THE FULL STORY…
On 2.3.19 - Kelburne 5s edged out by experienced Hillhead 5s. Saturday 2nd March. The hottest February on record seemed a distant memory as Kelburne 5s faced Hillhead 5s at a rain soaked Lower Windyedge. The mix of experience and youth in the Kelburne team was underlined by the fact that many of the team were playing their second game in as many days, having played an Under 15s match on Friday night. The opening period of the game saw neither team creating any clear opportunities. Kelburne had the majority of possession with Dick Donaldson’s prompting passes and Sam Hunt, Tommy Austin and Nicholas Knox taking turns driving at the Hillhead defence. Kelburne were also solid at the back with Gordon Robbie and Willy Hunt keeping Hillhead outside the D and fullback Jack Nelson confidently running out with the ball. On 12 minutes, the Hillhead defence failed to clear an initial attempt on goal from Sam then a shot on the turn by Nicholas was saved by the Hillhead keeper (who was to have a major influence on the result). Two Kelburne short corners followed in as many minutes, with Dick forcing fine saves from the Hillhead keeper on both occasions. Kelburne continued to press, with a short corner coming on 16 minutes but the Hillhead defence were out quickly to close it down. Shortly after, the Hillhead keeper was again in action saving a shot from Sam. Midway through the half, Kelburne brought on fresh legs with Calum Jamieson, Jared Bolland, Andrew McGrane and Rory Donaldson all coming on. Hillhead were now starting to come into the game and on 19 minutes, Kelburne keeper Fionn Wilson was called upon for the first time, saving a bouncing ball in the D and deflecting it onto the post. Hillhead then forced two short corners but both were dealt with by the Kelburne defence. The rain was constant at this stage and the pitch was becoming slippery. Players on both teams were losing their footing and taking minor tumbles.
After soaking up the pressure, Kelburne pushed forward once more. On 29 minutes, the Hillhead keeper produced another save following a short corner, then a Kelburne pass from the left was just in front of Andrew’s stick as he ran in on the keeper. Nearing half time, the game tilted back towards Hillhead who tried using a tactic of lifting the ball to runners on the right wing but young Dylan Bradley handled the situations well. The half ended with a Hillhead shot going wide but it came from outside the D. HT Kelburne 5s 0-0 Hillhead 5s The opening minutes of the second half were to prove costly for Kelburne, with Hillhead starting quickly and almost immediately forcing a short corner. From the pass out, a low shot from the forward found the backboard to put Hillhead in front. After the goal, Kelburne immediately broke forward and a reverse stick shot from Sam went just wide but Hillhead were on top at this stage in the half. A short corner was kept out by Kelburne before Hillhead again had the ball in the goal. However, the forward was adjudged to have committed a foul before shooting and the goal was disallowed. The game began to open up as Hillhead sought a second whilst Kelburne strove for the equaliser. Ian McIntyre and Hamish Walker were passing into the channels for the young forwards to run onto and in 46 minutes, Kelburne had two opportunities. The first, a shot kicked clear by the Hillhead keeper, the second, a pass across the D that sadly found no takers. With the floodlights on, the rain continued to teem down although rumours of animals lining up two by two outside the nearby Scotstoun shipyard were unconfirmed. On 53 minutes, the balance of the match shifted yet again with Hillhead getting their first real chance since opening the scoring. A shot from a short corner was well saved by Fionn Wilson who was then off his line quickly to break down another Hillhead attack. The game continued to ebb and flow but moving into the last 10 minutes, Kelburne continued to drive forward. A lifted attempt from Dick went just over followed by a shot from Rory which saw another good save by the Hillhead keeper.
With 3 minutes remaining Kelburne’s efforts had finally paid off. A darting run into the D by Dick saw the ball laid off to Andrew. His quick shot was blocked by the Hillhead defence but the ball broke nicely to Rory who calmly finished to level the score. Had the game ended a draw, it would have been a fair result but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. With the final attack of the game, Hillhead came forward and played a ball towards goal. Following a clash in the D, the ball broke between two Hillhead forwards and despite Fionn blocking the path to goal for the first, the second forward managed to spin and place the ball inside the post from a tight angle, sealing the win for Hillhead. Irrespective of the result, the young players in the Kelburne team can take many positives from their performance against a more experienced and physically stronger team. Indeed, but for a series of excellent saves by the Hillhead keeper, the score line could have been different. Well done lads!
FT Kelburne 5s 1-2 Hillhead 5s. Next Game – Kelburne 5s face Rottenrow 2s at Glasgow Green on 16 March with a 4:30pm pushback.