The future of football in Lewis and Harris looks to be in safe boots after our under-13 and under-15 development squads enjoyed two hugely convincing wins over our Orkney counterparts.
Travelling across the country for a pair of matches at the Highland Football Academy our under-13s won 5-2 with our under-15s winning 8-2.
U15s: Luke Mackay fired the 15s into an early lead which was cancelled out by a long range drive by Orkney.
A tight first-half followed before our juniors regained the lead when a Duncan Shirkie cross evaded both defenders and the keeper before Joel Martin met it at the back post and bundled it into the net.
It was 3-1 before long when Luke received the ball on the edge of the box with his back to the goal before turning past two defenders and buring his shot.
Manager Chris Martin decided a change was in order and Liam Geddes replaced Sean, who had earlier picked up a hand injury, on the hour mark. 10 minutes later and Duncan Shirkie was also replaced by Ben macMillan. Luke’s hat-trick and the team’s fourth came shortly afterwards.
Orkney to their credit had not given up and a quick through ball from defence cut out mid-field and saw the Lewis defence left exposed A fine strike from the forward in mid stride from the edge of the box nestled in the far corner of the net making it 4 – 2.
The team cemented their win in the last minute with Luke getting his fourth of the game with Luke driving the ball low into the net.
Under 15s: R Montgomery, J. Crichton, S. Morrison, L. Brett, J. Mackinnon, S. Riddell, K Munro, E. Macdonald, D Shirkie, J Martin, L. Mackay. Substitutes: L. Geddes (for S. Riddell), B. MacMillan (for D. Shirkie)
Under 13s: Orkney took a lead inside 30-seconds to set the LHDS lads behind but they were level within a minute. Some neat play from midfield lead to the ball breaking to Matthew Wright at the edge of the box who drilled the ball into the bottom corner.
It was soon 2-1 to LHDS after a neat finish from Euan Anderson from inside the box.
LHDS were now dominating the game with some good possession and neat passing in midfield.
The defence of Sam Mackay, Calum Maclennan, Sean Macmillan and Joseph Stewart were now looking solid with Orkney finding it difficult to make chances in the final third.
Matthew looked comfortable in an unaccustomed central midfield role, showing a good variety of passing and the fourth goal duly came after some good work and a fine finish from Euan.
Orkney were becoming frustrated and their tackling was becoming increasingly robust.
This didn’t knock LHDS out of their stride though, with Mickey Jones and Adam Mackinnon looking dangerous every time they got on the ball.
On 10 minutes the two new introductions to the squad – Luke Morrison and Liam Mackay - were brought on for Scott Macleod and Euan Anderson and they soon made an impact, combining to make the score 4-1, with Luke slotting the ball into the path of Liam inside the Orkney box, who coolly finished for his first goal in the LHDS colours.
Not long into the second half when a high ball deep into the box from an Orkney free kick caused hesitation in defence, the ball broke to an Orkney player and he drove it into the goal from close range for 4-2.
LHDS continuing to be in the ascendancy and they soon made it 5-2 with a crisp finish from Stevie Mutch.
LHDS continued to press and make chances with Adam scoring on 65 minutes.
Orkney were spent as an attacking force and the LHDS full backs were increasingly getting forward in the second half, with some fine deliveries from the left.
Following some good work form Calum, LHDS made it 7-2 on 78 minutes with a neat finish from Euan at the back post. The best goal of the game came in the closing minutes, after a fine passing move down the right flank, the ball was played in to Euan who squared it to Adam, who struck a curling first time shot into the bottom corner.
Mikey Jones was replaced by Luke Morrison and Matthew Wright came off for Liam Mackay before the final whistle blew.
U13s: T. Morrison, C. Maclennan, J. Stewart, S. Macmillan, S. Mackay, A. Mackinnon, M. Wright, M. Jones, S. Macleod, E. Anderson, S. Mutch. Substitutes: L. Morrison, L. Mackay
The Lewis and Harris U13 Development Squad (pictured above).