Shetland out of Scottish Association Cup

Shetland FC have been knocked out of the Scottish Inter Association Cup at the first hurdle after a 2-0 defeat to 2016 winners Ayrshire AFA in the first round yesterday afternoon.

Goals either side of the break were enough to see the Ayrshire select through to the next round however the boys in blue dominated in spells and will be disappointed not to have taken the chances they’d done so well to create.

However there were plenty of positives to take from the team’s first outing since their 2-1 friendly defeat to the Scottish AFA select and their first competitive match since the intercounty in July.

The back line stood firm for the majority of the match; David Murray put in a fine performance in attack; and young Lewis Harkness was a threat throughout in his first appearance for the senior county team.

The early exchanges were largely dominated by the home side who were passing the ball around confidently across the pitch and Shetland struggled to keep the ball when they finally got it back.
Wood in the Shetland goal was the first of the two goalies to be tested but held well from a snap shot from the edge of the box.

After weathering the early storm, Shetland got their backs off the wall and started dominating proceedings with the front four of Tulloch, Aitken, Harkness and Murray seeing a lot more of the ball.

Set piece deliveries from Aitken found the heads of Arthur, Copland and Murray however Arthur and Copland’s flew agonisingly over while Murray’s was expertly tipped over the bar by the Ayrshire keeper.

The next chance fell to young Harkness but again the home stopper was in the way. Aitken beat his man down the right and looped a ball to the Spurs winger at the far post, but his shot was smothered from close range.

With the first half coming to a close, Ayrshire took the lead against the run of play. A ball down the right was met by a midfield runner, who slotted past the onrushing Wood.

The second half was largely dominated by the home side and it was clear to see which side was deep into their season. The Shetland management freshened up things, bringing on Calvin Leask and Magnus Thompson in an attempt to break Ayrshire’s dominance.

And Leask made an immediate impact, latching onto a Harkness through ball and side-footing goal-wards but the Ayrshire keeper was in no mood to give up his clean sheet.

The game was then put to bed by the home side after a deflected shot from the edge of the box flew agonisingly past the reach of Wood for 2-0.

Arthur struck a post from a corner and Bradley had a good chance but failed to connect as it just wasn’t to be for the hard-working Shetland team.

The match was brought to a close at 2-0 in what was a good outing for the boys in blue in their first appearance in the association cup against a strong Ayrshire side.

The squad would like to take this opportunity to thank Loganair for the transport to and from Glasgow for the match. Without their support and the support from our other sponsors, games on the mainland would not be possible which is essential for the development of the team.

Travelling Shetland squad for their game against Ayrshire AFA on Sunday. Back row (from left): Stuart Copland, Saul Swanson, Leighton Flaws, Joel Bradley, Richard Arthur & Liam Flaws. Front row: Piotr Drozdowski, Grant Wood, Magnus Thompson, Stuart Farmer, Lewis Harkness & Greg Tulloch. Missing from the photo: David Murray & James Aitken.