This was an important match for the 5s and a win would have gone a long way to help securing a position in the 2nd West District Division for next year. With such a young squad on show against a mature and experienced Anchor team, this was always going to be a tough ask.
The team set-up was strong from the beginning. Keep the spine of the team strong and keep a disciplined structure - this was the motto. With Ewan Crawford and Alan Bryce in the centre at the back, Willie Allan and Martin Byrne anchoring the midfield, and Captain Ian McIntyre up-front, this kept the ?senior? spine of the team intact to give the team a good chance of success. David Ogilvie returned to the GK role for the physical game expected and with the rest of the slots being filled in by the up-and-coming young stars of the future??Niall Taylor at LB, Gavin Bantages at RB, Lucas Farndale in midfield beside Willie and Martin, with Ciaran Wilcox and John Miller up-front with Captain McIntyre, with the bench of Rory Anderson, Cammy McIntyre, the Whiting brothers and Grant Toghill.
The team started strongly and were making some nice interchange passes around the defence and midfield area although not making much headway to get inside the D to create an outcome. However Anchor were playing similarly and the ball became a hot potato around the midfield with the defences just clearing the ball forward for it to come back again, waiting for the incisive pass that was going to unlock the defence for either team to make a difference.
This then changed on 20 minutes when the yellows won a short corner and with Willie on strike, a cute shot was deflected off a defenders stick high in to the net. 1-0 to the 5s and they were on the up. The defence started moving the ball around the back, with the passes being made in to midfield and then to the 3 forwards who had made a change to being more centrally-aligned as opposed to being too far apart from each other. This resulted in some nice passing and dribbling moves and another drive from Allen in to the D who unleashed another shot in to the goal, with the goalie missing it completely, to make it 2-0 and increase the yellows lead.
Then just before half-time, some neat inter-change work down the left-side by Byrne and Farndale found Anderson inside the left side of the D and his shot bumped under the goalies foot and glanced off the post along the back-line and despite the forwards best efforts, they couldn?t get the ball back across the D to make it count. Anchor at this point were restricted to just a couple of shots on target and easily saved by David Ogilvie although this would change in the 2nd half.
The second half started more promisingly with the ball being moved across the back and bit more and then down the channels for the midfield or forward to pick-up and drive forward. Taylor at LB was easily and quickly finding Farndale and Anderson and on the left, Bantages at RB was finding Allen and Byrne with ease on the right, Allen was making some timely cack-handed tackles in the middle and the sight of a ginger bearded Byrne breathing down the Anchor midfield players neck was causing them to give the ball away cheaply. With Anchor now shelling the ball anywhere out of defence, from a panic-stricken clearance inside the Anchor D after another yellow attack, a painful ball-on-ankle injury to Anderson resulted in him being subbed and another change to the forward line. This resulted in a re-shaped team and a 3rd goal for Kelburne came quickly after this. A nice intricate move involving Miller and Wilcox created a nice pass from the latter being released in to the D for Craig to steal it and bundle it over the line at the back-post ? another goal for the goal-hungry youngster.! Young McIntyre then came on for Byrne to bolster the midfield and made some nice tackles and released some early passes to his team mates.
Bantages was finding easy passes in to midfield and life was good however Anchor came back in to the game strongly with the Kelburne midfield being posted AWOL as they all pushed forward seeking more goals. With the discipline and shape being lost, and a couple of Senior players losing the mental focus, Anchor starting piercing through the midfield and defence and with a series of good moves on their part, they made 4 guilt-edged chances which brought out some incredible saves from Ogilvie. With the tip of his kicker, with his helmet, with his stick and any part of his body, nothing would go in for the blacks and this middle period of the 2nd half saw incredible chances squandered, keeping the yellows team sheet blank.
Then against the run of play for a 10 minute period, Kelburne got another short corner with the ball sweetly pushed out by el Capitano McIntyre, for Allan to stop it and switch to Byrne on the left who coolly slotted a cute shot across the goalkeepers front and in to the bottom right corner. A final scoreline of 4-0 for Kelburne which was well deserved on the day in keeping their structure and shape for large chunks of the game but more than anything, the result was well-deserved for their hunger and desire to win the match and stay in this league.
FT Pro-Life Fitness Kelburne 5?s 4-0 Anchor 2s
Well done team, 3 points well-deserved.
Kelburne Hockey Club
Kelburne Hockey Club are a successful sports club based in Paisley, Scotland