Close Defeat for 4s

 The 4s wereaway from home this weekend, playing arch rivals Western at the infamous sand based pitch of Auchenhowie. They knew it was going to be a tough game, with this Western side demolishing a team that beat the 4s 5-1 earlier on in the season. The absence of strikers ?Jono? Fergusson and Mark Fulton, as well wingers Peter Gosh and Kenny Young and midfield powerhouse Scott Hamilton, saw the introduction of youngsters JG Sheperd and ?Fab? Goldie. Their first game for the 4s an introduction to hockey at the top end of the league, surely a severe test of how these youngsters were going to cope in their future as Kelburne players.

The game started at tentatively, with both sides attempting to break each other?s organised press. Neither team could make much progress, and a lot of time was spent by both sides knocking the ball around the back, looking to find a gap in the oppositions defence. An early injury to Ross ?Rusty? Lee, saw the 4s begin to doubt they could win, as a lack of substitutes meant that they would have been down to 10 men. Fortunately Rusty was able to run off the injury, and was able to return to right back, using his infamous pace to cause havoc in Westerns left wing. As the game progressed, it became more and more apparent that both sides would be presented with very few opportunities. Western managed to force a save from  ?the cat? after a well worked shot corner routine, but apart from this, ?the cat? remained largely untested as Kelburnes defence managed to break up most of the Western attacks. James Currie played a crucial role, filling the hole, denying Western any serious penetration. Kelburnes best chance of the hlaf fell to Alan Gillies. Youngster ?Fab? Goldie, played an exquisite pass from just outside the Western 25, right to the feet of Gillies on the Western penalty spot. Unfortunately the ball skimmed Gillies foot, leaving Gillies dreaming of a certain goal with nothing but the goalkeeper between him and the goal, the nearest Western defender being at the top of the ?D,? left totally exposed by Goldies pass. The half ended 0-0, with everything to play for.

Kelburne ran out into the second half, knowing that a win was possible. The second half began in a more open fashion as both teams looked to open their scoring account. This increased level of space allowed winger Andy Kinnear to begin making threatening runs down the wing, exposing the weakness in Westerns inability to tackle when the ball is lifted over a flat stick. The increased space also allowed fellow winger JG to begin to use his skill to frustrate the Western defence, who had to resort to physical tackles to take the ball off of a far more skilful player. Despite the increased pressure, it was Western who scored first, scoring a messy scrambled goal. Kelburne showed the same determination to win as in previous weeks, with all the 4s players digging deep to find the equalising goal. Despite this, it wasn?t to be, with the Western defence managing to hold on for the 1-0 victory. 

Despite yet another loss, the 4s weren?t all doom and gloom as it was an extremely close affair with both teams playing to the equally high standard. The 4s left Auchenhowie knowing that they could beat most teams in the league if they played to the same high level as today, with every player in a Kelburne top putting everything they had into the game. Special credit must go to youngsters Fabien Goldie and JG Shepherd who both put in excellent performances in a tough match, definitely hot prospects for the future. Despite the loss, the 4s are improving and will be looking to a win next week to end their unusual losing streak.