David Macmillan returned to the Lochs squad this week following a month’s sabbatical to see his side continue their excellent return to form and knock Jock Stein Cup holders Carloway out on their ear.
Lochs edged the ‘Way 3-1 at the Creagan dubh and they will now face4 Point in the next round.
The Lochs player manager praised his team, and assistant Donald ‘Nomie’ Macdonald, for their recent run of results and clean sheets while admitting the club are reaping the rewards of a deep playing squad.
“I’ve got the kind of headache that managers always want to have and that is who to pick as all the players are doing so well,” said Macmillan.
“It was a good performance again tonight from the boys and it helps having a bigger squad than recent years. At the moment most of us are fit too which helps and I’m really pleased with how the guys have been doing.”
Carloway took the lead at the Creagan Dubh when Kenny ‘Dokus’ Macdonald was afforded the freedom of the Lochs penalty area to glance a Dan Crossley cross into the far corner.
It was the first goal Lochs had shipped following back to back clean sheets but the Maroons quickly regained a foothold in the match.
Johnny Smith went close, as did Don ‘Lava’ Macleod with a side footer which was blocked by the outstretched boot of keeper David Beaton.
Lochs couldn’t be denied for long though as Carloway failed to clear their lines at a corner kick which was whipped across the face of goal for the second time and skipper Peter Mackenzie climbed highest amongst a pack of blue Carloway shirts to force the ball over the line with his chest.
Kevin ‘Barra’ MacNeil could have restored Carloway’s advantage following a pass inside the full-back from Billy Anderson but the former dragged his shot across goal.
Chances were coming thick and fast now and it was Lochs who were making the most of them.
Macmillan directed a diving header straight at Beaton moments before Lochs did net again.
The scorer was Don ‘Lava’ who scored with a trademark close range header following a ball in from Chris Mackay.
The second-half saw Lochs tighten their grip on the match with Calum Tom Moody, Lava and Chris Mackay all wasting decent sniffs of goal.
At the other end Billy Anderson blasted the ball past Cammy Houston but an offside flag dashed any hopes of a leveller.
The hosts finally wrapped up the tie and sealed a second round bout against Point when Lava sprinted clear unchecked from the half-way line before showing great confidence and technique to loft the ball over Beaton from 22-yards.
Carloway boss Graeme Miller commented: “I thought we started fairly well and had a good first 25. We scored a very good goal but unfortunately we ran out of steam.
“Lochs upped the tempo and led by half-time. The second-half I can’t fault the efforts and commitment of the players. We had three or four who would have ordinarily gone off with injuries and knocks but they kept going till the end.”