Starting with 10 men, the 3's had to adapt quickly to hold off the opponents' advantage. With the 3's finding it difficult to find the right way to set up effectively with a space missing, the opposition quickly scored, despite great efforts from keeper Mark Robertson, making it 1 - 0 to the home side.
This gave the boys the kick start that they needed, and soon Kelburne had a comfortable 4-3-2 formation in place and were preparing to turn the tables. Some solid defences led by captain Alan Ralph kept any more runs from the opposition at bay, while Martin Shaw transferred the ball quickly up-field, threatening Clydesdale with lighning-fast counter-attacks.
It wasn't long before one of the 3's sharp midfield movement led on to McNulty firing an excellent first goal in against the oppopsition, making the score 1-1.
Unfortunately, Kelburne were to face more set-backs half way through the first half... After some great play from MJ, Andy Bremner and Jimmy McCrae, MJ made an excellent attempt at goal, which hit the post and deflected into assisting defender Brodie McKay's face. The youngster was bravely taken off play, and recieved 9 stitches to heal his face injury. Brodie is recovering and should be back playing shortly..
Left with 9 men, Kelburne feared for the worst... But in usual fashion, the boys did not throw in the towel, and continued their gathering momentum as the half neared the end..
Kelburne were becoming unstoppable towards the latter end of the half, even with two men down. Some excellent tackling by the defensive players, in particular Harry Godfrey on the left hand side, shut down anything coming their way. Harry made some excellent steals and set up the forwards for more goals, including some very near misses. After one such clearance, Kelburne were set up for what would be their 2nd goal, this time coming from Jimmy McCrae, who slipped the ball right between the goalkeeper's legs!
Half Time, Kelburne 2 - Clydesdale 1
The arrival of Neil Godfrey, a 3rd XI legend, only further stengthened Kelburne's formation and spirits. Originally, the plan was to beef up the defence, with Neil staying back to help stop any chances of an equaliser.
But, Kelburne were not done yet, and continued to play hockey as well as they ever had, forgetting completely about their disadvantages. Mark Connor and McNulty worked well up front, consistently posing a threat for the oppositions' defence. McCrae, MJ and Bremner picked passes brillianly, with little efforts being closed down, and runs by the wingers tearing past any confrontation. MJ even hit the post (again?!) with one of his all-out runs! Finally, the back four of Godfrey Jr. and Snr., Alan Ralph and Jordan Lindsay left Clydesdale fustrated, by reacting strongly to attacks.
Towards the end, Kelburne realised that they were in fact not at a disadvantage anymore, but their fantastic play had left them with the drive for a final goal. With a rush forward, and assistance from Godfrey Snr., Jimmy, MJ, Bremner and Connor, McNulty sealed the final score with another high shot, which flew past the keeper and confirmed the boys' first win of the season.
Full Time, Kelburne 3 - Clydesdale 1
So, from starting short of players, to having one of the remaining carried off the pitch, to having the opposition score within minutes of starting, Kelburne had everything against them. But the 3's were not beaten yet... Every section of their play, from goalkeeping and defences, to midfield and forwards, outplayed Clydesdale.
Man of the match must go to Harry Godfrey, who despite being one of the youngest team members, was solid in defence, tackling excellently, teasing the oppoisition with his ball control and finally making some fantastic passes up the line. Notable mentins also go to MJ, our marathon man, and Jimmy, who covered both halves superbly.
After this performance, let's see what the 3's are capable of with a full team this season! Bring on next week!