Match Report: Carloway 2-1 Point
It was back to EAF business against Point at Cnoc a Choilich on Monday with the return of only one team representing the area from Dalmore to Breanish after the ill-fated one-year experiment of 2019 of having two teams participating in the competition. As a result of this Carloway welcomed to the squad veteran John “Uig” Morrison, a man of many EAF campaigns and two new players participating in the competition for the first time, Jamie Macdonald and Daniel Cameron (both with Bernera connections, Jamie being the grandson of “Kitch” who used to be a regular spectator at Cnoc a’ Choilich many years ago). With the Euan and Duncan Shirkie, “JAB”, David Beaton and Callum Masson unavailable as they were ineligible, both Cameron and Owen “Tiger” unavailable due to Covid, Kenny “Docus” (at a wedding) and Kevin “Barra” Macneil (work commitments) manager Miller’s resources were somewhat stretched necessitating in the late afternoon signing of Ross Maciver, returning to the squad for the first time since 2019. The line up was as follows:
Aaron Ingram as the custodian, a defensive unit of Callum “Beag” Mackay, Jamie Macdonald, Donald “D.I.” Maclennan and Ben Smith. The midfield five were Ross Maciver, Domhnall Mackay, John “Uig” Morrison, Andy “Bernera” Morrison and Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald with Hamish Macdonald selected as the lone striker. The players selected for the “bull pen” were: Daniel Cameron, Uisdean Reid, Domhnall Calum Reid (featuring for the first time in the senior squad), Doneil Murray and veteran Gordon Craigie.
There was some welcome news for Carloway in that the young Point side who lined up (with only three players over the age of nineteen, according to manager Angus “Stoodie” Mackay) were missing their captain Andrew Murray and the influential Angus Macdonald who has been thorn in the side of Carloway on countless occasions. However, Macdonald did make the bench of it after being out injured as a result of an injury he picked up in the league match between the two sides at Cnoc a’ Choilich on 30th April.
Carloway took the initiative from the start having the early pressure and in the 9th minute, from a Carloway corner, captain Domhnall Mackay’s headed effort from 6 yards out bounced back off the Point right hand post.
Then in the 14th minute the game literally burst into life when, after playing a wall pass with Hamish Macdonald, Domhnall Mackay scored with an explosive shot from 35 yards which went high to the keepers left a’ la Vincent Kompany for Man City v Leicester on 6th May 2019 (1-0)
Although there were no further goals Carloway had the better of the remainder of the first half with John “Uig” and Domhnall Mackay controlling the midfield and Stuart “Bubble” and Ross Maciver prominent on the wings.
Half Time: Carloway 1 Point 0
On the 51st minute Ross Maciver, out on the right touchline, ran down the wing, played a one-two with Hamish Macdonald and then sent the perfect ball across the face of the goal which was met by the on-rushing Stuart “Bubble” who fired in from 6 yards out (2 -0)
As is ever the case that football teams are more vulnerable just after they score, this was indeed the case on this occasion as within 30 seconds of kick off Carloway’s two goal lead had been whittled back to one: Point kicked off and sent the ball forward down the left ,Callum Mackay seemed to misjudge the ball and it went over his head, landing at the feet of Daniel Macleod who struck a fine shot into the net from the corner of the 18yard box , to the left of the on rushing Ingram. (2-1) Game on!!
This was followed by some sustained Point pressure with “Wally” Maciver having a few speculative efforts over the bar, but goalkeeper Ingram was not unduly troubled throughout the period.
Then on the 65th minute a Carloway counterattack found Ross Maciver with a bit of space out on the right wing he drove towards the corner of the Point 18-yard box and from about 25 yds out he unleashed a shot which cannoned of the top corner of the Point left hand post.
On the 72nd minute there was a let-off for Carloway when Point were awarded a free kick ,25 yards from goal, from which Angus Macdonald (who had come on as a sub on the 72nd minute) was desperately unlucky with when he hit Ingram’s right hand post, but the ball was cleared to safety by the Carloway defence.
There was more frustration for Carloway as a cross from the right found Stuart “Bubble” at the back post about six yards out, his shot on goal appeared to hit the Point defender’s hand and the rebound was then blocked by keeper Macdonald. Although there were shouts for a Carloway penalty one has to say that as the defender’s hand appeared to be in a “natural position” so ref Macritchie quite rightly did not award the penalty.
As the game went into the last ten minutes there was a moment of controversy when on the 84th minute Josh Smith took exception to a strong, but what seemed a fair tackle, by Domhnall Mackay on Martin Macdonald. Smith went to confront Mackay, there was a bit of jostling and Smith then seemed to manhandle the referee which resulted in him being sent off and Mackay received a yellow card for his part in the incident.
With minutes to go Carloway had one more opportunity to increase their lead when Hamish Macdonald from a Ross Maciver cross found himself unmarked in the centre of the 18-yard box and with only the keeper to beat he hit the ball over the bar when it appeared easier to score
Full Time: Carloway 2 Point 1
This was another very good performance by Carloway but they will be somewhat disappointed not to be going into the second leg with more of a lead especially as they had the opportunities to do so and history has also shown that on numerous occasions two or three goal leads count for nothing in the EAF Cup. Hopefully, that will not be the case.
As for the Carloway MOM the veterans Morrison and Mackay need to be considered as they combined well and controlled the midfield for long periods and Mackay’s 35-yard screamer will live long in the memory (will we be allowed to forget it??). Ross Maciver was also worthy of consideration as he also stood out with two glorious passes which set up a couple of goal scoring opportunities, he also had a shot which cannoned off the corner of the post and he caused problems for Point throughout in their left-wing area.
However, considering the fact that he was playing his first ever game for Carloway with players he had never met before, and you also take into account his youth and inexperience at this level of football I think the composed and faultless performance of Jamie Macdonald at the back is deserving of the Carloway MOM. Let us hope this is the first of many EAF campaigns in a Carloway shirt for him.
As for Point MOM “Wally” Maciver worked hard throughout and carried a goal threat with a few shots on goal but think the award should go to Daniel Macleod who looked lively and scored a fine goal to get Point back into the game
Carloway FC man of the match: Jamie Macdonald
Point FC man of the match: Daniel Macleod
Carloway 2 (1) Point 1 (0)
Domhnall Mackay 14 Daniel Macleod 51
Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald 50
At Cnoc a Choilich, Carloway.
Monday, 23rd May 2022, 19.00.
Referee: Neil Macritchie
Assistant Referee: Alasdair “Tiger” Macarthur / Calum “Cobby” Macleod
Assistant Referee: Iain Mackenzie
Manager: Graeme “Windy” Miller.
Asst. Managers: Domhnall Mackay; Calum Tom Moody
Callum “Beag” Mackay Jamie Macdonald Donald “D.I.” Maclennan Ben Smith
Domhnall Mackay (capt.) John “Uig” Morrison
Ross Maciver Andy “Bernera” Morrison Stuart “Bubble” Macdonald
Subs. used: Daniel Cameron (Andy “Bernera” Morrison 70.
Subs. not used: Uisdean Reid; Domhnall Calum Reid; Doneil Murray; Gordon Craigie.
Yellow cards: Domhnall Mackay 83; Daniel Cameron 87.
Manager: Angus “Stoodie” Mackay
Asst. Manager: Donald “Rab” Maciver
Ally “Wally” Maciver Martin Macdonald
Jason Guilmartin Daniel Macleod James Cunningham Andrew Mackay
Leo Swanson Lewis Macleod Josh Smith (capt.) Cailean Macleod
Subs. used: Angus Macdonald (Daniel Macleod) 72; Sean “Bayble” Macleod (Lewis Macleod) 86.
Subs. not used: Daniel Macleod
Yellow cards: Ally “Wally” Maciver 80.
Red cards: Josh Smith 83