Men's 1's stretch lead at top

Grange: 0
Men's 1's:5

 

The Men's 1st team travelled to Edinburgh to face second placed Grange, knowing victory would open up an 8 point lead at the top of the table, again Kelburne were under strength for this one as the squad was missing its Anzac presence as both Ross Fitzgerald and Steve Crossett sat out, along with young striker Lee Morton, who was recovering from a virus.

 

Grange started the game on the front foot, clearly determined to test the Kelburne defence from the off, but the backline was able to move the ball well and manoeuvre their way out of the Grange press. Burne started to come into the game and almost took the lead when a snap shot from Gareth Hall rebounded back from the post. The team did not have to wait long for the opener as set piece expert Josh Cairns unleashed a venomous flick which flew high into the top right hand corner of the net. Kelburne were now controlling the game, with Mark Ralph, Willie Marshall and Cairns probing from the back and Michael Christie and Ross McIntyre making penetrating runs from midfield.

 

Against the run of play Grange were offered a route back into the match, when following a turnover in their own half Grange were awarded a penalty stroke. Fortunately for the team Mark Fulton in goal was up to the challenge and turned away the resulting flick. This seemed to inspire the team and they were able to add a second goal. The ever improving Michael Bremner picked up the ball at right back, drove inside the pitch passing several Grange defenders, played a one two with McIntyre before firing past the Grange goalkeeper at his near post to give the team a 2 goal cushion at half time. 

 

The message from Coaches Ralph and Fowler at half time was very much more of the same and it only took several minutes for the team to score the third goal which all but

wrapped up the points. Another patient build up found Craig Morton on the left, who fed the reliable Chris Nelson, Nelson waltzed past 2 Grange defenders before intelligently playing the ball to the back post to leave Hall with a simple tap in. 

 

Grange seemed to respond to this and attempted to step up their game, however the Burne defence was able to repel their advances with Morton having his best game since his promotion to the team. On the rare occasion that Grange entered the D, Ralph and Marshall were on hand to make fine tackles and Fulton kept out a short corner. With the game drawing to a close there was still time for veteran hit man Johnny Christie to draw level with Alan Forsyth at the top of the scoring charts, first pouncing on a loose ball in the D to fire home, before a fine passing move involving half the team was finished off when Forsyth unselfishly squared to allow Christie to tap home from close range to round off the scoring with his 15th goal of the season. 

 

Manager Harry Coles described the performance "This was a first class all round performance both from an attacking point of view but also defensively when we had to deal with Grange pressure." The result leaves the team with an 8 point lead and in a good position to push on and retain the league title. The team are in action this Sunday as they start the quest to regain the Scottish Cup, when they entertain 2nd Division Harris at Bellahouston with a 13:30 push back.