the right side of the box and though his powerful shot was well saved by Daniel Macdonald, the ball fell to Jack Buchanan’s feet and from three yards out his shot made sure Carloway were to pick up the points along with their first win of the season. (3-1)
On a night when none of the players were found wanting, special mention must be made of how well the defensive unit gelled restricting Point to very few opportunities. John Bain seems to be improving with each game he plays and also made a significant contribution as did Jack Buchanan whose tireless running and leading of the line were rewarded by a well-deserved goal. However, my MOM is “DI” Maclennan for his leadership, organisational skills, cool head under pressure and tenacity in the tackle; he did not pick up a booking either!!
It was also good to welcome two of our stalwart supporters who were attending their first home game of the season in former CNES Convenor Alex “Flossie” Macdonald (rehabilitating after his recent knee op) along with his buddy, former player and manager “DR” Macleod now in his 87th year attending the match in his slippers no less, which is certainly a first for Carloway if not Lewis football!!
Full Time: Carloway 3 Point 1
Carloway player of the match: “DI” Maclennan
Point player of the match: Josh Smith
Owen “Tiger” Macarthur Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur Donald “D.I.” Maclennan (capt.) Kevin “Barra” MacNeil
Callum Masson John Alasdair Bain Andy “Bernera” Morrison Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald
Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald
Subs. used: Warren Mackay (Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald) 73; Conor Cunningham (Andy “Bernera” Morrison) 77; Morgan Macleod (Callum Masson) 77; Domhnall Mackay (Owen “Tiger” Macarthur) 87; James Mackinnon (Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald) 87
Subs. not used: None.
Yellow cards: None.
Ally “Wally” Maciver
Mikey Jones Andrew Murray (capt.) Stewart Munro Angus Macdonald Jason Guilmartin
Daniel Macleod Sean “Bayble” Macleod █ Josh Smith Martin Macdonald █
Subs. used: Calum “Caly” Mackay (Jason Guilmartin) 67; Daniel Wright (Daniel Macleod) 87.
Subs. not used: Scott Campbell; Liam Mackay; Sean Macmillan.
Yellow cards: Sean “Bayble” Macleod 27; Martin Macdonald 83.