JOCK STEIN CUP SEMI-FINALS
Despite being undefeated in the League, the West continued their poor form in the cups since they lifted the Acres Boys’ Club Cup in early May with defeat at Goathill Park.
The home side, Athletic, were in scintillating form from the start and pushed the visitors back, and in 11 minutes Nic Davis headed home after Scott Maciver had headed past him.
The West goalmouth was the scene of frantic clearances, then Ali ‘Barvas’ Macleod rose at the other end, but Ali ‘Koch’ Morrison was on the line to chest clear.
This inspired West, who were wearing their away kit, and in 24 minutes, they equalised through Innes Iain Morrison, who finished off a fine break after an interception at half way with a cool low finish wide of Colin Macritchie’s left hand to the far post.
The black and white hoops fought back to retake the lead when Paul Afrin crossed to the far post, and Nic Davis rose to power home a header past Connor Macdonald in 36 minutes.
Aths increased their lead to 3-1 when Robert Jones beat the offside trap and slid the ball home.
West Side came out of their dressing room in a much more determined mood, and were the best team in the second period and hemmed the Aths back to make frantic stops and clearances.
When Ali ‘Barvas’ Macleod thumped home a left wing cross with his head in 76 minutes, the adrenalin rose among West supporters while pulses were racing as the nerves took hold of the home fans.
Aths grabbed a vital fourth in 85 minutes when Donnie Macleod and Scott Maciver combined well to set up Robert Jones at speed, and he rounded the keeper to finish well.
In the other Monday night semi, Lochs ran away with the tie from a Ness team who have been very competitive this season.
The puff was knocked out of the visitors after only 90 seconds, when player-manager Dave Macmillan placed a free-kick into the top corner.
Angie Campbell found the top corner from edge of the box to make it 2-0, and Peter Mackenzie beat Donald ‘Sweeney’ Macsween at his near post for the third.
The bad start Ness had suffered was not helped when Titch was taken to hospital with a nasty head wound and suspected concussion.
The maroon assault on the green goal continued, with Robert Mackenzie smacking a goal in off the post and Ali Morrison scored an own goal at a corner to make it 5-0.
The Ness management shook their heads as the plot was lost as Johnny Wallace was sent off then for saying something to the Referee.
In the second half, ten man Ness side did not find Lochs willing to ease off, and Jim O’Donnell found the bottom corner from edge of box.
Angie Campbell scored his second and the seventh for Lochs with a free-kick, which struck someone in the defensive wall and went in opposite corner.
Peter Mackenzie made it eight and Robert Mackenzie also got his double again with a well struck shot just inside the post.
Ness gained late consolation with a Scott Macrury penalty, netted with the last kick of the game
Both sides were somewhat under strength for this one, with West scoring in 10 minutes through Innes Iain Morrison. The young striker’s nippy turn of speed and clinical finishing paid dividends once again in 50 minutes – and it had all been too easy for the Siarachs.
Ness played much better thereafter and pulled one back through Scott Macrury with a spot kick.
Calum Vann of Ness managed to get himself sent off in injury time as Ness went out and West Side progressed to the semi-finals.
Gordon Greenhowe’s boys found it difficult to contain a rampant Carloway, who marched into a three goal lead through Dan Crossley in seven minutes, Jack Buchanan, 10 and Archie Macdonald in 19.
The Hearrachs steadied the boat, but in the second half, Kenny ‘Docus’ Macdonald helped himself to a brace in 50 and 67 minutes.
Gordon ‘Tago’ Macdonald also chipped in with a double in 73 and 86 minutes, either side of substitute Josh Harris scoring in 78 minutes.
Since losing to Aths in the Co-op Cup in mid May, Lochs have been the form side, going unbeaten since then.
It is no wonder that midfielder Andy Murray was named the Sportsworld Player of the Month for June, as his return from a very serious injury has shown that he can still reveal tricks and a composure that few possess.
In a hard fought battle, the maroons won it in the end when the tall Angie Campbell grabbed the winner in 86 minutes to keep Lochs in the hunt for the honours in the championship.
The Niseachs got off to a great start at Fivepenny when Craig Harris scored neatly in five minutes after Jonny Wallace sent him through on goal.
The West were unable to reply until 47 minutes , when Ali ‘Barvas’ Macleod headed home a Martainn Shields cross.
The roles reversed in 67 minutes when it was Shields turn to convert the cross with a side foot shot, and West made it 3-1 in 84 minutes with Innes Iain Morrison eventually beating Macsween in goals.
Andrew ‘Bubble’ Macleod a tense finish when he reduced the margin in a scramble at a corner.
With only one win all season, Grant Hunter’s team picked up another three points at Goathill on Friday.
A Kevin Flower free-kick fired United ahead, but a super Murray Macleod strike levelled matters at the interval.
United won a penalty, taken by Hamish Macdonald, but it needed defender Daniel Rawcliffe to plant the rebound past Andy ‘Gress’ Macleod.
Back responded by equalising again through Gordon Maciver, but United took the laurels through Ally Maclean’s 85th minute goal. David Maclean of Back was sent off late on in the game.
HIGHLAND AMATEUR CUP SEMI-FINAL
As we go to press, it has been announced that the fixture between Carloway and Iochdar Saints will be played this Saturday at Goathill Park, Stornoway, with a 1.30pm kick-off. This is only the second semi-final in this competition to be played on the island after Athletic v Portree was played at Smith Avenue in 2002. The final was, of course, played at Goathill Park the following year when Lochs beat Athletic 3-2 in the only all-Lewis final to date. With Carloway and the Saints drawn together, it ensures that one Western Isles team will be represented in this year’s final.
Friday 11 July
Point v Ness
Monday 14 July
Eilean an Fhraoich Cup
Semi-Finals 1st Leag
Carloway v Ness
Point or Lochs v West Side
Wednesday 16 July