Nicolson Institute U16s 3
Banff Academy U16s 1
Schools Scottish Cup
A second-half goal and assist from jet-heeled wide-boy Ross Allison sent Banff Academy back across the Minch empty handed as the Nicolson Institute continued their pursuit of the prestigious Schools Scottish Cup, writes Eric Mackinnon.
Allison bent a beauty across goal and into the top corner to add to Ruaraidh Mackay’s first-half opener before Allison finally quashed Banff’s late hopes of a comeback with the killer pass for team mate Jamie Sullivan’s goal in time added on.
When the final goal rippled in the back of the net the cheers were as much for relief as for joy after a rocky climax to a cup tie they had bossed for the most part before teetering on the ropes for the final stages especially after Banff halved the homester’s advantage.
The Nicolson burst out of the traps and could have taken the lead inside two minutes when the Banff keeper charged off his line and served only to boot his clearance to the feet of a Niccy star 30-yards out but with the goal gaping the chance was curled off target.
But minutes later the keeper was at it again as he won the ball in a foot race with the Niccy frontline but once again he failed to get enough purchase on his clearance which bounced to Mackay who expertly smacked it into the net from 25-yards.
After the break and the Stornoway schoolboys showed how quickly they can turn defence into attack when keeper James Macleod measured a kickout perfectly for Allison who flicked the ball round the corner for team mate Alasdair ‘Wally’ Maciver who burst clear but couldn’t beat the keeper with his early shot.
The Nicolson didn’t have to wait long to celebrate a goal though as the same two outfield players combined again, this time with ‘Wally’ setting up Allison with a clever spin and threaded pass on the half-way line.
Allison sprinted into the inside left channel, opened his body up and bent the ball across goal and into the opposite top corner to make it 2-0.
However just 60-seconds later and Banff were back in it when they scored a screamer from distance of their own which flew over James Macleod and right into the top corner.
The goal gave the Banff boys a huge lift and but for the acrobatics of Macleod in goal for the Nicolson then they would have drawn level. Banff cranked up the heat and while the Nicolson defence stood firm they remained deadly on the break, as they proved in time added on when Sullivan wriggled clear to seal the tie for the hosts.