Peebles Rovers 4
Kelso United 0
Talk about the highs and lows of football – United went from the heights of defeating Hibs to hitting the depths at Whitestone Park on Saturday.
A hat-trick by midfielder Frankie Arthur – two of them from the penalty spot – and a strike from Scott Sutherland sealed victory for the home side.
It turned out quite an eventful day with three penalties awarded to Peebles and Kelso reduced to nine men by the end of the game – Elliott Turnbull and Grant Gass both sent off by Bothwell whistler Jim McCunnie.
“It was a bad day for us,” said Kelso manager Prof Blaikie. “We never performed and Peebles deserved their victory, however there were some dubious decisions by the ref which did not help our cause.”
Peebles had a strong wind advantage in the first half.
Both teams missed chances, before the home side took the lead in the 35th minute, when they worked a short corner on the right and good interplay between Jordan Hall and Arthur saw the latter hit a right-foot shot into the top corner of the net.
United started the second half well, but the first of Peebles’ penalties came in the 62nd minute when Callum Gass brought down full back Jonathan Flockhart at the edge of the box. The referee initially gave a free kick outside the box, but after consultation with his assistant the decision was changed to a penalty, which Arthur converted.
Six minutes later and it was penalty number two when a cross from the right saw Darren Bowie and Hall rise for a header. Referee McCunnie deemed that the United defender had fouled the Rovers front man. United captain Turnbull could not believe that a penalty had been given and smiled at the ref’s decision. The man in black decided that was dissent and the keeper was on his way to the dressing room, having already been booked.
Arthur made no mistake putting the ball in the bottom corner past substitute keeper Bowie.
Peebles increased their lead in the 80th minute when Sutherland rounded keeper Bowie from close range, having taken a neat pass from Chris Flockhart.
Penalty number three was given with three minutes remaining when a dust-up between Damien McNulty and Chris Flockhart ensued – both players were booked .
Arthur stepped up again, but this time hit the upright with his effort.
It was all too much for Grant Gass who gave the referee a verbal volley and it was his turn to walk from the field.