Match Report: Point 3-2 Carloway
At Garrabost, Point.
Monday, 11th April 2022, 18.30.
After last Friday’s opening league fixture against Back was postponed, Carloway’s 2022 season began in earnest on Monday night with a Moldova Lewis Cup preliminary tie away to Point, the current league champions, on a ground that not many teams have come away from with a positive result especially in the last few years.
With manager Graeme “Windy” Miller unavailable due to work commitments, team management responsibility was left to his two able assistants Domhnall Mackay and Calum Tom Moody.
With the unavailability of David Beaton, youngster Aaron Ingram took over goalkeeping responsibilities and the four-man defence selected in front of him were John A “JAB” Bain, Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur, “D I” Maclennan and Euan Shirkie. The midfield comprised of Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald, Duncan Shirkie James Mackinnon and 18-year-old debutant Daniel “Tiger” Macarthur (son of former Carloway player and current referee, Alastair “Tiger”). Veteran Kenny “Docus” Macdonald and Callum Masson were chosen as the striking options.
In the “bull pen” were Neil Sinclair, Ben Smith, Owen “Tiger” Macarthur, Uisdean Reid and also 16-year-old DonNeil Murray who was featuring for the first time in a Carloway shirt.
The game got off to a blistering start as Daniel Wright (Point goalkeeping stalwart Alex Wright’s nephew) had Point ahead in less than a minute. He dispossessed JAB out on the right touchline advanced on goal without any Carloway player coming to meet him and then fired a shot from 12 yards past the Carloway inside post (1-0)
Shortly afterwards, Carloway had another scare/let off when the increasingly dangerous Angus Macdonald, playing in the centre forward role, almost put Point two ahead on the night but thankfully his powerfully hit shot came off the right-hand post and rolled along the line.
Within 6 mins of each other Carloway were forced into making two substitutions, both of which had a significant impact on the game in that both replacements got on the scoresheet: on the 14th minute debutant Daniel “Tiger” Macarthur had to be taken off due to an issue with his calf and was replaced by Neil Sinclair, then on the 20th minute Callum Masson had to be replaced with Ben Smith due to injury as a result of a heavy tackle.
Smith made an immediate impact as with his first touch, he had the ball in the net with a first-time left foot finish when he latched onto a back pass by Shaun “Bayble” Macleod (1-1).
Within minutes of scoring Smith then played a left foot through ball for Duncan Shirkie to run onto which Shirkie calmly stroked past keeper Macdonald. Unfortunately, it was adjudged by referee MacRitchie to be offside. Interestingly, although the author also thought it was offside from where he was standing, the Bernera contingent of the Carloway support (who were in line with play) were of the opinion that Shirkie was not offside and that the goal should have stood. Opinions and fine margins, that’s what football is all about!!
There were no further goals in what was a very entertaining first half, which had good passages of attacking play from both teams.
Within 5 mins of the restart of the second half Carloway took the lead when Neil Sinclair got behind the Point defence and chipped the on-rushing keeper, Macdonald, from 20 yards (1-2)
On the 68th min Carloway had another opportunity to add to their lead when JAB ran from the Carloway half, getting past three players, played the ball wide right to Mackinnon who sent an inch perfect cross across the face of goal where it was met by JAB, who had continued his run into the box, but he, agonisingly, headed over the bar, when arguably it was easier to put it in the net.
Then on the 87th minute Duncan Shirkie got behind the Point defence, the presence of the oncoming goalkeeper, Macdonald, made him veer to the left and pushed him out towards the touchline, he then attempted a delicate chip over the keeper but the ball came off the face of the crossbar, landing at the feet of Uisdean Reid who played the ball back across the face of the goal to Shirkie, who blasted it over the bar from six yards out when it seemed easier to score into the empty net.
This passage of play seemed to re energise Point and from the resultant kick out, with the clock reading the 89th minute and time running out, they launched forward and Andrew Mackay (who also had a fine match) found himself unmarked and in space in the Carloway 18-yard box and fired a low shot into the net (2-2)
Losing a goal at such a late juncture was bad enough but further misery was heaped on Carloway in the 96th minute when a Cameron “Tiger” tackle on Angus Macdonald was adjudged by the referee to have been illegal and a penalty kick was awarded. The decision was hotly contested by Carloway players and spectators and it was little consolation that the “neutrals” in the crowd were also of the opinion that the referee had got it wrong. Angus Macdonald then stepped up to take the kick and although it was well hit into the bottom right-hand corner, young Aaron Ingram diving full length to his right managed to block the shot, unfortunately the ball rebounded off his body and Rob Jones was first to react, and he fired into the net from a yard out (3-2)
Although it was a disappointing night as regards the score line it was still a very good performance by the Carloway side who arguably played the better football on the night, with some excellent passages of play and some flowing moves especially in the second half. However, it would be remiss of me to forget that Point also played well and certainly had the better opportunities in the first half and on another night Angus Macdonald, who proved a constant threat throughout the night with his powerful running and ability to create space for shots on goal, may well have scored a few goals.
All the Carloway players deserve credit for the effort shown and the resilience to come back from the early blow of a goal in the first minute. However, for me, Neil Sinclair (who did a tremendous job leading the line), Ben Smith and the evergreen Kenny “Docus” were the pick of the bunch as was my man of the match Duncan Shirkie who led by example with his all-action style: closing down opponents, fearlessly blocking shots and strong tackling along with creating and providing a goal threat on the night
Carloway MOM : Duncan Shirkie
Point MOM : Angus Macdonald
On a historical note, debutant Daniel “Tiger” Macarthur is one of the fourth generation of the Macarthur family, who originally hailed from the croft at 44 Upper Carloway, to have played for Carloway FC. The original “Tiger” (named after Jock “Tiger” Shaw of Rangers FC fame) played with distinction for Carloway FC in the 30s 40s and early 50s. His son, Angus “Dee” Macarthur, who just to confuse the issue, was also known as “Dee Tiger” played in the late 70s 80s and early 90s and also managed the senior team and the Western Thistle juniors. The original Tiger’s nephew, Iain “Tiger” Macarthur (whose nickname he inherited from his uncle) was a cup winning player for Carloway FC when he played in the 50s and early 60s. His sons Norman, Alastair and Iain also played for Carloway in the 80s and 90s and all of them also inherited the sobriquet “Tiger” as do his three grandsons who are currently in the squad: Cameron & Owen (Calum Tiger’s sons) and the previously mentioned debutant Daniel, who is Alastair Tiger’s son. Iain was also Dee Tiger’s assistant when he was manager of Western Thistle. Just to further confuse the issue Alastair also has a younger son Scott, who is also a very promising footballer, so only time will tell if he will also become one of the “Tiger” clan to don a Carloway FC shirt. All in all, it is a remarkable contribution and service by one family to Carloway Football Club
Manager: Graeme “Windy” Miller.
Asst. Managers: Domhnall Mackay; Calum Tom Moody
John Bain Donald “D.I.” Maclennan (capt.) Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur Euan Shirkie
Daniel “Tiger” Macarthur Duncan Shirkie Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald James Mackinnon Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald
Subs. used: Neil Sinclair (Callum Masson) 14; Ben Smith (Daniel “Tiger” Macarthur) 21; Uisdean Reid (Neil Sinclair) 86; Owen “Tiger” Macarthur (Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald) 86
Subs. not used: Doneil Murray.
Yellow cards: None.
Manager: Angus “Stoodie” Mackay
Asst. Manager: Donald “Rab” Maciver
Daniel Wright Robert Jones Andrew Murray (capt.) Daniel Macleod Martin Macdonald
Andrew Mackay Iain “Macca” Mackenzie Cammy Nicolson Euan Macdonald
Subs. used: Sean “Bayble” Macleod (Iain “Macca” Mackenzie) 19; Seumas Beaton (Martin Macdonald) 45.
Subs. not used: William Langhorne
Yellow cards: Euan Macdonald 44.