Heriot Watt University 4
Kelso United 1
EOS FIRST DIVISION
George Riley reports from Riccarton
UNITED’S travel sickness continued on Saturday when they were beaten by a well drilled university team.
Having not won an away game since September Kelso never looked like adding to their tally at Riccarton and floundered against the top-of-the-table-league side – perhaps they should have been taking some tips from Hearts who were putting in last minute preparations for their semi-final Scottish cup on the next pitch.
The game started slowly and it was 10 minutes before there was an attempt on goal when student striker Ewan Watson struck over from a tight angle. United keeper Gary McBride went into the referee’s book shortly after when he picked up the ball outside the box after a David Richardson back header fell short and the No 1 was lucky to escape with just a yellow. Watt’s Ricky Nelson blasted the ball over from the resultant free kick.
The home team were awarded a penalty in the 18th minute when a cross from the right wing was swung into the box – referee Keith Maskell adjudged that United defender Steven Tait pushed Watt’s Sean Muhsin when both were rising to head the ball. McBride made a tremendous save diving to his right to stop the Muhsin spot kick.
The university side went ahead two minutes later when Watson hit a right foot shot that McBride managed to get a hand toWinger Erik Thomson was first to react and slotted the ball into the net.
The students should have made it two on the half hour when substitute Derek Paterson outpaced the visitors’ defence and was through on the keeper but McBride was equal to the task, thwarting the striker.
Ten minutes before half time the university side got their second goal when Paterson turned defender Stuart Harker and drove forward into the box before slipping the ball past the advancing keeper.
The home side wrapped the game up with a three-minute spell just after the restart of the game. They got their third goal when a free kick was awarded at the edge of the box after United’s Chris Tait fouled winger Michael Webster. Thomson curled a lovely right foot shot round the wall and found the top right corner of the net.
Goal number four came shortly after when Muhsin eventually scored after McBride made a great double save firstly from Brendan Napier shot and then from a Thomson effort.
Midway through the second half and again McBride was called into action, saving from Michael Connor after some good play from Ricky Burke and Thomson.
United’s only real attack ended in a goal eight minutes from time when a ball from midfield found substitute Liam Hill who laid an inch-perfect pass into the path of Des Burnett and the striker made no mistake firing past the home keeper Craig Saunders.
Kelso United: G. McBride, S. Tait (C. Webb), D. Richardson, S. Harker, D. McNulty, C. Tait, G. Mabon, A. Swailes, D. Burnett, L. Wallace, J. Lauder (L. Hill).