Scorers : Cairns (5), Anderson (2), Bremner (2), Shepherd (1), McInnes (1)
Today saw the return to action after the New Year break with the 3s fielding a full squad to get everyone back to routine and make a concerted push for the league title. The game saw Kelburne up against an aging Helensburgh 1st XL and the expectation from the early season encounter was that this would be an easy victory. And so this turned out to be, however this was not gained without hard work and a structured, committed performance from the Kelburne team.
The match started with the Kelburne defence & midfield moving the ball around quickly and efficiently to make openings for the forwards, with the first few chances being wayward as the rust was worked out the system. Not before long, the ball was finally despatched for the 1st goal when Billy Anderson pounced on a loose ball in the circle to slap it home off the defenders stick. 1-0 it was and the floodgates opened, the Kelburne tails were up and fully committed for the game and it would be 7-0 inside 25 minutes to put the game well beyond the Helensburgh team.
The 2nd goal was a great move from midfield which saw Victor Evrard drive through the midfield to release a fabulous square pass to JG Shepherd who slammed the ball in with a brilliant top-D strike. A few minutes later saw Kelburne go 3-0 up when Jason Cairns latched on to an Alan Ralph pass at the top-D and despatched it in great style. The Helensburgh team were struggling to cope with Kelburne's fluid passing moves and Jason soon got his 2nd and Kelburne's 4th from a slick short-corner move with a powerful flick in to the corner of the net. Straight after this Jason completed his hat-trick when a clever passing move between Bremmy and Victor resulted in a lovely flick past the keeper to make it 5-0. Helensburgh then came back at Kelburne with a driving run from their centre-midfielder who was robbed by a great Ruaridh tackle who then released Jason who drove in to the circle and picked his spot in the bottom corner...... 6-0 up with Jason already on 4-goals and Kelburne still working the ball around the pitch well... Then in 25 minutes, a great pass in to the circle from Mark found Victor who cleverly won a penalty-corner which was then cooly despatched by Bremmy to make it 7-0 with Kelburne now flying.
After the 7th goal, the match levelled off to half-time as the Kelburne pressure tailed off as a result of too much running with the ball from the back and a loss of team structure and positioning, however a great first half overall from the Kelburne side to go in to the break with the game already in the bag.
The 2nd half-started off evenly again as Kelburne tried to force the game with similar pressure to the 1st half and in 45mins, a nice midfield passing move saw Bremmy releasing Billy in the D who cooly slotted the ball under the keepers pads to make it 8-0. The on 50 mins, it was Bremmy's turn to be the receiver of some nice, neat and quick passing to scramble home Kelburne's 9th goal on the goal-line. Kelburne were on a roll and rotating the squad well. Neil Mcintyre was introduced to right back after his forward stint and coped well with his unusual position. Ruaridh contributed with a solid game in a central defense roll, Connor and Adam where solid in their right back & midfield roles with Brodie solid on the left, Fabian contributed in a number of roles with hard-working runs and Jony Barlow, despite being redundant for large stretches of the game, made a handful of very good saves to keep the Helensburgh forwards at bay and a clean sheet for the Kelburne side.
Then a mix up in the Kelburne defence saw a Jony save rebound to an opposition player who's shot was eventually bundled over the line by the Kelburne defence. 9-1 for Kelburne and the push to maximise goal-difference re-continued. Then it finally became 10 for the Kelburne team. A neat cross-D dribble from Captain Alan Ralph created a penalty-corner and again the push, stop and conversion flick from Jason made it 10 for Kelburne and a glorious 5 for Cairns. Then with some time remaining, some clever inter-change passing between Neil and JG resulted in a neat pass to Adam who cooly slotted home to make it 11-1 for Kelburne. Despite a last-minute sitter at the penalty-spot from Bremmy which would have made it a solid dozen, the game ended with a convincing 11-1 victory for the Kelburne team.
Despite a loss of shape around the middle of the game, this proved to be a solid and effective performance from the Kelburne development team - full of invention and creativity early on in the game, but also matched with hard-working endeavour in our first game back. Still more to build on from the squad but also one to be very pleased with as a team performance and team victory.