Thursday, 19 July 2012

Yell 1 v 0 Delting B

Wednesday 11th May 2012
Shetland League Reserve Division
Mid Yell Leisure Centre, Mid Yell
Admission and Programme: N/A
Attendance: 20 (est)
Match rating: 3

For the second game during my stay on the Shetland Islands, all that was on offer this evening were games in the Reserve League. However, playing in that league and who were at home this evening were the first team of Yell, which fitted in very well after a day touring the northernmost island of Unst, with travelling across the island of Yell necessary to get back from Unst to my base in Lerwick on Mainland.

Yell play in the town of Mid Yell which, as the name suggests, is in the middle of the island and just off the main road between the two ferry ports north and south. As one drives down into the village, it becomes apparent that this is another very attractive setting for football. Behind one of the goals is wild sweeping grassy hills, and behind one length is the small village and sea. Behind the other length is the adjoining school and leisure centre. As seems to be usual on the Shetland Islands, there are no spectator facilities whatsoever here. The pitch is grass, and at first glance looked in excellent condition. However, on closer inspection, in several places there were large gouges in the surface which would surely cause unpredictable bounce.

A glance at the league table hinted at this being a game between two closely matched teams, both having accumulated ten points, although Yell have played a game more on nine. Yell won last time out, drew the game before, which followed a sequence of three straight defeats. They are certainly having a much better season this year, having finished rock bottom of the league with just five points from their 20 games last season, some eight points adrift. The reserve team of Delting have been rather inconsistent, gaining one point from their last two games, but recorded 5-0 and 6-0 wins - sandwiched by a draw - in their previous three games.

There was little sign that the game would be on as the clock ticked around to the scheduled kick off time of 6.45, with absolutely nobody present on or around the pitch. However, players slowly trickled towards the pitch, did some brief warming up, and the game kicked off at 7pm. On what was an increasingly cold and wet evening - more akin to what I would be used to in the winter months at home - the game was a competitive affair which was mildly entertaining whilst never really catching the imagination. On 15 minutes, it was the home side who took the lead, when a low corner was stabbed powerfully into his own net just inside the post by a Delting defender. The rest of the half passed with little in the way of goalmouth action.

So things continued in the second half, although on 54 minutes Delting had a shot cleared off the line. It wasn't until three minutes from time when another chance was fashioned, this time Yell having a good shot palmed away by the keeper, whilst deep in added on time at the end of the game, a Delting player struck a powerful dipping shot from 25 yards which went just wide, and the keeper would not have got to. So it was Yell who claimed the win, which they greeted with great cheers, and in all honesty, I was pretty happy to hear the final whistle too, as I hastily retreated to my car for warmth and dryness and headed south for the ferry back to the Mainland.

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