Wick Groats 0-2 PU 13/08/2011

The champagne had scarcely stopped flowing before United switched their attentions to the David Allan Shield final and the prospect of a double celebration in 3 days. A purple middle period to the game saw United home after a tricky start and a rather low key closing stage. Groats the holders of the competition made a bright start to the game making the early running and were nearly gifted a lead in 7 mins when Gray failed to gather a Larnach corner but he had his full back Harrold to thank for saving his blushes as the ball was cleared away. Larnach was inches away minutes later cutting inside on to his stronger right side and shooting from 20 yards as United really found the opening period hard going their distribution an option taking questionable at best and down right slack at worst. Slowly they started to get things moving and Lewis Harrold similar to Larnach rattled the advertising boardings behind Williamson’s net from the edge of the area. Cumming was to prove a useful outlet throughout and he outstripped Harrold before driving a ball into the near post that Gray gathered with Bremner and McNab closing in on the keeper after quarter of an hour. United had a great chance to open the scoring after 20 mins when they broke 3 v 2 with Petrie but the midfielder delayed his pass far too long and eventually played Allan offside, But the tide was turning and United made the breakthrough after 22 mins good link up play down the left between Manson and Harrold saw the ball squared to Lee Sutherland who bent in a fine shot from 20 yards that Williamson stopped but could not hold and Darryn Mackay netted his second goal in as many games bring his total to 8 for the season. United were now by far the better team and with the willing running of Allan proving too hot to handle for a Groats rearguard that were breached again on the half hour mark with a goal that was simplicity itself a Gray byekick was topped on by Mackenzie allowing Allan to race clear and poke the ball past the advancing Williamson to double the advantage. Groats were rocking now and with less than 10 minutes left in the half the game should have been out of sight Darryn Mackay in a sweeping move released Allan down the right he outstripped the defence before squaring for Manson who seemed all he had to do was tap into the empty net but dropped to his knee as the ball flew high over the bar. Yet still the tide flowed towards the Groats goal as again Allan caused havoc this time down the left he cut inside and teed up Petrie who seemed to have made perfect connection only for Stewart to make a vital block on the penalty spot.

Half time

Wick Groats 0-2 Pentland United

United roared out the blocks in the second half and only a miraculous block on the line from Martin Sutherland saw him repel a beautiful Jamie Mackenzie volley from a Ross Allan corner. The Dunnet side seemed camped in the visitors box as they forced a series of corners in that early period. Slowly however the balance of play evened out as United seemed to tire and Groats started to gain confidence. On the hour mark substitute James Mackay did well cutting inside Manson and Harrold before firing in a shot from 18 yards but Gray flopped gratefully on the ball on the edge of his 6 yard box. Mid way through the half Groats same closer when Gray came to collect a cross from Hughes only to be heavily challenged by Stewart Ross, ref Munro saw no infringement meaning Grant Steven had to bail his keeper out clearing the loose ball from the edge of the 6 yard area. United had now set themselves out to defend in a 5-4-1 system with Farquhar finding the work levels up top rather demanding shall we say although the big striker was winning the ball and holding on to possession attacking options around him were limited and Groats were now hemming United in. With just under 20 mins left a nasty collision between Grant Steven and Graham McNab saw striker spin off the big centre back and into the advertising hoardings but he quickly recovered after treatment. Although Groats were holding a distinct territorial advantage they continued to struggle to breakdown the resolute United defence. When James Mackay did break through the line up against keeper Gray his touch took him away from goal and when he lost his footing the minor claims were quickly dismissed by referee Munro. The final real effort came from Hughes who showed great feet to step in from left and lash a shot in on Gray who touched the ball away for a corner.

Full time

Wick Groats 0-2 Pentland United

1. M Gray 2. G Mackay 3. L Harrold 4. G Steven 5. G Macleod 6. D Mackay (J Mckechnie 85) 7. L Sutherland 8. J Mackenzie(c) 9. M Petrie 10. D Manson (R Begg 78) 11. R Allan (T Farquhar 71)

Subs Not Used

A Bremner

 View from the goal

An outstanding effort from the guys to win their second trophy in 3 days it wasn’t the same high quality/ high tempo affair as the league game but once we got going the middle section of the game was very easy on the eye and what can I say about the defending methodical and really well organised. I said in the closing comments of the previous game that it had been a difficult season in so many levels we lost two pillars from the club in Duncan and Nicky but we have shown tremendous unity and spirit to win two trophies, the league against all the odds. Rather fitting that Ross should notch the second goal and I am sure both his family and he himself enjoyed that. Just a final message to all our supporters both local and around the world thank you very much for your support albeit in messages or shouts from the sidelines it really does make a difference. I think we can take a little time now to reflect and enjoy the success but also to remember those no longer with us who would have been in the middle of those celebrations given the chance. Until next year……………..

Wick Groats 3-5 PU 11/08/2011

And so it arrived the title decider a day later than originally planned due to rain but perfect conditions for football meant a bumper crowd at theUpper Bignold. United started like a train knowing a win was essential as no other permutation delivered the title to Dunnet. On 3 mins a Gary Mackay freekick from halfway picked out the head of Jamie Mackenzie on the edge of the box and his flick-on looped perfectly into the path of the arriving Petrie but his header landed on to the top of the net. In recent weeks the bustling ability of James Murray has come to the fore and he seems to revel on the bigger stage, on 9 mins he really should have opened the scoring shrugging off Stewart Ross and Sean Stewart he raced clear but delayed shooting and eventually only found the side net.  Then came the game’s first flash point as Harrold floated a ball over the top for Murray to set off in a foot race with Williamson the striker arrived first and lobbed the ball over the keeper only to be clattered in the process referee Tait took a little time before cautioning the keeper, Allan’s freekick was very weak though and the game remained goalless a little longer. The delay was only for 5 mins though after a scramble ensued after Ross Allan’s shot was blocked high into the air skipper Jamie Mackenzie cushioned the ball into the path of Murray who fired a beautiful shot across Williamson on the half volley for a deserved opener.  United were playing the better football and seemingly in control when the champions hit back a wicked Martin Sutherland corner had United at full stretch to repel the initial corner eventually Gray punched clear only as far as the original set-piece taker who whipped in a tremendous cross that only required Larnach to apply his head to it and level the scores. The game continued to flow quite nicely as United a little rattled took time to get a foot hold back in the game. The second United goal was all about the ability of Ross Allan who picked up Jamie Mackenzie’s square pass 12 yards out with his back to goal he twisted and turned away from Cumming before lashing a left foot shot high passed Williamson’s top left corner. Again United seemed to settle perfectly, controlling the game without creating any glorious chances when it all came crashing down on 35 mins. Firstly flash point number 2 another Martin Sutherland corner created another almighty scramble before a shrill of referee Tait’s whistle sounded for a foul on Grant Steven however just a few seconds later Stewart Ross thundered in a beautiful volley passed keeper Gray. However United never heeded that warning when Grant Steven in the left back area in trying to clear lines put Macintosh in all sorts of bother as Kyle Ross intercepted and set up the race that came to a crashing end in my opinion just outside the area at first referee Tait did not seem to view it as an infringement but his assistant John had other ideas and after a consultation gave the penalty. Larnach assumed the responsibility and fired high over the bar only for assistant John to decide Gray had moved off his line too far in the process, Larnach never wasted the second bite at the cherry sending the keeper the wrong way.

Half time

Wick Groats 2-2 Pentland United

In frightening similarity to the first period Petrie again missed another snip right at the start of the second half beautifully timing his run in to the box on to a Mackenzie flick his left foot volley lacked conviction and Williamson watched as it drifted wide of his left hand post. The game was now open United trying to make the running with Groats assured at the back and content to play counter attacking football. Mid way through the half however that changed, Ross Allan had the ball 45 yards from goal slightly to the right of centre and whipped in a delightful ball that everyone attacked but no one actually connected with as it flew into Williamson’s right hand corner. United continued to attack in search of what they would consider to be the killer 2 goal cushion and duly found it 15 mins from time another Allan cross was scrambled clear by Ross to Darryn Mackay 20 yards from goal and the midfielder met the ball sweetly sending a stunning volley across Williamson into the net. Groats were now chasing the game firing on Grant McNab and also removing Stewart Ross from his defensive duties to play as an auxiliary striker but clear chances were at a premium. With 12 mins left Graham McNab met a Larnach cross that Gray gathered yards from his line under pressure from Ross and also Martin Sutherland then few minutes later Gary Macgregor rather off balance met a cross from the same source but again it was a comfortable height for the keeper. At the other end Miller took the full force of a Murray volley on the chest as the striker tried to send the ball across goal but it only succeeded in lifting the big centre half clean off his feet. Just when everyone was settling in for the final stages United again conceded a very soft goal, Cumming down he right made good progress but his cross was seemingly easily controlled by Steven but under pressure he seemed to slip at the vital moment clearing only a few yards to Graham McNab who beautifully laid the ball into the path off his brother who flicked the ball passed Gray as the keeper attempted to close the angle. However before Groats could build up a head of steam United hammered in the final nail Harrold picked out Allan down the left channel the striker seemed to have lost the ball but eventually stepped inside Taylor and suddenly the drew the challenge from Kyle Ross that flattened the striker, referee Tait pointed to the spot and after a long stoppage to restore order Michael Petrie stepped up to fire home sending Williamson the wrong way and the celebrations amongst the large United support began.

Full time

Wick Groats 3-5 Pentland United

1. M Gray 2. G Mackay 3. L Harrold 4. G Steven 5. B Macintosh 6. D Mackay 7. L Sutherland 8. J Mackenzie(c) 9. M Petrie 10. J Murray 11. R Allan (M Nichol 83)

Subs Not Used

G Macleod

D Manson

J McKechnie

H Coghill

 View from the goal

Wonderful spectacle and end to the league campaign we had a sticky period in the middle but came through superbly and showed wonderful consistency and nerve to even to get to this stage as we were 8 points back at one point. Quite a few flash points and both teams will have their axes to grind but in the end I believe we just about shaded it. As per usual a fantastic support were behind us throughout and delighted we gave them something to celebrate. It has been an emotional rollercoaster and I am sure Dunc would have been cursing us a fair bit not only during the final game but throughout the season but hopefully he is sitting with a smile now enjoying his teams success. No time for complacency though now on to the David Allan Shield Final on Saturday, which I hope will be another top match.

PUFC – Double winners for season 2011

Pentland United FC won the league and DA Shield double tonight winning 2-0 at The Dammies against Wick Groats. PU goals were by Darryn Mackay and Ross Allan. Below is the final top goal scorers chart and a run-down of all the results in season 2011. WELL DONE TO ALL THE PLAYERS, MANAGEMENT AND EVERYONE INVOLVED IN KEEPING PUFC RUNNING LIKE A WELL OILED MACHINE !!!

PUFC top scorers list (final – 13.8.11)
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(p) (6h) Mark Nichol – 29
(2h) – James Murray – 20
Ross Allan – 14
Jamie MacKenzie – 8
(2p) Michael Petrie – 8
Darryn Mackay – 7
Grant Steven – 4
Derek Manson – 3
Ryan Begg – 2
Toby Watts – 2
Lewis Harrold – 2
Jordan McKechnie – 1
Michael Steven – 1
Garry MacLeod – 1
Grant Petrie – 1
Lee Sutherland – 1
own goals – 5

PUFC Results in season 2011
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PUFC 2 V Wick Groats 0 – DA Shield Final – 13.8.11
Wick Groats 3 V PUFC 5 – Div.1 – 11.8.11
Thurso Acks 0 V PUFC 4 – Div.1 – 4.8.11
Thurso Swifts 2 V PUFC 9 – Div.1 – 2.8.11
PUFC 4 V Castletown 0 – Div.1 – 27.7.11
Castletown 0 V PUFC 1 – DA Shield SF – 25.7.11
PUFC 7 V Halkirk 1 – Div.1 – 21.7.11
Halkirk 1 V PUFC 2 – DA Shield QF – 18.7.11
PUFC 3 V Wick Groats 1 – Div.1 – 14.7.11
PUFC 8 V Thurso Pentland 1 – DA Shield – 11.7.11
Avoch 2 V PUFC 1 – HAC QF – 2.7.11
PUFC 3 V John O’Groats 1 – DIV.1 – 28.6.11
Staxigoe United 2 V PUFC 2 – (a) – Div.1 – 22.6.11
PUFC 0 V Wick Groats 1 – (h) – EM Cup SF – 20.6.11
PUFC 1 V Halkirk 0 – (h) – HAC 3rd Round – 17.6.11
PUFC 6 V John O’Groats 1 (h) – EM Cup QF – 6.6.11
PUFC 9 V Thurso Swifts 0 – (h) – Div.1 – 1.6.11
PUFC 1 V Kirkwall Hotspur 0 – (h) – HAC 2nd Round – 28.5.11
Keiss 0 V PUFC 5 – (a) – EM Cup 1st Round – 25.5.11
Staxigoe United 1 V PUFC 0 – (a) – CM Cup 2nd Round – 20.5.11
Castletown 0 V PUFC 5 – (a) – Div.1 – 16.5.11
Top Joes 0 V PUFC 9 – (a) – CM Cup 1st Round – 14.5.11
Halkirk 1 V PUFC 8 – (a) – Div.1 – 10.5.11
Lybster 0 V PUFC 4 – (a) – HAC 1st Round – 7.5.11
PUFC 4 V Thurso Acks 0 – (h) – Div.1 – 2.5.11
John O’Groats 2 V PUFC 1 – (a) – Div.1 – 27.4.11
PUFC 8 V Staxigoe United 1 – (h) Div.1 – 20.4.11

In season 2011, Pentland United scored 108 goals in 26 matches and only conceded 21. They won 22 matches, drew 1 and lost 3 and finished the season with a run of 10 wins in a row clinching the league title and Davie Allan Shield.

PUFC are Champions for season 2011

Pentland United won the league title in the last match of the league season winning 5-3 in a thrilling match in Wick last night.PU goals were scored by James Murray, Ross Allan (2), Darryn Mackay and a Michael Petrie (pen)

well done to all the lads, coaches, management and to everyone involved in the club. Nice to see the trophy back at Ham Park where it belongs !!!

PUFC top scorers list (updated 11.8.11)
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(p) (6h) Mark Nichol – 29
(2h) – James Murray – 20
Ross Allan – 13
Jamie MacKenzie – 8
(2p) Michael Petrie – 8
Darryn Mackay – 6
Grant Steven – 4
Derek Manson – 3
Ryan Begg – 2
Toby Watts – 2
Lewis Harrold – 2
Jordan McKechnie – 1
Michael Steven – 1
Garry MacLeod – 1
Grant Petrie – 1
Lee Sutherland – 1
own goals – 5

PU Results so far in season 2011
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Wick Groats 3 V PUFC 5 – Div.1 – 11.8.11
Thurso Acks 0 V PUFC 4 – Div.1 – 4.8.11
Thurso Swifts 2 V PUFC 9 – Div.1 – 2.8.11
PUFC 4 V Castletown 0 – Div.1 – 27.7.11
Castletown 0 V PUFC 1 – DA Shield SF – 25.7.11
PUFC 7 V Halkirk 1 – Div.1 – 21.7.11
Halkirk 1 V PUFC 2 – DA Shield QF – 18.7.11
PUFC 3 V Wick Groats 1 – Div.1 – 14.7.11
PUFC 8 V Thurso Pentland 1 – DA Shield – 11.7.11
Avoch 2 V PUFC 1 – HAC QF – 2.7.11
PUFC 3 V John O’Groats 1 – DIV.1 – 28.6.11
Staxigoe United 2 V PUFC 2 – (a) – Div.1 – 22.6.11
PUFC 0 V Wick Groats 1 – (h) – EM Cup SF – 20.6.11
PUFC 1 V Halkirk 0 – (h) – HAC 3rd Round – 17.6.11
PUFC 6 V John O’Groats 1 (h) – EM Cup QF – 6.6.11
PUFC 9 V Thurso Swifts 0 – (h) – Div.1 – 1.6.11
PUFC 1 V Kirkwall Hotspur 0 – (h) – HAC 2nd Round – 28.5.11
Keiss 0 V PUFC 5 – (a) – EM Cup 1st Round – 25.5.11
Staxigoe United 1 V PUFC 0 – (a) – CM Cup 2nd Round – 20.5.11
Castletown 0 V PUFC 5 – (a) – Div.1 – 16.5.11
Top Joes 0 V PUFC 9 – (a) – CM Cup 1st Round – 14.5.11
Halkirk 1 V PUFC 8 – (a) – Div.1 – 10.5.11
Lybster 0 V PUFC 4 – (a) – HAC 1st Round – 7.5.11
PUFC 4 V Thurso Acks 0 – (h) – Div.1 – 2.5.11
John O’Groats 2 V PUFC 1 – (a) – Div.1 – 27.4.11
PUFC 8 V Staxigoe United 1 – (h) Div.1 – 20.4.11

Pentland United have scored 106 goals in 25 matches so far and only conceded 21