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Match Reports 2012
Game 27 3.9.12 League
Lochs 2 v 0 Back(H.T. 1-0)
Scorers; Jim O’Donnell(2)
Ali Mackenzie, Graeme Mackenzie, Chris Mackay.
Johnny Smith, David Macmillan, Angie Campbell, Nomie, Peter Mackenzie.
Lava, Jim O’Donnell.
Allan Farrell not used
Pulsating Finish to League Season
If you like your entertainment undiluted Sgoil nan Lochs was the place to be tonight. Victory for Back would have given them the League, anything less meant the advantage was with Aths who would need to win their last two games v Harris and United. Teams and fans assembled for a kick off that the weather placed in doubt due to rain and a driving gale. However, referee George Macaskill deemed it suitable for play and battle commenced. Lochs had the benefit of the wind in the first period and only managed a one goal advantage through a Jim O’Donnell finish from a Lava header across goal following a Peter Mackenzie cross. That was the highlight of the first half, but right behind it was a spectacular drive by Graeme Mackenzie which beat Tohan and hit the bar, it then bounced down onto the ground hit the keeper and went out for a corner. Lochs had the better of the half but would have liked a bigger advantage as they prepared to face the wind in the second half.
The second half saw Lochs still dominant. They kept the ball better than Back, looked more dangerous on the break and their defence looked more secure. Jonathan Smith hit the bar to complete a fine flowing move, crosses into the Back penalty box caused a great deal of trouble for the Back defence and David Macmillan and Nomie ran the centre of midfield. The defence was solid and when called into action Cameron Houston cur out a number of dangerous crosses and made a fine save from Murdo Gress when he was through on goal. To cap an excellent Lochs performance Jim O’Donnell made it 2-0 when he picked up the ball inside his own half, beat David Ox for pace and coolly slid the ball past Tohan to secure the points.
Well done Lochies a great finish to the season. Few tipped you to finish in the top three at the beginning of the season.
Game 26 24.8.12 League
Point 0 v 4 Lochs
Scorers; Lava(2), Jim O’Donnell, o.g.
Peter Mackenzie, Graeme Mackenzie, Chris Mackay.
David Martin, Jim O’Donnell, Nomie, Angie Campbell, Jonathan Smith.
Lava, Gordon Maciver.
Ali Macdonald for David Martin
Allan Farrell for Gordon Maciver
Game 25 20.8.12 Lewis Cup Rd 2
Carloway 4 v 1 Lochs
Lochs Team (3-5-2)
Ali Mackenzie, Graeme Mackenzie, David Martin.
Peter Mackenzie, Angie Campbell, Jim O’Donnell, Nomie, Jonathan Smith.
Lava, Gordon Maciver.
Gordon Craigie for Gordon Maciver
Allan Farrell for Gordon Craigie
Chris Mackay for Jonathan Smith
Red Cards; Graeme and Angie
Yellow Card; Ali
Game 24 13.8.12 League
Athletic 3 v 2 Lochs
Scorers; Jim O’Donnell, David Macmillan
Lochs Team (3-5-2)
Ali Mackenzie, Graeme Mackenzie, Peter Mackenzie.
Callum Masson, Nomie, David Macmillan, Angie Campbell, Jonathan Smith.
Lava, Jim O’Donnell.
David Martin for Callum Masson
Alan Farrell not used
Gordon Craigie not used
Gordon Maciver not used
Chris Mackay not used.
Football Can Be Such a Cruel Game!!
Our love of football can at times be sorely tested. Yet it is following games such as this one that you know you love your team because, to some extent, you feel the pain suffered by the players. It has taken me a full week before I could sit down and report on this match. I just could not believe what I had seen.
Lochs played reasonably well in the first half and probably deserved their 1-0 lead thanks to an excellent headed goal from Jim O’Donnell. At the beginning of the second half Aths took control of the midfield and were by far the stronger team. Lochs had to stand up and be counted against an Aths onslaught led by Scott Maciver. The Mackenzie brothers in defence took this as a signal to display their dogged determination and footballing abilities. Two tackles by Graeme were utterly outstanding. The second one blocked Scott Maciver as he was about to pull the trigger. Ali was also equally outstanding as he made a double tackle stopping Scott Maciver and Elliot Ruddle. In fighting to keep this one goal lead their defensive partner Peter Mackenzie was yellow carded for a challenge on the dangerous Scott Maciver.
Lochs then got more breathing space when David Macmillan took advantage of a rebound from a Peter Mackenzie drive to pounce on the ball and volley it into the net. Joy among the Lochies. A two goal lead against the strong Aths side.
Immediately after that goal Lochs lost a goal to young Elliot Ruddle who took advantage of a cross ball to head the ball home at the back post. At this point in the game there took place an incident that strangely seemed to change the course of the match. Lava and Titch, the Aths keeper, clashed with the goalkeeper coming off worse. He continued in goal for about 3-4 mins before having to hobble off the field of play. During this period Lochs had two attempts on goal but failed to hit the target with both. A shot on target would surely have led to a goal against a keeper who could barely move.
Scott Macaulay then equalised to set up a frantic finish to the game. With Lochs pushing forward they forced a corner. Time was running out as Nomie lifted the corner into the Aths box. A header from Jim O’Donnell was picked up by Scott Maciver on the edge of his own box. He ran about 60/70 metres before slipping the ball past Cameron Houston to win the match for Aths.
Lochs had fought hard in every League game to keep themselves in a title race nobody had expected them to be involved in. The last 20mins of this game had destroyed that challenge. The players had put so much into the game and come out of it with nothing.
Well, a week later I can say………….Lochs have done that to many teams over the last decade.
Game 23 6.8.12 League
Two Vital Points Dropped to West Side
Game 22 3.8.12 Cuach a’Cho-op
Cuach a’Cho-op Exit to Carloway at Cnoc a’ Choilich
The start of the second half brought another Andrew Tago goal this time coming off his shoulder as he rose at the back post to beat the Lochs defenders to the ball. A lovely cross ball to Dan Crossley saw him control it well but he failed to hit the target. Lochs made chances. David Macmillan played Gordon Craigie through but he was blocked, Gordon Maciver had a shot saved by Beaton in the Carloway goal and a David Macmillan free kick was saved by Beaton who touched it over the bar. Carloway were still very dangerous and Kevin Gochan shot wide when he could have scored. In the end Carloway deserved their win in what was a scrappy and poor match.
Game 21 25-8-12 Moldova Lewis Cup Rd 1
Lochs Team (3-5-2)
Game 20 18-7-12 League
Double Figures for Lochies as They Go 7 Points Clear at the Top of League
This result moves Lochs seven points clear at the top of the table.
Game 19 16-7-12 Eilean an Fhraoich Cup Rd1 2nd Leg
Lochs Dumped Out of Eilean an Fhraoich at Upper Coll
Back started the brighter and Cameron Houston produced a good save from Colin Maclean. Again Cameron was called into action when he cleared a dangerous cross ball to the back post. For Lochs Calum Mackinnon fired a free kick against the crossbar and Peter Mackenzie played a clever through ball into the Back defence but it was too strong for the forwards to get on to. However, it was Back who looked the more dangerous and Ross Hall headed them into the lead from a corner and Martin Maclean made it 2-0 minutes later. Lochs had chances through Calum Mackinnon, a Jonathan Smith shot that was well saved by Beaton in the Back goal and a Nomie header that was easily saved by the keeper.
Back struck two more times before the break to give them an unassailable 7-0 aggregate lead.
The second half did not produce any more goals. Lochs were well beaten on the night. They did have chances to score. A Callum Masson free kick was punched away for a corner and a Gordon Maciver penalty was saved by Beaton. Back had several chances but they were not clinical enough to add to their four goals. Back did enough to comfortably progress into the semi-finals and knock out Lochs.
Game 18 13.7.12 Eilean an Fhraoich Rd 1 1st Leg
Game 17 9.7.12 League
Five Second Half Goals Secure Vital Points for Lochies
The first opportunity of the game fell to Lava who from a tight angle just missed the target. Cameron Houston was soon called into action diving low to his right to block a drive. Jim O’Donnell then missed a chance when Lava flicked a Chris Mackay ball into his path. Lochs took the lead when Lava netted an Angie Campbell through ball. Ness were soon on the attack though and a Graeme Mackenzie challenge was adjudged to have been a penalty. Lee Johnson netted the spot kick to level the scores.
Into the second half and Lochs began to take the game to Ness. Lava missed a great chance when he hit the post from about 6yds and then a Nomie cross was nearly turned into the net at the back post by Lava. On 65 mins Callum Masson gave Lochs the lead when he ran across the edge of the penalty box before firing the ball past Sweeney into the net. David Macmillan made it 3-1 five minutes later when he tapped in the rebound after a shot from Nomie was saved. A good passage of Lochs play involving clever passing ended with Peter Mackenzie firing over the bar. Lochs then went 4-1 up when Sweeney was adjudged to have impeded Lava in the box giving away a penalty which Angie Campbell netted. Sweeney was sent off for his challenge. Further goals from Lava and Callum Masson completed the scoring ensuring that Lochs stay top of the League.
Game 16 4.7.12 League
Two First Half Goals Just Enough to Ensure Points
Lochs started brighter and Nomie fired in a shot which the Back keeper fumbled onto the post. Kevin Murray then played a clever chip over the Lochs defence but Houston came off his line to clear the danger. Nomie again created a chance by running along the Back bye line but his cut back was blocked by the Back defence. Back then had a period of good possession but Lochs were more dangerous. On 15 mins Lochs forced a corner and from that Jim O’Donnell headed the Maroons ahead.
Bloxy was proving to be Back’s best player at this stage but Ali Mackenzie was proving he still had him under control. A clever interchange of passes between Angie Campbell, Jim O’Donnell and Nomie led to Nomie’s shot being blocked. Calum Mackinnon then fired wide following a clever lay off from Nomie. Back were still dangerous and Fraser Macleod had a drive touched wide for a corner. On 25 mins David Macmillan doubled Lochs’ lead with one of the best goals of the season. After losing possession of the ball outside the Back penalty box David fought to regain possession, controlled the ball and cleverly bent the ball with his left foot round the Back defence and curled it into the net out of the keeper’s reach at his left hand post. A marvellous goal. Further chances came the way of Jim O’Donnell, Peter Mackenzie, and Angie Campbell but none were on target or added to the score. As half time approached Back created chances through Martin Maclean and Murdo Gress but both were wide of the target.
Lochs began the second period very well keeping possession and taking the game to Back. Five minutes into the half they had the ball in the net but after consulting with his linesman referee Robert Mackay chalked off the goal for offside. This seemed to galvanise Back into action. Chances came and went. First Kevin Murray then Fraser Macleod and finally Martin Maclean had chances from which Back should have scored but failed. At the other end Nomie could have scored after Ali Mackenzie put him through with a clever ball. On 68 mins Kevin Murray blasted the ball into the Lochs net from a Fraser Macleod cross to cut the lead to one goal.
Lochs then brought on Roddy Morrison for Callum Masson in the right wing back position. Martin Maclean then hit the bar when he caught Cameron Houston out with a clever shot come cross. With 12 mins left Lochs brought on Gordon Craigie for Angie Campbell with Jim O’Donnell coming back into midfield. Back still looked like equalising. Fraser Macleod, clean through on goal should have scored and Graeme cleared the ball of the line near the end of the game.
However, Lochs held on. They took the three points and moved back to the top of the League.
Game 15 2.7.12 League
Gordon Maciver Hits Double in Win Over United
Lochs started brightly and took the lead within five minutes when Gordon Maciver netted a Callum Masson cross ball. Lochs were making life difficult for the United rearguard by playing balls over the top of the defence or through the defensive line. From the best chance created by these through balls Jim O’Donnell drove a Nomie cross past the post. Lochs should have doubled their lead when they were awarded a penalty following a clumsy challenge by United defender Carty on Jim O’Donnell. However, Jack Maclennan in the United goal saved David Macmillan’s spot kick.
United did have their chances and Innes Smith hit the crossbar during a period of pressure on the Lochs goal. United were able to keep possession more as we approached half time but could not create more chances. Callum Masson had a shot saved by Maclennan in the United goal before Gordon Maciver fired home to make it 2-0 to the Lochies.
United began the second period well having brought on Liam Coleman and Craig Maclean at the break. Craig Maclean saw a scramble in the Lochs goalmouth following his corner from the right. On the break Nomie played a good ball through to Angie Campbell but Angie was forced off the ball before he could strike for goal. United were the better side at this point and looked the more likely to score. Cameron Houston made a good save from a free kick and later produced an excellent double save, the first a good block and the second a clearance with his foot. In between these saves Jim O’Donnell hit the post with an excellent shot. Then with 10mins left Angie Campbell secured the points when he fired the ball home following a goalmouth scramble.
Three good points and Lochs still in the title race.
Game 14 25.6.12 League
Craigie Lashes Home Winner AGAINST Carloway
Game 13 11.6.12 League
Scorers; Calum Mackinnon, Peter Mackenzie, Lava(2), David Macmillan, Jim O’Donnell
Don Lava Macleod scored his 400th career goal for Lochs in this match. This was his 8th of the season which keeps him in the top five goal scorers in L&H football. Congratulations to the big striker who has been the Lochs talisman for the last 15 seasons.
Game 12 9.6.12
Cuach a Cho-op
Lochs scorer; David Macmillan
Penalty Shoot Out Drama at Sgoil nan Loch
Early chances fell to Calum Mackinnon and David Macmillan but both were saved by the Eriskay keeper. Following a slip by Graeme Mackenzie Eriskay hit the bar and Lochs escaped. Lochs took an early lead when David Macmillan forced the ball over the line after his first attempt was well saved. Chances were being created at both ends. The best for Lochs fell to Gordon Maciver who shot wide and David Mac who saw a header from an excellent Nomie cross saved. Eriskay were playing well and their hard tackling midfielders and pacy strikers kept creating chances. They also passed well and were quite prepared to attack at every opportunity. As the first half progressed the game took an unusual turn. A strong niggle came into the game with dissent and petulant fouls leading to three Lochs players, Lava, Jim O’Donnell and Chris being booked. Tempers were frayed but fortunately the half time break came before anything more serious happened.
Lochs began the second half with some good possession. Calum Mackinnon saw a shot saved and David Mac took advantage of a Lava flick on but could not score. Despite Eriskay having more advantage from the wind Lochs kept good possession. Eriskay began then to pressurise Lochs more and to create more chances. From one of these they hit the post from a clever cut back. Gordon Craigie then replaced Jim O’Donnell. He had an opportunity to add to the lead but chipped the ball past the goal frame. Graeme and Peter both had surges into the Eriskay box but with no end result. Eriskay were very dangerous and pressed Lochs forcing mistakes and some panicky play in defence. In the 90th minute Eriskay got a deserved equaliser when a shot came back off the post and was tapped into the net. This was the final score and as with the format in this Cup the game went straight to penalties. Lochs eventually won 6-5 but only after 12 penalties each. The winning strike came from Peter Mackenzie after Houston had made an excellent save from Eriskay’s 12th effort.
Now a Q/F tie away to Carloway awaits the Maroons.
Late Scott Maciver Strike Sinks Lochs
The first quarter of the game was very open with chances at both ends. Lava headed over from a Nomie free kick and Scott Maciver at the other end saw a free kick save by Lochs keeper Houston. Houston was again called into action and saved well when Maciver tried to chip him near the edge of the box. Nomie was again the provider, playing in a midfield role, and again Lava missed the chance to put Lochs ahead. David Macmillan fired in a free kick which Murdo Maciver in the Aths goal saved well at his near post. Aths piled on some pressure before the break and won several corners. Just when Lochs seemed to have weathered the storm a mistake in defence allowed the ball to be crossed into the Lochs 6 yd box and Chris Adams was on hand to guide the ball over the line. 1-0 to Aths. It could have been two but for good goalkeeping by Houston who saved well again from Scott Maciver.
Lochs charged into action at the start of the second half and within a minute had equalised. David Macmillan made a clever run through the midfield, fed the ball out to Calum Mackinnon whose cross to the back post was met by Jim O’Donnell who forced it over the line. Chances fell then to Lava and Scott Maciver but none were taken. Lochs began to exert pressure and a good chance fell to Angie Campbell from a David Macmillan through ball but Maciver saved with his legs. Aths were very dangerous on the break with Maciver a constant threat.
Lochs’ period of dominance was in large part due to the excellent play of young Calum Mackinnon from the left side of midfield. He was picking up the ball and driving at the Aths defence or playing lovely balls through the Aths defence for other to move on to. His poise, control and vision are a joy to watch. Peter Mackenzie drove in a free kick which Maciver held. Strada and Magnus Johnson brought on Robert Jones for the tiring Adams and he was yet another thorn in the Lochs defence. His clever runs with the ball caused trouble for the Lochs defence. The final scoring of the night came when Lochs failed to clear a corner and Scott Maciver picked up the ball, drove at the Lochs defence and fired past Houston.
A draw might have been a fairer result but it was certainly an open entertaining game which either side could have won. For me young Calum Mackinnon played very well for Lochs and in the Aths defence Clinto and Scott Macaulay were excellent.
Game 9 26.5.12 2nd Rd HAC
Hard Won Point in Draw at Barvas
Lochs started brightly and David Macmillan took advantage of the fragility in the centre of the West defence and lobbed the goalie after 4 mins to give Lochs the lead. David burst through again minutes later but despite having options right and left he again chose to go on his own and was blocked. The same player then had a free kick saved by keeper McPhee. With Lochs pressing West played a long ball up to Scott Graham and in a race with Graeme Mackenzie he played the ball past the goal. West Side came more into the game and Houston in the Lochs goal saved a Dan Macphail header from an Ali Macleod cross. With the game opening out there were chances at both ends. David Macmillan couldn’t convert a Graeme Mackenzie cross, Lava just failed to make contact with a Nomie cross and West had a penalty claim that was not awarded and Scott Graham shot over the bar. Nomie, playing well in midfield, burst through the middle of the park but could not turn his good play into a finish. Just before the break Lava cleverly chipped the ball towards goal, taking advantage of the wind and the ball just failed to hit the target.
Into the second half and the first chance fell to Scott Graham whose shot was saved by Houston. He did not pass up the second chance though when he fired West level with a close rage drive following good play on the West Side right flank. It took Lochs a while to settle and the first chances came from a clever Gordon Maciver cross and an Angie Campbell header from a Nomie free kick. Gordon Craigie then had a shot saved by McPhee. Peter Mackenzie then replaced Craigie and went to left wing back with Calum Mackinnon moving into central midfield and Nomie into attack. West had most of the play from this point on and created several chances but could not find the target. There was some good defending by Lochs with Roddy Morrison making a brave block from a DJ Clinton shot that looked net bound. The Siarachs forced several corners but could not get a winner. In the end Lochs had the better of the first half, West Side the better of the second and honours even.
26.5.12 2nd Rd HAC
Lochs Team (3-5-2)
Game 8 21.5.12
Jock Stein Cup Rd 2
Lochs Team (3-5-2)
12-5-12 Rd 1 Highland Amateur Cup
Lochs 7 v 0 Benbecula (H.T. 4-0)
Scorers: Lava(2), Nomie(2), David Macmillan(2), Gordon Maciver.
Lochs Team (3-5-2)
Peter Mackenzie, Graeme Mackenzie, Peter “Robbie” Mackenzie.
Callum Masson, Jim O’Donnell, David Macmillan, Angie Campbell, Callum Mackinnon.
Chris Mackay not used
Gordon Maciver for Jim O’Donnell
Allan Farrell for Callum Masson
Lochs Strike Seven in Garrabost
The only change Roy Shirkie made from the League game on Monday night against Harris was to replace Ali Mackenzie with Calum Mackinnon. Peter Mackenzie moved to centre back and young Mackinnon played at left wing back. The game was moved to Garrabost as Sgoil nan Loch is still unavailable. Benbecula arrived with a team made up of several experienced players including Don Don’s, Hector McPhee and Ginge and a scattering of young players. This was yet another Highland Amateur Cup tie against Benbecula always a tough opposition.
Benbecula played with a strong breeze behind them in the first half but it was Lochs who opened the scoring. Calum Mackinnon made a strong run down the left wing which ended in a corner. After Nomie’s corner was returned out to him he had time to cross the ball again and on the end of it was Lava to make the score 1-0. Benbecula had a good deal of possession without creating any clear cut chances. Young Calum Mackinnon was having a great game down the left side for Lochs and he again drove at the Benbecula defence but this time the ball ran out before he could cross it. Nomie, through on his own, was foiled by a brilliant last gasp tackle. For Benbecula Hector Macphee drove a free kick past the post. Peter Mackenzie, Jim O’Donnell and Calum Mackinnon then had an excellent interchange of passes but Peter’s shot missed the target. An injury to one of the Benbecula players resulted in a delay of several minutes and after that delay David Macmillan headed Lochs into a 2-0 lead following clever play by Calum Mackinnon. Young Mackinnon then took on the Benbecula defence on his own but was blocked after a good drive through the centre of their defence. Lochs made it 3-0 when Nomie converted a penalty after Callum Masson was adjudged to have been fouled in the box. This goal was Nomie’s 100th for Lochs. Just before the half time break David Macmillan made it 4-0.
Into the second half and Lochs did not dominate as much as was anticipated with the wind at their backs. However, they made it 5-0 when Nomie wriggled his way through the defence, past the keeper, and tapped the ball into the net. Lava then made it 6-0 but to their credit Benbecula did not succumb to the Lochs barrage. They created some good chances but could not score. Graigie in the Lochs goal was forced into making two good blocks as gaps appeared in the Lochs defence. Lochs brought on Allan Farrell for Callum Masson and Gordon Maciver for Jim O’Donnell. Gordon went to left wing back and Calum Mackinnon moved into central midfield. With about 10 mins left Gordon maciver made it 7-0 when he forced the ball over the line during a goalmouth scramble. Near the end Benbecula brought on a very young and diminutive Martin McPhee. This could be one to look out for in the future.
At the end of the match Lochs manager Roy Shirkie presented Nomie with a commemorative plaque for scoring 100 career goals for Lochs.
Lochs now meet United in Round 2.
Game 6 7.5.12 League
Lochs Team (3.5.2)
Three Points at Rally Park keep Maroons Top of the League
Describing a game played at Rally Park can be a difficult thing. There is no midfield play to describe as the ball pings from end to end of the park. A simple mistake anywhere on the park can lead to a chance at either end. Tonight’s tussle was typical Rally Park football.
The first chance of the game fell to Peter Mackenzie when he headed a David Macmillan free kick past the post. In 5mins Harris took the lead when a mistake in the Lochs defence was pounced on by a Harris striker who rifled the ball past Craigie in the Lochs goal. In 10mins Jim O’Donnell equalised for Lochs with his 4th goal of the season when he chipped keeper Maclennan from just outside the penalty box. Lochs kept pressing and on 15mins Lava put Lochs ahead when he headed home after the Harris keeper failed to hold onto a David Macmillan free kick.
Passing had to be quick, accurate and short on the tight pitch which, adding to the difficulty of the surface was very hard and dry. Both sides found it difficult to keep possession and create chances. Callum Masson had a header from a Peter Mackenzie cross saved and he also drove a shot into the side netting from a Peter Mackenzie through ball. Nomie had two chances before the break but his shot went over the bar and his header past the post.
Callum Masson, making his first appearance of the season, was having a good game and scored a third for Lochs from a clever Nomie cut back. Lochs seemed comfortable at this stage but could not add to their goal tally. Several chances were missed by the Maroons and with about 20 mins left Harris scored again from a free kick. Chances came and went at both ends but there was no more scoring and so Lochs took the three points to stay at the top of the League.
Gordon Craigie has signed from Carloway to play in goals. Ali Mackenzie has made a comeback in defence.
Game 5 2.5.12 ABC Cup S/F
Lochs Team (3-5-2)
Back Edge Through to ABC Cup Final
The first 15 minutes did not produce any clear cut chances and play was mostly confined to midfield. Andrew Maciver was the first to try his luck but drove the ball over the crossbar. At the other end Nomie took a through pass from David Macmillan and brought a good save out of Back keeper Maciver. Two Lochs players caught the eye at this stage. Peter Robbie was doing an excellent job in marking Kevin Bloxy and Angie Campbell was working well and playing the ball well out of a congested midfield area.
On 20 mins Nomie fired over the bar when he was put through by Angie Campbell. Black in the Lochs goal did well to cut out two dangerous cross balls as Back tried to create chances by attacking Lochs down the flanks. Lava lobbed a Nomie through ball over the bar on the half hour. Very few chances were on target at either end.
Graeme, who was having a strong game as Lochs sweeper, sent a cross ball into the Back penalty box which bounced its way right across the defence without anyone making contact, anyone from Lochs or Back. The last chance of the half fell to David Macmillan who drove the ball past the post.
In the opening minutes of the first half maciver in the Back goal made a marvellous save from an Angie Campbell header following a free kick from the Lochs right wing. Chris Macleod and Fraser Macleod both had opportunities for Back but the former drove past the post and the latter saw his effort saved by Black. Back were making a better start to this half and their pressure almost paid dividends when following a scramble in the Lochs penalty box the ball was driven wide of the goal. Then on 58 mins Lochs took the lead. A David Macmillan free kick from the left was allowed to go through the penalty box and Jim O’Donnell latched on to it at the back post and drove it into the net for his 3rd goal of the season.
In the 72nd minute came the decisive moment of the match. Lochs looked the stronger team but Back were pushing for an equaliser. While clearing the ball out of the Lochs defence Peter Mackenzie was adjudged to have handled the ball. From my vantage point he did handle the ball but his arm appeared tight to his side and the ball struck him. However, the referee judged it sufficient to award a penalty. Martin Maclean took and missed the spot kick but netted the rebound to level the scoring.
Ian Maclennan, the Back manager, made some positional and personnel changes to his team and the most important was moving Murray Macleod further forward than the left back berth he started in. It was Murray who put Back into the final when he found himself in a lot of space when a free kick came across the Lochs box. He moved onto to it and his miss hit shot floated into the net past Black.
Lochs put on Ali Mackenzie at centre back and moved Peter Mackenzie to right wing back, they put Ali Tolsta on instead of Roy Macphail at left wing back, Nomie came off and Jim O’Donnell moved alongside Lava in attack. Lochs pushed forward for the equaliser but did not manage to create many chances.
On the plus side Graeme played well at sweeper, Peter Robbie was outstanding in marking Kevin Bloxy, Angie Campbell had good spells in midfield and David Macmillan promped the side from midfield. They looked quite strong and seemed to be the better team for most of the match, however they lacked sharpness in front of goal.
Game 4 27.4.12
23-4-12 ABC Cup Q/F
Lochs 3 v 1 Ness(H.T. 0-1)
Scorers; Lava (2), Jim O’Donnell.
Chris Mackay, Graeme Mackenzie, Peter “Robbie” Mackenzie.
Roy Macphail, David Macmillan, Angie Campbell, Jim O’Donnell, Peter “Robbie” Mackenzie.
Roddy Morrison for Jim O’Donnell
Allan Farrell not used
Ali “Tolsta” Maciver not used
Gordon Maciver not used
Danial Mackenzie for Chris Mackay
Lava Brace Moves Lochies Into Cup Semi
With Sgoil nan Loch still not available this cup tie was moved to Garrabost. Lochs were without Robert Mackenzie and his place in midfield was taken by Jim O’Donnell. Roy Macphail replaced Calum Mackinnon at wing back but on the right hand side with Peter Mackenzie moving to left wing back. Otherwise the side was the same as Friday v United.
A good crowd gathered at Garrabost for the game. The crowd was split pretty equally between Niseachs and Lochies. George Macaskill was the man charged with controlling the game.
The game started with play moving from end to end. Ness threatened down both flanks but failed to press home their speedy play. Lochs had a chance when Nomie raced onto a Jim O’Donnell pass but Sweeney held the shot at the second attempt. David Macmillan played Jim O’Donnell in but he missed the target with his effort.
On 20 mins Ness took the lead when Angus Mitchell forced the ball home following a very dangerous corner which Black could only parry away from the goal line. Ness followed this up with another corner which came back off the bar. Lochs pressed forward and a good interchange of passes between Nomie and Lava failed to produce a shot on goal then a neat Nomie cross ball was held by Sweeney. Lochs had further chances through Lava and Nomie but failed to equalise. Roy, the Lochs manager, decided to change things by switching Chris to left wing back and Peter Mackenzie to centre back. Ness had the final chances of the half but Black blocked the best of these chances.
With the wind behind Lochs in the second half they took the game to Ness in an effort to claw back the deficit. Graeme shot wide of goal, David Macmillan lobbed the ball over the bar, a Nomie cut back was cleared for a corner and a Jim O’Donnell glancing header was saved by Sweeney. After 22 mins Lochs drew level when Jim O’Donnell fired the ball low past the Ness keeper. The ball may have taken a slight deflection on the way into the net but Sweeney was well beaten. This was O’Donnell’s second goal in the opening three games of the season. Shortly after the goal Lochs replaced Chris and Jim O’Donnell with Roddy Morrison and Nipper. Nipper played at left wing back and Roddy at right wing back Roy Macphail moving into midfield.
30 mins into the second period Lochs took the lead in style when Lava fired an unstoppable shot into the top left hand corner from inside the penalty box. Immediately after this David Macmillan nearly added to the lead but his clever chip just went over the bar. Ness took advantage of a David Macmillan mistake in midfield but could not hit the target with a resulting shot. Lava secured the win when he headed home a quickly taken David Macmillan free kick.
Lochs won with something to spare against a good Ness side with plenty of pace. Roy showed again that he is willing to keep changing the side until he gets the blend right.
C’mon the Lochies.
Game 2 20.4.12
United 1 v 1 Lochs(H.T. 1-1)
Scorer; David Macmillan
Peter “Robbie” Mackenzie, Graeme Mackenzie, Chris Mackay.
Peter Mackenzie, Robert Mackenzie, David Macmillan, Angie Campbell, Calum Mackinnon.
Don “Lava”, Nomie
Roy Macphail for Angie Campbell
Gordon Maciver not used
Ali “Tolsta” Maciver for Don “Lava”
Daniel Mackenzie not used
Roddy Morrison for Calum Mackinnon
Honours Even on Night of Missed Chances
Lochs made two changes to the side that beat Carloway last week. David Black took over from Cameron Houston in goal as Cameron has now returned to University in Aberdeen and Calum Mackinnon replaced Jim O’Donnell at left wing back. United fielded Leurbost lad Craig Maclean at outside left and Calum Campbell who had played for Lochs two seasons ago in midfield.
A crowd of about 90 turned up on a cold and damp night at Goathill for the match. The pitch looked very wet underfoot and bare in patches.
The game had a fairly subdued start with Lochs holding much of the possession without creating any chances. The first opportunity fell to Calum Mackinnon who headed the ball onto the post from a Peter Mackenzie cut back. This was followed by a Nomie drive over the bar when he moved on to a David Macmillan ball played over the top of the United defence. Lochs still had the better of the game and the next chance fell to Don Lava who headed a David Macmillan free kick over the bar.
Then much against the run of play United took the lead on 25 mins. A ball played over the top of the Lochs defence into the left back position was chased down by Liam Coleman who fired a great drive past Black into the Lochs net. One of the dangers of playing 3-5-2 is having diagonal balls played into what are the traditional left and right full back areas. It was such a ball that led to United taking the lead.
Lochs took the game to United after this setback and a good Angie Campbell ball was cut out by the United keeper before a scuffed Don Lava drive trickled past the post. Then on 35 mins Lochs equalised. Calum Mackinnon played a lovely cross ball into the box and David Macmillan pounced on it and headed the ball into the net.
David Black was then called into action twice before the break but he dealt well with both threats.
H. T. 0-0
Lochs took the game to United at the start of the second period and a Peter “Robbie” through ball was missed by Lava and the ball went past the post. Peter then had a good drive held by the United keeper. United then had a period of possession during which they forced a couple of corners but could not create any chances. Liam Coleman, who was proving to be the main danger for United, then forced a double save from David Black. Don Lava had a good chance then when the ball broke from the United keeper but he fired it over the bar.
MJ Maclean (United) was then booked for a foul on Robert Mackenzie. From the resulting free kick the United keeper made a good save with the help of the crossbar and when the ball broke free Chris Mackay sent a header wide of the target.
With only about 10mins remaining Lochs were fortunate to survive a United penalty claim as a result of a Graeme Mackenzie challenge near the edge of the box. Nothing was given despite United claims. More Lochs chances fell to Robert, but his header went past the goal, and David Macmillan but his free kick went over the bar. Then in added time Nomie fired an effort of the corner of post and bar. It just was not to be on the night for Lochs.
Lochs manager Roy Shirkie gave Roy Macphail an opportunity in midfield replacing Angie Campbell and Roddy Morrison at wing back in place of young Calum Mackinnon. Roy played well in midfield and passed the ball well but just could not make that final decisive pass. Roddy added his usual fire and aggression on the left side but despite all his efforts could not find an opening. Ali Tolsta replaced Don Lava near the end of the game.
Lochs had the best of the possession and chances. They created some good chances but lacked the composure in front of goal to take more than one.
Game 1 13.4.12
Carloway 0 v 1 Lochs (H.T. 0-1)
Scorer; Jim O’Donnell
Peter “Robbie” Mackenzie, Graeme Mackenzie, Chris Mackay
Peter Mackenzie, David Macmillan, Angie Campbell, Robert Mackenzie, Jim ODonnell
Daniel “Nipper” Mackenzie for Angie Campbell
Calum Mackinnon not used
Callum Masson not used
Roy Macphail for Lava
Roddy Morrison for Peter “Robbie” Mackenzie
Cold Comfort at Cnoc a’ Choilich
Surprise greeted the Lochies who turned up in Carloway for the League game on Friday 13th. Big striker Don Lava was back in the side after much reporting of him hanging up his boots last season. David Macmillan, who was also struggling with injury, also made the starting line up. Carloway were without Andrew Tago and had Gordon Craigie and Donnie Macphail on the bench.
The pitch seemed very heavy and lifeless probably the result of the rain and cold weather over the last fortnight. This made an open passing game very difficult. Both sides were set for a hard slog of a match. The weather did not help either. The wind blowing down the field made it very difficult to play good football and meant that the side with the wind behind it would have a huge advantage.
Lochs had about 35 supporters at the game and Carloway had their usual large support supporting their team. It was good to see Andy Murray and David Martin there.
Lochs began sharply and David Macmillan saw a free kick well saved by Beaton in the Carloway goal. Shortly afterwards a wicked Nomie corner was deflected onto the crossbar. The next chance fell to Robert who took advantage of a mix up in the Carloway defence and had two attempts to score well saved. His brother Peter had the next opportunity but his well struck drive was deflected wide for a corner. Another David Macmillan free kick deflected off the defensive wall and fell to Lava who drove the ball past the post. Yet another free kick led to the Lochs goal. It evaded the Carloway defenders and Jim O’Donnell got a touch to the ball at the back post to guide it into the net.
It was a game of mostly Lochs possession during this first 20-25 mins and the first opportunity for Carloway was a Calum Tom header that went over the bar. Lochs responded and Jim O’Donnell fired over the bar and Angie Campbell saw his header saved by Beaton. The best chance of the half fell to Nomie who fired the ball over the crossbar.
Into the second half and a real turning of the tables thanks largely to the Carloway wind. Cameron Houston who had been a virtual spectator in the first half had to withstand a barrage of Carloway attacks. He made an excellent save from Seamus Macleod tipping his drive over the crossbar, was fortunate to be in the right spot to catch a bouncing ball that was missed by a Carloway player and made a very good save from a difficult free kick. The Lochs defence also stood firm under the Carloway onslaught. Chris Mackay and Peter Robbie playing alongside Graeme Mackenzie fought and scrapped for every ball and both had good games.
With Carloway threatening Roy Shirkie took off Lava and replaced him with Roy Macphail who took over in midfield with Robert Mackenzie moving into attack alongside Nomie. Roddy Morrison replaced the injured Peter Robbie and Angie Campbell moved into defence to give the team a more 4-4-2 look with Roddy and Angie marking Scott Macaulay and Kevin Macleod. It was “all hands to the pumps” for the Lochies as Carloway fought for an equaliser. Graeme marshalled his defence brilliantly and typified the team’s excellent defensive performance in the second half with a perfectly timed tackle on Domhnall Mackay in the closing minute of the game. With huge relief came the sound of Billy Macdonald’s final whistle. Lochs had taken three points from a very hard fought match.
Congratulations to Roy Shirkie on his first win as Lochs manager. The whole team played well but particular praise to those making their Lochs debuts Jim O’Donnell, Angie Campbell and Roy Macphail.
C’mon the Lochies.
Lochs Team (3-5-2)
Gordon Maciver for Lava