Sunday 2nd September
The first eleven ladies kick started their season with a trip away to Dundee Wanderers in the Peregrines Cup. With a one nil win the young
squad demonstrated maturity beyond their years against a strong and
experienced Wanderers outfit. Making her debut for the firsts, Hayley
Skimming joined other schoolgirls, Ellie Halliday, Drew Berry, Molly
Godfrey and Caitlin Girdwood to secure a first eleven spot this season.
Captained by Kristine Ayling and led on the sidelines by pregnant Laura Carlton, the Kelburne Ladies made a strong start to the fixture and kept Wanderers pinned in their own half for a long spell. The midfielders looked enthusiastic about the fixture as they mounted numerous attacks and supported the lively strikers. The first corner came from a penetrating attack down the right hand side when Kerri Nunnery was illegally challenged as she entered the circle. Frances McKeown's strike narrowly missed the Wanderers left hand post. Strong performances by McKeown, Halliday and Ayling in defence warded off any Wanderers attacks, whilst Cath Rae in goals was quick off her line when the ball did find a way through. The closest chance the Dundonians had came five minutes before the end of the first half, a strike from the top took a wicked bouncy over Rae's pads, where perfectly placed Halliday had to leap at the ball to make a reverse clearance and ensure the strong first half performance was not in vain.
With the sun
shining at the High School of Dundee's new pitch, the second half started
as the first had, with the Paisley outfit dictating play and retaining
possession for long spells. The work-rate in midfield by Emma Barlow, Adele Dastey and Drew Berry ensured that the defence were supported and
a clear link was seen between the forward line. Nunnery, Girdwood and
Godfrey linked well in the forward line and placed the Wanderers defence
under increasing pressure. Godfrey came close on a few occasions and
narrowly failed to finish some strong right side attacks. The pace of
Girdwood and Nunnery proved too much for Wanderers and another two
corners were won in quick succession after being fouled by the
frustrated defence. Wanderers keeper Carmen Dow went down and proved
equal to each of these attempts. With fifteen minutes remaining the
Kelburne Ladies had to defend two corners of their own, nevertheless
Barlow as first runner pressurised Wanderers on both occasions to create
a turnover of possession. Nunnery's pace chasing down a through ball
from Ayling created yet another attack, nevertheless after demonstrating
some frustration at the foul going against her Nunnery was green carded
and sent off for two minutes. Some superb tactical awareness and
defensive maturity saw Kelburne absorb the pressure that ensued with the
youngsters in particular remaining calm and in control.
The breakthrough came five minutes from the end when Dastey and Barlow linked well down the left and claimed yet another corner. This time the ball came in from a left slip with Rachael Ewing getting a touch that forced Dow to make a save - Girdwood was awaiting the rebound and pushed the ball yet again goal bound, Dow was equal to this challenge but was beaten when Ewing claimed her clearance and hit the ball under her pads and into the goal. Spurred on by the goal, Kelburne retained possession, created more attacks and claimed another corner before the final whistle blew. A steady performance will hopefully fill the Ladies with confidence as they prepare for the next three games in the Peregrines cup.
Match Report by Rach Ewing