The Kelburne 3rd XI took to the field on Saturday afternoon to play a physical and well organised Dumfries team. With some key players missing, Kelburne utilised a mixture of youth and experience with the likes of Jay Berry and Rory Anderson running the show up front, and the evergreen veterans Gordon Martin and Ian Wilson at the heart of the defence. Confidence was high before the game after a promising second half performance against Western the week prior, with high hopes we could carry the form over into this fixture. That never proved to be the case as Kelburne started lethargically, and found themselves two goals down within around the 20 minutes mark. These goals came around as a result of poor marking and tackling at the back, with sloppy ball retention within the midfield and attack only worsening the situation. Instead of letting the heads drop, new captain David Bone was heard to be vocal in the encouragement of the youngsters, as the team began to sharpen up, and press the older Dumfries team. The response came when Jay Berry absolutely smashed one into the back of the net after 25 minutes. The Dumfries keeper was lucky to get out its way, as it would have probably taken his head clean off! A great way to open his goal tally for the season. Almost immediately, Kelburne had the ball in the goal again, but Craig Speirs deflection was ruled out by the umpire. Disappointing, but the game was beginning to turn. With Kelburne in the acendency, the whistle went for half time.
Half Time - Kelburne 1 - 2 Dumfries With the promise of an increase in work rate and passion, the boys took to the field for the second half raring go. Passes seemed sharper, voices were starting to be heard, and the 3rd XI was beginning to look like a team fully up for this game. This was rewarded, as when Robert Martin stepped up to strike from a short corner, the result proved to be clinical, and the ball was cooly slotted past the diving Dumfries keeper. The comeback was nearly complete, and up stepped Rory Anderson to finalise the turn around with a shot from close range after some pinball in the Dumfries box. Job done you would think? Think again. Some poor defending on the right hand side allowed Dumfries to burst forward and equalise and suddenly, Kelburne began to take the foot off the gas. Their goal was followed by some close shaves at short corners and the attacks that followed. Matthew Retson was to thank for the score to remain at 3-3 with some cracking saves and blocks to deny the frustrated forwards. With time against both teams, a winner was looking unlikely, but Sandeep Singh was the man who proved to be the match winner, with his strike sending the boys into a 4-3 lead, with only a matter of minutes remaining. Time was then called and the relief was clear. Despite not being at our best, we managed to claim the 3 points and open our tally for the season, against formidable opponents. Improvements are needed for the visit of GHK next week, but I'm sure the boys will be raring to go after this weeks success. Special mentions go to Matthew Retson, Bob Martin and Jay Berry for some brilliant individual performences, and a massive well done to the entire team for grinding out the result. Onwards and upwards.