3rd XI Bounce back in style

Match Report  :  Kelburne 3s vs Strathclyde Uni 2s

After last weeks heavy defeat from Anchor, this was a game that couldn't come too quickly for the 3s to get them back to winning ways and back in the league race again, so the game started out on a nice crisp winters afternoon at Bellahouston.  Captain Ralph had the boys highly motivated to deliver us back on track with a great early team-talk and motivational huddle at the start - the team were left in no doubt that Strathclyde were a stuffy team with high level of fitness in their ranks and we had to deliver the goods from the get-go.

The game started at a good pace with Kelburne dictating the game and moving the ball around the back well but with little penetration through midfield to the forwards who were lying too flat. However various levels of neat play through the first half in different parts of the pitch led to a number of penalty corners which couldn't be converted by the Kelburne strike team.  Straight strikes, drag flicks,  slip to the injector and top-D 1-2 all went un-converted and the team were making hard work of all their endeavour around the pitch.   Eventually however, some neat dribbling from Don Tervit created another corner which was converted by Adam McInnes with a low powerful drag-flick.   That took Kelburne in to the break 1-0 up and in good shape to build on this at the start of the 2nd half and continue the excellent communications made on the pitch by everyone in the team.

Half-Time  -  Kelburne 1 - 0  Strathclyde Uni

Kelburne started the 2nd half pretty much the same way as the 1st however after 5 mins, a loose ball from Connor Bain in midfield led to a Strathclyde Uni breakaway and after some flailing sticks in and around the D in trying to recover, the ball ended up in the Kelburne net.     1-1 and all to play for again but this did not deter the determined Paisley team who swept the ball around the midfield and after some intricate work around the left side of the D, the ball was crashed over to a well positioned young Jack Jamieson who neatly deflected it high into the net past the stranded goalkeeper - a great finish from a promising youngster in his first full senior 3XI season. So, 2-1 for Kelburne who were now gaining momentum against a fit Strathclyde Uni team who were not taking any prisoners but soon after, it was 3-1 for Kelburne with yet another magnificent dink/deflection from young Jack who was simply on fire in the 2nd half. Almost a carbon copy of his 1st with great inter-passing team work down the left side of the pitch and around the D.

By this time, Kelburne were controlling all aspects of the game and soon after it moved to 4-1 for Kelburne following another Penalty Corner.  A neat dribble and shimmie and drive from the top-D from Alan Ralph released Billy Anderson who drove a low hard shot in to the net and keep Kelburne in totally command.

However, with the game now in the bag, Kelburne showed some of their inexperience by running with the ball too much and as a result, lost their shape and allowed Strathclyde too much ball-time.  It didnt take too long to be punished for this and once too often, the Kelburne back-line forced the ball out of defence too neatly which was picked up and driven in to the D resulted in a goal against the Paisley team.       4-2 now for Kelburne and after more lacklustre passing and lack of structure, the ball was turned over again with 2 minutes to go, resulting in another penalty corner from good Strathclyde passing.   From this corner, the Strathclyde attacker fired the ball in to Jony's right hand-post which resulted in an illegal foot and stick deflection in to the Kelburne net and despite the loud protests, the goal was allowed to stand........... 4-3 for Kelburne with just 1 minute to go and a tense nail-biting finish in prospect was expected......

This was the time for experience to show and rather than pass the ball back, it was dribbled forward at the push-back from Billy Anderson who meandered down to the 22yd line, creating the foul and running the clock down, then taken forward inside the 22yrd by Adam McInnes and with defenders not retreating,  this created the matching winning move of a penalty corner and final whistle.   With the game in the bag, Kelburne showed confidence to execute the corner to perfection with the push out from Anderson for a perfect stop from Ruaridh and a powerful drag flick from Adam past the deflated Strathclyde goalkeeper for Kelburne's 5th goal.

Full-Time  -  Kelburne 5 - 3  Strathclyde Uni

The team showed today that it is growing in confidence and especially with all of our younger members taking on much more responsibility across different areas of the pitch..... but what is also evident is that if you drop your guard for 1 minute or lose your structure for a split second, you can very quickly be punished in this league as was the case today and in the previous week. Special mention and spotlight today on the experience of Stuart Robin for keeping control of the back-line, Capitano Ralph and Adam McInnes for their drive in midfield,  and Jack Jamieson for an inspiring Forward performance from one so young.

It's onwards and upwards now for this growing team who are learning from their experiences and taking it on board for the next games - today was a perfect riposte for last week which is now consigned to history.   Roll on Hillhead 4s today in the Scottish Cup.

Match Report Billy Anderson.