Fishermen catch Tweedsiders napping in cracking comeback

Kelso United 2

Eyemouth United 3

SOUTH CHALLENGE CUP SECOND ROUND

GEORGE RILEY reports from Woodside Park

A MIXTURE of poor defending and shoddy finishing saw Kelso United let slip a two-goal lead to exit the South Challenge Cup.

The visitors had the first chances on goal when a 35yd shot by full back Alan Jess rattled the top of the crossbar and then a header by striker Steve Shennan was held by Kelso keeper Scott Dowie.

However, it was the home side who went ahead after 18 minutes when a corner from the left by Liam Wallace was headed into the net by defender Gary McNulty.

Two minutes later and the Tweedsiders increased their advantage when a free kick from Chris Black was parried by Eyemouth keeper Adam Mutch and Des Burnett was quickest to react to knock the ball into the net.

But the two-goal lead lasted just one minute as a through-ball was only partially cleared by the home defence, allowing midfielder James Wilson to power a shot into the bottom corner.

Kelso should have increased their lead on the half-hour mark when Jordan Lauder headed wide with the goal gaping, following good work down the right by Burnett.

And two minutes before the break, Kelso had strong claims for a penalty when Calum McClure appeared to be tripped in the box by defender Jess, but Airdrie whistler Scott Love thought differently and booked the teenager for diving.

Ever a threat, it was Eyemouth striker Shennan who created the visitors’ equaliser on 68 minutes, when he managed to cut the ball back from the byline onto the head of ex-Kelso player Shaun Phillips, who glanced a header inside the upright.

The Fishermen’s keeper Mutch then kept the score all-square, diving full-stretch to his right to stop a Lauder free kick.

But the visitors’ winner came 12 minutes from time as Shennan knocked the ball back to defender Leigh Walker, who slammed the ball home from eight yards.

An ankle injury to Dowie in the 80th minute meant that Kelso manager Prof Blaikie had to shuffle the side, with Burnett going in goal for the remainder of the match.

United pressed for the final few minutes, but could not get the breakthrough to take the game to extra time.

Kelso team: S Dowie (D. Richardson 80), G. McNulty, S.. Angus, C Black (J. McCutcheon 85), S. Harker, D. McNulty, C. McClure, M. Laidler (G. Mabon 80), D. Burnett, L. Wallace, J. Lauder.