Q-Bikes Kelburne 2s still in title race

Stepps 2s 2 – 9 Q-Bikes Kelburne 2s

Newly crowned Reserve cup holders Q-Bikes Kelburne faced Stepps 2’s at Glasgow Green, in a rearranged game, knowing that they must win every game, and overturn a goal difference deficit to defend their league title.

Kelburne started brightly, and good work by the forwards forced a penalty corner. Mark Ralph’s drag flick was spectacularly saved, Andrew Bremner following in had his shot blocked, but John-Gerard Shepherd was able to slam home the rebound. 1-0.

Further short corners were won, from one Finn Halliday lost his footing as he attempted to shoot, the alert Ralph played in Shepherd, and his strike was illegally stopped on the line. JG stepped up to take the penalty flick, giving the goal keeper “the eyes”, before placing it inch perfectly. 2-0 Promising youngster Niall Taylor thought he had scored his first goal for the 2’s shortly after, his deflection from Bremner’s through ball looping up and over the ‘keeper, unfortunately landing just the wrong side of the bar.

Slack play allowed Stepps to break up field, but Douglas McEwan was out quickly to smother the initial shot, and Craig Walker was able to prevent the goal, with a brilliant clearing tackle.

Midway through the half, Fraser Scott won the ball in defence before exchanging passes with Martin Byrne and advancing down the left into Stepps 25, he fed Bremner, his shot was blocked on the line by a defender, and Neil McIntyre lashed the rebound home. 3-0 Two minutes later it was 4-0. JG intercepted a loose pass and smashed a reverse stick shot past the exposed gk to complete his hat-trick.

Stepps emerged fired up and motivated for the second half, determined to fight a way back into the match. This resistance was eventually broken in the 46th minute, Byrne found Matt McGinley in space, the gallivanting midfielder eliminating players, before playing in Bremner, he again rounded the keeper, and crossed for Don Tervitt to tap home. 5-0. A robust tackle on Bremner in the D resulted in a short corner, which was despatched by Ralph with a trademark dragflick. 6-0.

Carelessness crept in, and Stepps were allowed to create some attacks of their own. A well worked short corner was deflected in at the back post. 6-1.

On the hour mark, Scot won the ball before passing to McIntyre in midfield, he played a 1-2 with Ross Wallace and worked his way to the by-line, his cut back was tapped home by McGinley. 7-1. Stepps were creaking under the pressure, and JG was again able to intercept, and shoot at goal, this time his shot was blocked, Ralph fired home the rebound. 8-1.

A couple of missed tackles allowed Stepps to counter attack, and pass the ball round the helpless McEwan. 8-2. Bremner was not to be denied the goal that his work deserved, quick thinking from Taylor created space for a snapshot, which was tapped home at the back post. 9-2.