Mens 2s Fall to Western

Western Men's 2s: 3
Kelburne Men's 2s: 0
21/03/10

The Mens 2s went into this game knowing that a victory would virtually seal their 8th consecutive title with only one further point being needed to cross the finish line in first place. They also went into the game with the memory of how tough the home game against their local rivals had been in the first half of the season even if the 'Burne had emerged with a 2-0 victory on that occasion. Unfortunately, this re-match proved to be even harder for the Paisley side.

The game started, in warm spring sunshine, at a very high tempo with the sides fairly evenly matched in possession but Kelburne ominously struggling to find an outlet for their play up front. The stalemate was broken after left-back Fraser Hutchison was caught dwelling on possession in the left-back area and Western swept towards goal putting themselves 1-0 up with a deft deflection that left in-form goalie Mark Robertson with no chance. Once ahead and despite the efforts of 'marathon man' Ewan Carmichael in midfield, Western started to increase their share of the play and it took an incredible stick save from keeper Robertson (pictured right) to claw a certain goal from the top-corner of his goal. The Paisley side's only chance of the half summed up their day as a goal-bound shot by Bryce struck 14-year old centre forward Lee Morton on the foot following good work by Jason Cairns. Kelburne went into half-time believing that they could get back into the game but knowing that it would take their best form to get past a strong, fit and fired up Western team to do so.

Unfortunately their best form remained elusive and the second half saw the Auchenhowie outfit taking the lead from their in-form neighbours at Murray Park as they began to dominate proceedings. The 'Burne held out until midway through the second half until another turnover in possession led to a cut back from the byline to top 'D' where a Western midfielder stole in with a pin-point finish into the bottom corner to make it 2-0 and effectively end Kelburne's chances of getting anything from the game. Despite this setback they fought on but the Paisley team's typical emphasis on bringing on young players, with two 14 year-olds and two 16 year olds in the starting line-up, meant that Western's team of men, not to mention a groaning bench, were able to use their added strength and speed to make the difference across the pitch. This power gap led to a third goal against as Western's burly centre-forward powered through the middle of the 'Burne defence and, following a great save by Robertson, slotted in the rebound to finish the game off.

Kelburne still had one chance to get a consolation through promising youngster Ed Greaves (left) but he was caught in two minds in front of goal and Western were able to clear and comfortably hold out for a well-deserved victory. The Paisley side's misery was compounded as veteran midfielder Gordon 'Beast' Menzies was caught on the hand by a rising shot which will hopefully not rule him out for the vital title run-in where there is now little room for error. 

With three games remaining, seven points from nine are needed for Kelburne to retain their title. With few other teams in this tough league sharing the Paisley club's focus on developing young players it would make an 8th consecutive title all the sweeter an achievement. Captain Fraser Scott is now focussed on doing just that in the final three games against Watsonians, Inverleith and Stirling University: "We know we had an off day today but we're still two points clear at the top and have the title in our own hands."