West in final again

West Side 1 Aths 0

Jock Stein Cup Semi Final

Any more cup final appearances and West Side will have to put Goathill Road down as their new address. This will be their fourth final appearance in two seasons after they edged out a depleted Aths side at Barvas.

To be fair the best thing about this match was the pitch as it stood up to the constant downpour that has put paid to every other fixture for the last week or so. It was immaculate at the beginning and was so good at the end that the Lewis and Harris Match Secretary should considering playing all the postponed matches one after the other over here in Barvas.

There were a couple of team changes. West went for youth as John Campbell replaced the missing Dan Macphail whereas Aths opted for experience with the evergreen Keith Bray, still fresh despite his London marathon, stepping in for Scott Maciver.

Aths best chance fell to young Daniel Macleod. He was clean through on goal and hit a delicate shot past Macphee in the West goal which struck the left hand post. The ball rebounded to Robert Jones who immediately fed Macleod again but this time his shot was palmed back to him as Macphee saved. Macleod’s header looked goal-bound but Macphee leapt high to brilliantly flick the ball over the bar.

Aths then lost Robert Jones after he failed to recover after coming off second best in a challenge with West keeper Macphee.

The game needed a goal and from their first real chance West Side scored when DJ Clinton found space to make a great diagonal run through on goal and collect a Colin George pass, round Macritchie in the Aths goal and pass the ball into the net. A crucial goal at a crucial time with only two minutes to half time.

The second half picked up as Aths went for the equaliser with Doug Maciver smacking the bar with a long range effort. At the other end West Side were looking to kill the game as Campbell, Graham and Macleod combined well and when the tall winger swung the ball into the box Graham pounced on Stevie Clinton’s headed clearance but his shot was deflected to safety.

With time running out Aths piled men forward for a free-kick but were caught out as the ball was cleared to DJ Clinton and he ran two-thirds of the pitch to put himself one on one with Macritchie. Once again he tried to round him but this time the keeper was ready although his save was in vain as time ran out on Aths and West Side progressed to the Jock Stein cup final.