Match Report: Carloway 1-0 United
At Cnoc a Choilich, Carloway.
Monday, 2nd August 2021, 19.00.
Carloway victories this year have been like London buses; you wait for ages for one then two arrive one after the other. The last time United were at Cnoc a Coilich, just under two years ago, they were hit for fourteen (which is Carloway’s highest ever league score). The visitors welcomed back Jack Maclennan in goal, replacing ex-Carloway player Gordon Craigie who had deputised in his absence, it was unlikely that that scoreline would be replicated and that proved to be the case.
After hitting Lochs for nine, not unsurprisingly manager Anderson did not make many changes to the team: the now available David Beaton replaced youngster Ingram in goals and Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur returned to replace the unavailable and influential “DI” Maclennan in the centre of defence. Uisdean Reid got the nod to replace Kenny “Beag” Maclennan and partner Andy “Bernera” Morrison in attack. The team therefore lined up as follows David Beaton; Calum “Beag” Mackay, Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur, John A Bain, Ben Smith, Callum Masson, Domhnall Mackay, Duncan Shirkie, Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald; Uisdean Reid, Andy “Bernera” Morrison. The substitutes warming the bench for the evening were Owen “Tiger” Macarthur, Morgan Macleod, James Mackinnon, Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald and Euan Shirkie
The early part of the game followed the pattern of the opening fixture of the season at Goathill with Carloway in the ascendency; in the 7th minute Andy “Bernera” chased down what appeared to be a lost cause and won the ball at the right-hand corner post, swung the ball over and found Stuart “Bubble” at the far post but his shot from 8 yards out went over the bar. This was followed in the 11th minute when a Duncan Shirkie header from a Masson corner shaved Jack MacLennan’s right-hand post. After the early dominance of the first twenty minutes but without really threatening United’s goal, Carloway began to fall out of the game and this allowed United some half chances themselves: James Murray had a couple of attempts which went over the bar, Hamish Macdonald had a shot from 25 yards out and Seumas Maciver had a shot from the half way line which went over the bar but none of them seriously threatened Beaton.
A well-timed last-ditch tackle by Callum Mackay in the thirty fifth minute prevented Murray having another shot at goal and three minutes later the same player threatened the United goal when he broke forward from defence but his shot with the outside of his foot went wide of the post.
Then in the dying minutes of the half there was a scare for Carloway. With Carloway on the attack and pushing players forward, a ball from midfield was chased down by Masson to the touchline, he seemed to snatch at the ball as he attempted to control it, resulting in the ball landing on the centre of 18-yard box. The ball was hurriedly cleared by a United defender and the resultant clearance sailed over the Carloway defence. Murray then collected the ball, bore down on the Carloway goal but Beaton by racing out of goal seemed to have done enough to put him off and Murray hit his shot from 25 yards wide and weakly past Beaton’s left-hand post
Half Time: Carloway 0 United 0
Within two minutes of the second half kick off a Masson shot played across the face of the United goal was met by Seumas Maciver who somehow managed to hit is own post as he attempted a clearance. Then on the 51st minute another let off for United as a Stuart “Bubble” cross from the left was deftly brought under control by “Dokus” (who had come on for Reid) standing out from the left-hand post, with his back to goal. As he took the ball down, he swivelled towards the United goal but unfortunately the resultant shot from 8 yards out came back of Jack MacLennan’s right-hand post: however, it was an exquisite bit of skill from the veteran striker.
Carloway did not have it all their own way as in the 65th minute a Kyle Munro shot from 18 yards out produced a fine save from Beaton. Then within a minute United thought they had broken the deadlock when they had the ball in the Carloway net, but linesman, Iain (BT) Macdonald had already flagged for offside well before the ball ended up in the net.
Carloway again went on the attack with a delicate lob from Masson over the United rear guard being picked up by Ben Smith who ran with the ball from the half way line into the United 18 yard box but this passage of play came to naught as the referee adjudged he was fairly charged off the ball.
As the game was drawing to a close Carloway began to exert a bit more pressure and in the 82nd minute Masson found himself with his back to goal on the 18-yard box, laying the ball back to Domhnall Mackay, Mackay unleashed a fierce shot from 22 yards out which Jack Maclennan did well to tip over the bar and prevent a certain goal.
With two minutes remaining Bain picked the ball up in his own half and showing great athleticism and a real turn of speed especially at such a late stage in the game he ran the length of the right wing, playing the ball just inside the corner of the 18 yard box for Stuart “Bubble” to run onto. “Bubble” picked up the ball, advanced a few steps and coolly slotted the ball across keeper Maclennan into the corner of the net to the joy and relief of the Carloway support (1-0)
United protested vociferously as they felt “Bubble” was offside, but the flag from their own player was late in going up and it was to no avail as ref DJ Maclean brushed away their protests with a flurry of yellow cards and a red card for Kyle Munro.
Full Time: Carloway 1 United 0
Although it was not the most exhilarating of games it was a game where the outcome was in the balance until the final whistle and where the players, on both sides, could not be faulted for their commitment or effort. Obviously, Carloway will be happier with the outcome, which gave them their third league victory of the season and they arguably just shaded it, but there was not much between the teams.
Attempting to choose a Carloway man of the match was not an easy task as everyone performed competently, producing a similar and satisfactory level of performance. In narrowing it down to two players, Calum Masson looked bright, sharp and aggressive throughout, however, in my opinion, for the second consecutive match, Duncan Shirkie once again shaded it on the night.
Carloway player of the match: Duncan Shirkie
United player of the match: James Murray
Manager: Billy Anderson.
Asst. Manager: Graeme “Windy” Miller.
Callum “Beag” Mackay John Alasdair Bain Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur Ben Smith
Callum Masson █ Duncan Shirkie Domhnall Mackay (capt.) Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald
Andy “Bernera” Morrison Uisdean Reid
Subs. used: Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald (Uisdean Reid) 45; Euan Shirkie (Callum “Beag” Mackay) 78; Morgan Macleod (Callum Masson) 84; Owen “Tiger” Macarthur (Andy “Bernera” Morrison) 90+1.
Subs. not used: James Mackinnon.
Yellow cards: Callum Masson 60.
Manager: Steven Munro
Asst. Manager: Alex Wright
James Murray Hamish Macdonald
Glen Macleod Ross MacIver Kyle Munro █ █ Andrew Mackay █ Ben MacMillan
Seumas Maciver Iain “Fish” Mackinnon Joseph Stewart
Jack Maclennan (capt.)
Subs. used: Kieran Bell (James Murray) 84.
Subs. not used: Kevin Macmillan; Gordon Craigie; Ryan MacSween; Dylan Glover.
Yellow cards: Andrew Mackay 75; Kyle Munro 89.
Red cards: Kyle Munro 90.