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Grant goal sends Lybster through as top-flight teams have the upper hand


By Alan Hendry

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Lybster's Andrew Sutherland attempts an overhead kick during Tuesday's David Allan Shield tie against Swifts.
Lybster's Andrew Sutherland attempts an overhead kick during Tuesday's David Allan Shield tie against Swifts.

Lybster manager Cameron Mackenzie admitted he was underwhelmed by his team's performance against Swifts on Tuesday night – but the villagers did enough to secure a place in the last eight of the David Allan Shield.

A scrappy goal by Callum Grant after 63 minutes gave Lybster a 1-0 win and they will face Acks in the quarter-finals at the end of the month. Swifts were reduced to 10 men in the closing stages when Mark McCoustra was sent off.

The match at Cow Park was among four Division One versus Division Two ties on Tuesday and it was the only one to produce a close result as the top-flight teams progressed with a total of 27 goals scored and none conceded.

Mackenzie felt Lybster had failed to hit the heights of their 3-1 league victory over Acks a week previously.

"To go from beating Acks, it was a bit underwhelming tonight from our team – but we got the goal eventually," he said.

"You've got to give credit to Swifts as well. Obviously they're from the division below and they battled really well.

"We had a weaker team out tonight, about half of the team we usually have. But, with the team we had on the park, we could have done a lot better.

"All that matters is that we progressed. At least we are winning and getting over the line.

"We have a massive game against Thistle next week in the league – that's probably our biggest game of the season so far."

A scramble in Swifts' penalty box as Lybster try to find a way through during the first half of Tuesday's David Allan Shield match.
A scramble in Swifts' penalty box as Lybster try to find a way through during the first half of Tuesday's David Allan Shield match.

Swifts manager Stevie Reid said: "We had a lot of experienced lads missing. But it's good for the young players to get a full 90 minutes under their belt against a first division side.

"I thought they did all right. They've got a lot to learn, some of them, but these are the games they will learn in.

"I thought it was evenly matched. Lybster had a lot of the ball latterly but that was to be expected. Our boys tired a bit.

"They can be happy enough with what they did. There are little lessons they've got to learn.

"We'll just take it on the chin and move on."

Reid added: "Unfortunately we're in the position where we never get the same team twice.

"I managed to pull in three boys from Helmsdale and they've helped us big-time. When they're available they play, and they make a big difference to us."

Mark McCoustra of Swifts tries to close down Lybster's Elliot Cormack.
Mark McCoustra of Swifts tries to close down Lybster's Elliot Cormack.

Pentland United hit double figures with an 11-0 romp at Keiss. There were four goals for Murray Mackintosh and doubles for James Murray and Marc Macgregor, with the others coming from Conor Cormack, Conor Trueman and an own goal.

Top Joe's will be glad to see the back of Staxigoe United for a while. Having been thumped 17-0 in an Eain Mackintosh Cup tie last month, Joe's were beaten 8-0 by the same opponents when they returned to the Upper Bignold in the David Allan Shield.

Staxigoe's scorers were Martin Banks (3), Darren Malcolm, Grant Innes, Morgan Kennedy and Bryan Reid along with an own goal.

Wick Thistle were 7-0 winners away to Thurso Pentland with goals from Kyle Henderson (2), Sam Barclay (2), Scott Durrand, Tomas Pearson and Greg Gunn.

Lybster's Andrew Sutherland tries to get his head to a cross.
Lybster's Andrew Sutherland tries to get his head to a cross.

Results – Alan Farquhar testimonial: Caithness AFA 2, Wick Academy 3.

Eain Mackintosh Cup, quarter-final: Acks 1, Wick Groats 4.

David Allan Shield, first round: Keiss 0, Pentland United 11; Lybster 1, Swifts 0; Thurso Pentland 0, Wick Thistle 7; Staxigoe United 8, Top Joe's 0.

Fixtures – Wednesday – David Allan Shield, first round: John O'Groats v Watten; Wick Groats v High Ormlie Hotspur (7.15pm).

Saturday – Eain Mackintosh Cup, semi-finals: Castletown v Wick Groats; Staxigoe United v Pentland United (3pm).

Monday – Steven Cup, first round: Watten v Keiss (7.15pm).

Tuesday – Division One: John O'Groats v Wick Groats; Pentland United v Acks; Staxigoe United v High Ormlie Hotspur (7.30pm).

Wednesday – Division One: Wick Thistle v Lybster (7.30pm).

Thursday – Division Two: Castletown v Swifts; Keiss v Top Joe's; Pentland v Watten (7.30pm).

Lybster captain Gary Swanson on the ball against Swifts.
Lybster captain Gary Swanson on the ball against Swifts.
Action from Lybster's 1-0 win against Swifts in the first round of the David Allan Shield.
Action from Lybster's 1-0 win against Swifts in the first round of the David Allan Shield.

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