Match Report: North Uist United 0-1 Carloway
Although the results to date may have been disappointing (despite only losing once in the last five) the performances have been encouraging, so Carloway travelled in confident mood to meet North Uist Utd having a faultless record against their opponents in the HAC. Carloway having played them three times in the last 16 years, all on Uist soil, coming out on top on the three occasions: 2-1 in 2006, 6-0 in 2010 and 4-1 in 2018. Carloway also had a comfortable 9-0 victory when playing the same opposition in the Co -op Cup in 2011 at Cnoc a’ Choilich.
For those with a bit of interest in history of the Club, the line up on 20th May 2006 in the 2-1 victory was as follows: Gordon Craigie, Chris Smith, Louis Macdonald, Ross Macrae, Graeme Miller, Murdo “Squegg” Macleod, Kenny “Dokus” Macdonald, Scott Macaulay, Chris Macleod, Kevin “Gochan” Macleod. The substitutes on that occasion were Neal Bowman, Calum Mackay, Phil Macleod and the two goal scorers were Chris Macleod and Scott Macaulay.
Not unsurprisingly the only players from that fixture to feature on this occasion were the evergreen Kenny “Dokus”, who seems to have had a new lease of life in the early part of this season and Graeme “Windy” Miller who now manages the team. It should be noted that Gordon Craigie is still playing with Stornoway Utd as is Ross Macrae who turns out for Stornoway Athletic.
Manager Miller made minimal changes to the line up from the Stornoway Utd fixture: Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald and Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald replacing Ben Smith and James Mackinnon who both dropped to the bench so the starting line-up was as follows:
David Beaton; John A Bain, Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur, DI MacLennan, Euan Shirkie; Domhnall Mackay, Duncan Shirkie; Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald, Neil Sinclair, Kenny “Dokus” Macdonald; Hamish MacDonald.
Smith and Mackinnon were joined on the subs bench by Callum Masson, Andy “Bernera” Morrison, and Owen “Tiger” Macarthur.
Carloway started brightly and took the game to the opposition: in the early stages of the match DI breaking forward from defence got into the North Uist box, but his shot went just over the bar. This was followed in the 17th minute by Kenny “Dokus” having a decent effort saved by the North Uist keeper, Anderson.
Carloway continued to pressure the North Uist goal, forcing keeper Anderson to make a few saves where he was unable to hold onto the ball but unfortunately the Carloway strike force were unable to capitalise on the opportunities presented. However, on the 28th minute the pressure finally paid off when as the ball was bobbling about in the box Neil Sinclair latched onto it with his left foot, in the centre of the 18 yard box from 14 yards out, and powered the ball into the top right hand corner of the net (0-1).
Carloway continued to press but could not capitalise on the opportunities presented, their best effort being on the 41st minute when Sinclair hit a cracking free kick from 35 yards out but it came off the bar.
Half Time: North Uist United 0 Carloway 1
The second half continued as the first, with Carloway on top and in the 49th minute “JAB” ran down the wing beating three players in the process crossed over to Stuart “Bubble” whose shot from 12 yards out went too near Anderson, who saved comfortably.
Stuart “Bubble” then had another good opportunity in the 69th minute when a great through ball by Kenny “Dokus”, whose influence was increasing as the game progressed, delayed slightly on the ball which allowed a North Uist defender to get a tackle in and clear the danger.
As the second half progressed a feature of the Carloway play was Kenny “Dokus” playing some delightful balls behind the North Uist defence to the energetic and overlapping “JAB” but unfortunately his crosses were not of sufficient quality to create any goalscoring opportunities
Full Time: North Uist United 0 Carloway 1
As has been the feature of many of the Carloway fixtures this season, despite having plenty of possession and pressure their inability to convert their opportunities into goalscoring chances and goals is somewhat worrying, and as in this fixture this led the game to be in the balance until the final whistle despite keeper Beaton not being troubled throughout: one error would have allowed the opposition back into the game!! However, the important thing was that they deservedly progressed into the next round of the HAC
Although none of the Carloway players was found wanting one feels a few are worthy of additional mention: Stuart “Bubble” was a constant threat throughout the game but paid for it as he was on the end of some brutal tackling by the North Uist Utd defence, especially from left back Downham and the Carloway management and support were mystified that referee Steele took as long as 58 minutes to show him a yellow card. Kenny “Dokus” rolling back the years had an excellent second half performance with his probing balls and deft touches: the moment when he prevented the ball going out of play by taking the ball down from four feet above the touchline, with his right foot, then turning and setting up an attack was a bit of sublime skill which even Lubo Moravcik would have been proud of. However, I think my MOM has to be Duncan Shirkie who also showed some deft touches, twists and turns, probing passes and tremendous accuracy from dead ball situations, reminiscent of Alan Hudson (ex-Chelsea, Stoke City and Arsenal) in his prime.
Although keeper Anderson’s handling in the early part of the game was probably somewhat worrying for North Uist, he improved as the game progressed producing a competent performance which prevented Carloway from adding to the score line. However, I feel that the North Uist Utd MOM was Ruaraidh Macleod, as he was in 2018: his “battle” with Domhnall Mackay was an intriguing feature of the game resembling two old grizzled warhorses giving no quarter!! His powerful tackling on numerous occasions prevented the Carloway attack breaching the North Uist defence, which also contributed to Carloway being unable to score more than once on the day.
A special mention must also be made as regards Ben Smith, who although did not make an appearance on the day, made a valuable contribution throughout the match by keeping the Carloway linesman in check (who coincidentally was the linesman in 2006 as well!!! Is it not time he retired?) It may well be that this is the position where Smith may well be more of an asset than on the field of play???
Carloway man of the match: Duncan Shirkie
North Uist Utd man of the match: Ruaridh Macleod
Highland Amateur Cup – 1st Round:
North Uist United 0 (0) Carloway 1 (1)
Neil Sinclair 28
At Sgoil Uibhist a Tuath, Bayhead.
Saturday, 14th May 2022, 11.30.
Referee: Paul Steele
Assistant Referee: Calum “Cobby” Macleod
Manager: Graeme “Windy” Miller.
Asst. Managers: Domhnall Mackay; Calum Tom Moody
John “Jab” Bain Cameron “Tiger” Macarthur Donald “D.I.” Maclennan Euan Shirkie
Domhnall Mackay (capt.) Duncan Shirkie
Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald Neil Sinclair Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald
Subs. used: Andy “Bernera” Morrison (Hamish MacDonald) 74; Callum Masson (Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald) 86; James Mackinnon (Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald) 90+1.
Subs. not used: Ben Smith; Owen “Tiger” Macarthur.
Yellow cards: None.
NORTH UIST UNITED: 4-4-2.
Manager: Fraser MacDonald
Asst. Manager: Ruairidh Macleod
Christopher Campbell Jamie MacDonald
Lewis MacDonald Ruairidh Macleod Ben Shepherd (capt.) Calum MacDonald
David Downham Fraser MacDonald Andrew Currie Adam Keltie
Subs. used: Mark MacInnes (Lewis MacDonald) 45; Angus MacIntosh (Jamie MacDonald) 62; Patrick MacInnes (Adam Keltie) 74.
Subs. not used: Alexander MacDonald; Stephen MacIsaac.
Yellow cards: David Downham 58; Adam Keltie 59; Andrew Currie 82.