Shetland v Lewis and Harris – Match Report

Shetland 1 v 2 Lewis & Harris

Shetland lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Iain Devonald coming in between the sticks in the absence of Erik Peterson. Back 4 of Calvin Leask coming in at right back, Joel Bradley & Shane Jamieson at centre half and Josie Kay at left back. Captain Leighton Flaws and young James farmer anchored the midfield with Connor Regan on the left and Sam Ward on the right, Jordan Webb started behind veteran lone striker, James Johnston. Grant Wood, Scott Henderson, Greg Tulloch, Robert Smith and Charlie Unsworth made up a youthful looking bench for Shetland.

Shetland had the better of the opening exchanges, but failed to trouble the opposing goalkeeper. Lewis&Harris eventually woke up and 10 minutes in were awarded a corner after goalkeeper Iain Devonald saved low to his right. The corner came to nothing and Shetland cleared there lines. Captain Leighton Flaws was driving his team on from midfield and this pressure paid off as he was on the end of a through ball and was fouled in the box, referee did not hesitate in pointing to the spot and Flaws calmly dispatched the penalty as Shetland started to control the game 1-0 20 minutes

Jordan Webb was finding a bit of room in a packed midfield and was supporting lone striker Johnston well playing some nice passes to the wide men, Regan down the left was finding himself against 2 opposing players on every attack

Lewis & Harris began to control midfield possession and string a few passes together, going long at times but Shetlands centre halfs Bradley and Jamieson were sticking to the task against a couple of tricky strikers and keeping the attacks to a minimum. 35mins in and Lewis & Harris were still plugging away looking for an equalizer and started going route 1, the ball went long and Shetland failed to clear there lines, and ball broke at the edge of the box and the on rushing midfielder hit a great shot which flew past Devonald into the bottom corner to make it 1-1.

The closing stages of the first half were very even with both sides battling hard in all areas of the pitch, Leask in an unfamiliar right back role under a lot of pressure as Lewis & Harris attacked down the left at any opportunity. This left a gap at left back which Ward exploited and gave Lewis & Harris cause for concern. The first half came to a close with the scoreline remaining 1-1.

Shetland started the second half brightly with again Ward driving from the right feeding off the through balls by Flaws and Webb from midfield. Farmer and Flaws were now up against 3 in the middle as Lewis & Harris tried to squeeze the game and young Farmer was making some excellent tackles winning the ball back in midfield and feeding it to Flaws once more. With 65 minutes on the clock the game did begin to open up and both teams were battling very hard for the ball with no real success in attack. 75mins now gone and Lewis & Harris were now on top and piling on the pressure but credit to Shetlands defence and goalkeeper they were more than up to the task.

Sam Ward was still causing Lewis & Harris problems at any opportunity and there left back had to be on his toes. James Johnston began to come deep and get on the ball but was constantly under pressure from a well marshaled defence. 90 mins came and gone and we were heading for penalties, Flaws, Farmer and Webb were now running into the ground to close down the opposition and create attacks to get the winner but this left gaps in midfield and Lewis & Harris pounced on this putting men forward to also try get the winner. They then won a corner, Shetland failed to clear there lines and the ball was smashed into an empty net much to Lewis & Harris’ delight. The match came to a close as Lewis & Harris progressed to the next round.

 The whole Shetland team should be proud of there performance despite the result, with such a young squad which should look to develop in future matches, its exciting times for Shetland football with the Island Games just around the corner, it is a big winter for the team.  The boys now have to look forward to their next match against Golspie.