Red Hot Rudhachs show the Way
Carloway 1 – 4 Point
(Highland Amateur Cup Rd 1) 8/5/15
Point advanced to the second round of the Highland Amateur with a convincing win over last year’s finalists. To be fair to the Way they were missing several regulars and even during the game lost another 2 or 3 players to injury. The Reds on the other hand have a near fully fit squad and appear to be in good shape for the challenging weeks ahead. Chairman Malcolm Flower was so happy with the performance he reckoned it was the best we’d played in a few years! We’ll certainly need to be at our best in the second round as we have a difficult away tie to last years Lewis and Harris league champions, Westside.
The first chance fell to Carloway’s Lee Johnson who shot wide after a decent counter attack. The Reds began to take control thereafter and Sam had a shot from a tight angle saved by Craigie before Wally whacked one narrowly over the bar. Elliot was next to try his luck but his left footer was held by Craigie. After 13 mins Stu Munro was first to a through ball and poked the ball past the Way keeper but a covering defender was back and cleared to safety. Point continued to press and Alex Lamb had a shot blocked following a corner after 16 mins. Surely the pressure was going to tell. At this stage Domhnall Mackay was seemingly single footedly keeping the Rudhachs at bay, he really is a cracking defender. Time after time the Carloway sweeper blocked, intercepted or tackled the Red strikers as they swarmed forward.
Finally after 26 mins a corner was floated in by Wally and Alex Lamb got his head to it first. The ball looped up and over the man on the post, finding the top corner perfectly. It was Alex’s first goal since his big money move from Wick Academy in the Highland league. Well, when Point come calling there’s only really one option! Carloway 0 v 1 Point.
Mindful of the last time we were over in Carloway, the shout was to keep it tight at the back for the next 5 mins, which we did. It was the next 5 mins that was the problem. After 35 mins the Reds, who were still in charge, won a corner. The ball was cleared and Josh Harris, on for the injured Johnson, played it to Dokus. Dokus played it to Jack Buchanan who cut inside from the left past Stephen Campbell and buried it through the legs of Wrighty. It was a good counter attack and goal from the Way but Coach Mackay was apoplectic on the side, spotting 4 different times the goal should have been stopped. Raaagggggiiinnnggggg! Carloway 1v 1 Point.
Unfortunately for Carloway they lost the inspirational Buchanan to an ankle injury a few minutes later, the Blues’ squad was being tested to the max. Ali Gillies was next to threaten with a free header but he headed wide. In 45 minutes full back Stephen Kettings went on a Dani Alves style run through the heart of the Carloway defence. Domhnall Mackay for once didn’t read the play and took Kettings out, right on the edge of the box, as he was poised to go all the way. The Rudhachs bayed for red but ref Maclean thought the covering defenders would get back….. maybe. Yellow card. So as the clock went to 46 mins the Rudhachs had one more chance. Up stepped Wally and curled a beauty over the wall and beyond Craigie into the top corner. Yessss. Carloway 1 v 2 Point.
The message was to keep the intensity high and go for a killer third goal as soon as possible, giving Coaches Macaulay and Mackay a relatively stress free evening (wishful thinking). We also told the boys to avoid giving away cheap free kicks as Carloway have some good headers of the ball.
I went round to the Carloway cubby hole shop to fill the water bottles and had a nice chat with the lady in there. I ordered 2 cups of tea and 2 Caramel Wafers and got to work bottle filling. The lady told me it sometimes gets cold in there but she said it’s fine really. I can imagine it being tough going in midgy season. Anyway I had the bottle carrier and 2 cups of tea to carry, wafers were in pocket, hmmmm. Wait a minute, there was a space in the bottle carrier as someone had taken a bottle with them! I delicately put one of the teas in there and I was good to go. Coach Mackay was delighted to see my purchases and after we eventually managed to extricate the cup from the carrier (not easy), we were ready for the second half.
Wally went on an incredible run along the left touchline before doing a 90 degree turn and running along the byeline. He must have beaten 3 players but eventually he was almost too close to the goal and his cross shot went past everyone . The boy’s got skills. The Reds continued to press and Stu Munro did well to battle past a Tiger (Cameron) before his low shot was blocked by Craigie’s legs. After 63 mins Wally did his touchline byeline trick again and this time it was blocked away for a corner. The Reds just couldn’t get that 3rd goal and as the mins ticked by the feeling was that Carloway would get a chance.
After 73 mins it almost happened and it wasn’t even a chance. A bouncing ball fell to Murdo Squegg, 30 yards out, closer to the right touchline than the box. He hit a volley with the outside of his right foot that started 2 yards outside Wrighty’s right hand post and began to fade. All Wrighty could do was watch as it swerved and cannoned off the junction to safety. What a strike! It was a warning to the Reds that it just takes one moment to change the whole game. Ali G headed over again as Point tried to finish the game off. Stu Munro and Sam then showed great persistence in the box but were eventually crowded out for a corner.
Carloway started throwing bodies forward as the clock ticked on, Calum Tom was now playing centre forward. Despite forcing a couple of free kicks the Red defence and midfield have some good height and were able to win the headers when it mattered. As it turned out it was the Reds who eventually scored from a free kick. In injury time Wally got taken down on the right wing by Tiger who was booked. Alexander, on for Sam, took the kick left footed and found Ruddall at the back stick who powered his header past a helpless Craigie and into the net. You beauty. Carloway 1 v 3 Point.
2 mins later and with Carloway throwing caution to the wind, Alexander got away down the left. Wally was free in the middle and screamed for the ball but Alexander delayed. Tiger blocked the cross but the ball spun favourably for Alex who hammered it high into the net for 4-1! Coaches Mackay and Macaulay got to relax for the last minute before the full time whistle was blown.
Point man of the match: Wally Maciver: He had a great game in amongst a fantastic team performance. The defence was solid with good distribution, the midfield showed good energy and linked play well and the forwards always looked dangerous.
Moment of the match: Murdo Squegg’s outrageous volley could have changed the game. Also, Paul Foster ran the line for us which meant me and Macca were able to enjoy the game . Thanks Paul.
Moan of the match: Not much to moan about but that’s the 3rd time over in Carloway this year, and its only May. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Callanish stones, The Broch, Garenin Blackhouses, Whale Bone arch, Pentland rd etc but the boys will be claiming expenses soon!