Edinburgh University 3XI Vs q-Bikes Kelburne 2s
Defending champions Q-Bikes Kelburne 2s travelled through, to the capital, with a much changed and bare eleven for a 4pm push back. Several of the squad were unavailable due to Easter events, and the requirement to socialise pre-event. This added to the fact that Edinburgh Uni 2s were not playing meant that a traditional banana skin of a fixture had the potential to be even harder...
The Paisley side started brightly and Fraser Scott was able to steal the ball, before passing to Martin Byrne on the left, the ball was quickly moved to John-Gerard Shepherd who 1 vs. 1 against his defender was able to draw a foul. From the resulting short corner Ewan Carmichael's wayward strike was redirected past the Goalkeeper by Andrew Bremner at the back post. 0-1.
The half continued in much the same fashion, the students defending at 1/2 court, with 'Burne looking promising, but unable to find a second goal. A number of short corners were won, but were snuffed out by the Uni defence. Just before half time another short corner was charged down, and the students were able to break quickly and in numbers, an eagle eyed umpire spotted an infringement, and awarded the Uni a short corner. The initial strike was charged down, but the attackers were allowed too much time to recycle the ball, and eventually forced the ball over the line to equalise just before half time. 1-1.
A half time team talk emphasizing the need to play to the tactical press, the reasons and the benefits of doing so, as well as small tactical tweaks, saw the team emerge with a much stronger frame of mind. Within 5 minutes, Andrew Duff put Kelburne back in front. Marauding centre back Scott won the ball and made progress down the right hand side, passed to Ross Wallace running across the D created space for Duff to use his 3D skills to bamboozle the defender before firing past the keeper. 1-2.
The lead was extended when Carmichael won possession in midfield, found Andrew Bremner's wide lead, as Bremner threatened along the baseline, youngster Niall Taylor peeled off to the back post. This created space for the onrushing Duff to smash the inch perfect cutback first time past the 'keeper. 1-3.
At this point, with a number of players nursing injuries, Kelburne were looking to retain possession and see the game out, unfortunately a weak dribble was stolen by the Uni defenders, and quickly played upfront. Richard Morgan won his initial tackle, the loose ball was picked up by a speedy student who was able to attack Fergus Barrows, despite making two initial saves, was let down by his defence, and the ball was eventually poked home. 2-3.
A number of slack passes crept into the Kelburne side offering Uni hope of an improbable comeback, one such pass saw Barrows have to sprint 30yards to the right back position after a wayward cross field pass...
Nerves were temporarily calmed, when Duff completed his hat-trick. JG was able to retrieve his own rebound after hitting the bar with a reverse stick shot from the top of the D, exchanging passes with James McPherson, and cutting the ball back for Bremner. A last ditch tackle stripped the ball, but the rebound was fired through a group of players into the net by the explosive forward.
Overconfidence in attack resulted in the ball being lost, and Edinburgh launched yet another counterattack. A missed tackle in defence exposed Barrows. Despite making an initial save hesitant defending resulted in a stramash, with the stronger forward able to poke home. 3-4.
With less than 2 minutes remaining, the experienced trio of Scott, Shepherd, and Carmichael were happy to keep the ball and see out time. Full time 3-4 for Kelburne. A special thanks to James McPherson, Richard Morgan, and Niall Taylor who stepped up to help.
Q-Bikes Kelburne 2s continue their league defence on Wednesday night with an 8pm start against Stepps, victory in all remaining games is required to defend their title.