Leith Athletic 2
Kelso United 1
EoS QUALIFING LEAGUE
GEORGE RILEY reports from Telford Sports Ground
On a pitch that would be more suited to the oval ball than the round version, United just lost out to Leith.
The longer grass was not conducive to passing football and the home team adapted more quickly to the conditions, however, United rallied after the break and Leith just held on to take the points.
Athletic started on the front foot and after early pressure went ahead in the 20th minute when a corner on the left by Stephen Barrie was met by defender Neil Lowson, who outjumped the Kelso rear guard and headed into the top corner of the net.
The home team went further ahead five minutes later when Kelso defender Chris Black mishit a clearance in the penalty box. Scott Dowie in the United goal punched the ball, but only to the feet of Leith midfielder Christopher Beaton, who fired the ball into the net from 18 yards.
The United team came more into the game after the half-hour mark and got their reward in the 34th minute. Following good work down the left by Chris Black and Liam Wallace, striker Des Burnett swivelled at the edge of the box and rattled a right-foot shot past Leith keeper John Nisbet.
Liam Wallace came close just before the break when chasing a through-ball down the right. He clashed with the home keeper, the ball went loose and the midfielder’s shot just went wide of the post.
United started the second half well and both Aaron Swailes and Liam Wallace were causing the home defence some concern.
Swailes went on a strong run down the right and his shot was blocked by the defence before Wallace shot just wide.
Just after the hour, Dowie parried a shot from striker Greig Tulloch and the ball fell to Kyle Boggie, but defender Darren Bowie was on the goal-line to knock clear.
Kelso kept looking for the equaliser and good efforts by Wallace and Graeme Gillie had the defence scrambling.
In the last 10 minutes a good run down the right by Swailes had the defence stretched and his kick across the goal was almost met by Darren Flannigan – the midfielder centimetres away from making contact.
This was followed by a Steven Tait header that just went wide from a Gillie corner.
Kelso United: S Dowie, G McNulty, C Black, D Bowie ( D Richardson 66), S Tait, C Webb (A Swailes 40), D Flannigan, L Wallace, D Burnett, L Hill ( S Angus 45), G Gillie.