Carloway tighten grip on top spot

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Carloway surely banished their unwanted tag of bottlers this week as the league leaders turned reigning champs Stornoway Athletic over 3-0 at Goathill to take another hard stride towards a first ever league flag.

The Blues have led the way before in recent years, and famously lost in 13-successive cup finals, as they suffered through a 55-year senior trophy drought, which earned them the tag of nearly-men.

But that was ended in style as Carloway have stormed to FOUR straight cup triumphs and in the league this season they have dropped only two points all season long.

There is still work to do of course but they laid down a marker with a convincing win over an Aths side who couldn’t live with the energy, power and direct running of their guests.

Murdo ‘Squegg’ Macleod rocketed an unstoppable shot from the most uninviting of angles across goal and right in the opposite top corner to give Carloway an early lead.

Scott Maciver wasted a free header for Aths who also saw Rob Jones blaze over the bar from 12-yards after DJ Clinton had scrapped and clawed to win the ball and knock his team mate in on goal.

They proved to be costly misses as Fraser Macleod, as he so often has in 2013, was afforded the freedom of the opposition penalty area to knock a loose ball, which had been palmed into the box by Aths keeper Colin Macritchie, into the net.

Fraser was left completely unmarked and unchecked to pick up his 44th Carloway goal of the season.

Aths almost pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time as Maciver arched his body for a stunning overhead kick effort which beat everyone who could only watch on as the ball flew inches over the crossbar.

The second-half continued with Aths enjoying good spells of possession but it was the visitors who netted again when an uncharacteristic mistake from Macritchie gifted Carloway their third.

‘Squegg’ ambled up the right wing and picked out the arriving Kevin ‘Gochan’ Macleod at the back post with a whipped cross which Macleod rose to head goalwards.

It should have been bread and butter for the keeper at his near post but the ball squirmed through his gloves and nestled in the net.

The latter stages of the match could have seen Carloway add to their score with ‘Squegg’ hitting the crossbar and Fraser Macleod missing a hat-trick of decent openings.

League

Aths 0

Carloway 3