Six-sational stuff from Nicolson senior boys
Next stop on the North of Scotland train is a home tie against Inverurie and had they watched this quarter-final clash - well their scout would have run out of ink, waxing lyrical about the swashbuckling and swaggering football the Niccy lads produced to dump Dingwall out on their ear.
It is to their enromous credit that despite storming into a two-goal half-time lead they didn’t take their eye off the prize and they kept the pace and the nergy at maximum levels until the final blow of the referee’s whistle.
Things started well for the Stornoway schoolboys as they opened up a gap with a pair of first-half goals but it wasn’t just going forward where they impressed as crucially they remained watertight in defence and refused to take their foot off the gas and settle for their two-goal lead.
All 11 Nicolson lads on the park kept their momentum and their heads to run out 6-0 winners and book their place in the North of Scotland Cup semi-final.
All the players with the yellow shirt of the Niccy on their backs was a hero on a superb Friday morning’s work but hero of the day was undoubetldy Euan Anderson who scored a hat-trick to all but gun down Dingwall single handed.
His first goal came from close range as he adopted Romelu Lukaku’s tendency to follow in shots from distance incase of a spill from the keeper.
And much like the Man United man who benefitted from Buffon’s spill in the Champions League, Anderson was in the right place at the right time to reap the rewards of his gamble as he turned in Steven Mutch’s shot which the Dingwall keeper couldn’t hold onto.
It was soon 2-0 as Connor and Ruaraidh Maclennan linked up on the right flank before the ball was fizzed in to Anderson at pace. The Niccy forward cushioned the ball with his instep before swivelling and driving a low strike through from 16 yards.
At the other end Josh Smith was too strong, too fast and too good for their strikers to get much change out of him but Dingwall could have had a lifeline as the Nicolson keeper Daniel Macdonald used up two of his nine lives in quick succession.
He got away with trying to be too clever with the ball at his feet under pressure from a Dingwall attacker as his attempted dribble was blocked but the ball rolled out of play.
Then minutes later Dingwall had a penalty appeal when the keeper looked to have dfouled a Dingwall man.
The referee is a former island goalkeeper so being part of the keeper club he gave Macdonald the benefit of the doubt.
Mutch should have added a third before the break after excellent build upplay between Sam Mackay and Calum Maclennan but Mutch mishit his effort which bounced into the keepers gloves.
After the break the Nicolson did net their third goal after a mazy, slaloming run from Mikey Jones produced a cut back from the touchline into the path of the recently arriving Joel Martin who thrashed the ball in with his first touch after joining the action at half-time.
Anderson then completed his hat-trick to make it 4-0 and put any lingering Dingwall hopes to bed.
There was still time for Mikey Jones and Josh Smith to add another coat of gloss to an impressive and emphatic victory.
Next up for the young Niccy Lions are Inverurie who will visit Stornoway with a place in the final up for grabs.