Uist and Barra Football League
North Uist 6 Southend 2
– Comfortable win over Southend gives John Docherty’s side a great chance of third place
– Southend put in poor display as their own chance of third places ends
A brace each from Andrew Currie and Keith MacDonald contributed to a fantastic 6-2 victory over Southend on Tuesday night at Paible.
Fraser MacDonald and Fazel Froughi were also on the scoresheet, as John Docherty’s team stormed to a comfortable win over a lacklustre Southend.
Andrew MacIssac and Roddy Steele found the net for DA Lindsay’s team, but they were no match for a rampant North Uist side.
Both teams went into the game, the first of a double-header, knowing that a win would close the gap with Benbecula to just one point ahead of the final round of fixtures this weekend.
Southend started the game with Daniel MacDonald as a lone striker up front, while the home team began with Currie and Angus MacIntosh in attack.
The opening 10 minutes of the game brought it with a flurry of action, with three goals scored early on. North Uist took the lead through their top scorer Keith MacDonald, who scored with a header from around 8-yards out, following a cross from Mark MacInnes.
Southend then equalised courtesy of a Roddy Steele header after a good 1-2, then cross between Duncan MacQuarrie and Cailean MacInnes.
The early parity soon gave way, as North Uist began to pick holes in the Southend defence. Currie restored the home team’s lead with a lofted effort from 25-yards out over Innes MacDonald in the Southend goal with ten minutes gone.
The rainy conditions made for a difficult playing surface as the weather contrived to present problems for any designs the teams might have had for slick passing football.
MacIntosh did well to counter attack Southend following a free-kick, but saw his shot saved by Innes MacDonald, while at the other end, Daniel MacDonald, after a good first touch, was also denied by Stuart Menzies, in an open and exciting start to the game.
North Uist looked the hungrier of the teams and showed a greater determination to win the ball in the lead up to their third goal of the game. Keith MacDonald was too strong for Southend’s MacInnes as he won possession in midfield. The midfielder then drove forward before slipping the ball into the feet of Currie, who coolly finished low to the right to make it 3-1 to the home team with 25 minutes gone.
Danny Steele, who was Southend’s best player throughout the first half, did well to pick out Andrew MacIssac at the back post, but the forward, who was playing as centre-back, couldn’t get to the ball first and North Uist cleared their lines.
North Uist could have extended their lead further as Keith MacDonald spurned a good chance from a header from an Andy MacQuarrie free-kick. While MacIntosh also turned well before hitting a good shot, as the home team continued to dominate.
Daniel MacDonald hit an effort well wide, as Southend continued to labour up front. DA Lindsay’s team looked second best for most of the half as they struggled to gain a foothold in the match.
Darren MacNeil replaced Cailean MacInnes at half-time. MacInnes had endured a difficult first-half, but was withdrawn due to an injury.
Southend showed greater purpose and energy through Danny Steele and Shaun MacCormick at the start of the second half. However efforts from MacIssac and MacQuarrie, coming forward from central defence, failed to test Menzies.
North Uist further extended their lead though Fraser MacDonald, who had came on as a substitute. MacDonald lobbed the ball over Innes MacDonald after a great ball from Mark MacInnes to make it 4-1.
Their two-goal lead wasn’t to last long however, as Southend struck back with a fantastic goal. Andrew MacIssac hit a brilliant free-kick in off the post from around 25-yards out to cut the deficit, with the score now 4-2.
North Uist, though, looked dangerous every time they attacked and went on to score a fifth to put the game to bed. Froughi hit a low drive into the bottom-left corner past MacDonald, who had played well despite conceding five goals at this point.
Keith MacDonald rounded off a fine team performance with a fantastic strike to make it 6-2. The midfielder flicked the ball up with his back to goal before turning to strike a volley into the Southend net.
The win means if North Uist can defeat Southend again on Friday and Barra beat Benbecula on Saturday then they will finish in third place. Southend can no longer finished in third, but DA Lindsay’s team will be hoping to put in a much improved performance and end the season with a win.
Man of the match – Keith MacDonald, North Uist: Another impressive performance by the North Uist midfielder. Two goals and a spirited and energetic display helped his side run out comfortable winners.
North Uist: S Menzies, M MacInnes, A MacQuarrie, J MacDonald, D MacIlwraith, F Froughi, K MacDonald, F MacDonald, R Nicholson, A MacIntosh, A, Currie.
Southend: I MacDonald, D MacIssac, A MacIssac, D MacQuarrie, AP Steele, J Macaulay, R Steele, D Steele, S MacCormick, C MacInnes, D MacDonald.
By Adam Gordon