Seventh Heaven for Nicolson under 15s

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The Under 15 Scottish Shield third round saw the Nicolson Institute boys pitched against Aberdeen lads, St Machar Academy.

Due to the harsh winter, this game, which was originally scheduled for the end of November, was finally played last Saturday morning at Smith Avenue, Stornoway.

Despite wet and windy conditions there was a healthy crowd present, and the weather proved to be no barrier to the Lewis boys, who had a clear physical advantage over the Aberdeen boys.

The home side’s centre midfield pairing of Calum MacKinnon and Finn Rush-Taylor were in fine form and they created chances for Jack Dunlop, Colin Maclean and Jason Guilmartin to utilise their pace and run at the St Machar defence.

The Nicolson pressure finally paid off after fifteen minutes when Dunlop latched onto a loose ball thirty yards out before racing past the last defender, rounding the keeper and firing a tremendous left foot shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

Within a few minutes Dunlop had doubled the home side’s lead and then achieved a hat-trick soon after when he headed home the goal of the game. A long Berton kick was picked up by his opposite number MacLennan, who rolled the ball out to right back Calum Vann who advanced up the line before playing a lovely pass down the wing to Calum Morrison who quickly played in Maclean who sent in a delightful cross to his strike partner Dunlop who nodded powerfully home to complete a wonderful goal.

St Machar came close to pulling a goal back in the most unlikely circumstances. Keeper Berton launched a massive kick that took one bounce and was dropping under the bar before being tipped over by Maclennan.

On the half hour it was 4-0 as Dunlop netted for an incredible fourth time.

With the strong wind behind them in the second half the Nicolson were confident of adding to their lead but many of the players had relaxed a bit too much leading to a lot of sloppy play.

This allowed St Machar back into the game and they were the better team for much of the half with Young and winger Connor Pirie to the fore, causing all sorts of problems for the Lewis lads.

On a few occasions the Aberdeen lads looked like getting the goal they deserved but were denied by some excellent saves from MacLennan and some fine defending by Vann.

Midway through the half, the Nicolson added a fifth goal against the run of play.

All of the Nicolson substitutes saw some action in the second half and it was one of them, Allan Farrell, who added a sixth goal following some more excellent build up play by MacLean and Dunlop. Once again, MacLean broke free down the right and another excellent cross found Dunlop free at the back post and his imaginative lob over the keeper allowed Farrell to head in from close range.

The scoring was completed in some style with five minutes remaining when Rush-Taylor received a pass twenty five yards out and his superb first touch allowed him to hit a half-volley that was still rising as it flew into the top corner.

Next up in the Scottish Shield will be some Fife opposition as they have a home tie against the winners of the Kircaldy High v Monifieth High tie.