Shetland Retain Laurenson Cup

Shetland have retained the Laurenson Cup after defeating Celtic 4-1 on penalties at the Gilbertson Park. The match ended in a 2-2 draw, with Shetland drawing level in the last minute of the match to take the tie to spot kicks.

Shetland* 2-2 Celtic

(Scorers: Greg Tulloch & Paul Molloy; Shane Jamieson & Ryan Grant)

20/05/2016

Gilbertson Park

Laurenson Cup

 

On a bright and breezy night at the Gilbertson Park, Shetland FC took on last season’s league champions Celtic in the annual Laurenson Cup clash. Despite both teams missing a couple of first team regulars, the starting elevens were strong and the sizeable crowd were anticipating an exciting match.

It was Celtic that opened the brighter with the energetic partnership of Connor Regan and Roy Wood in midfield looking dangerous and striker James Aitken looking to get in behind the Shetland back-line. However the dry conditions were proving difficult to negotiate and the final pass or touch was often getting caught up in the turf before any real opening was created.

The Shetland striking partnership of Paul Molloy and Greg Tulloch were causing problems of their own and Magnus Thompson and Calvin Leask were offering good width in attack. But Joel Bradley and Shane Jamieson stood strong in the heart of the Celtic defence and Shetland could only fashion a couple of shots from range.

With around 10 minutes on the clock, Celtic opened the scoring through Jamieson. Aitken nipped in to steal the ball on the edge of the box before being up-ended and Jamieson smashed the ball home from the resulting free-kick.

And five minutes later, the lead was doubled after Ryan Grant’s corner evaded Grant Wood in the Shetland goal and the linesman judged the ball had crossed the line.

Despite going 2 goals behind, Shetland began to get a foothold in the game and Leighton Flaws was beginning to find more space in the middle of the park. Full backs Piotr Drozdowski and Josie Kay were also becoming more effective and providing accurate balls into the front two.

Midway through the first half, Shetland were rewarded for their dominance. Paul Molloy stole the ball, jinked down the right hand side and fed fellow-striker Greg Tulloch, who powered his header into the top corner.

Few further chances were created in the first half and the teams headed into the changing rooms for a well-deserved rest.

The second half begun in similar fashion to the end of the first with Shetland having all the possession and looking to grab the equaliser. Celtic were well and truly pegged back and could only fashion long balls forward to the isolated Aitken in attack.

Shetland brought on Sam Ward and Richard Sinclair in place of Tulloch and Thompson and the fresh legs were proving difficult to defend. But the Celtic defence stood strong and Paul Grant in the Celtic goal remained relatively untested.

Celtic substitute Ally Graham had the chance to seal victory for the hoops however Aitken’s cut-back to the well-travelled midfielder unfortunately bobbled up on the turf. At the other end, a deflected Calvin Leask shot skimmed over the bar.

With just seconds left on the clock, Celtic’s admiral resistance was finally broken. Sinclair and Molloy combined well and the latter was able to poke the ball home after his first shot was saved.

The match finished 2-2 and penalties were required to decide the winner of the cup. Shetland’s four penalties were confidently dispatched while Celtic saw two of theirs saved, meaning it was the boys in blue who lifted the cup. Captain Leighton Flaws accepted the trophy from Martin Laurenson and thanked all involved.

The match was played in good spirits and provided a good competitive run out for the county squad who have suffered numerous cancellations in recent months.