Peebles Rovers 1
Kelso United 1
EoS FIRST DIVISION
STUART REID reports from Whitestone Park
KELSO grabbed a late goal to draw level in this typical Borders derby.
Peebles started the brighter from kick-off, winning three corners in the first five minutes, all successfully cleared.
The Tweedsiders remained under the cosh when a through-ball from Nicky Cairns split the visitors’ defence and Craig Edgar got through on goal, only to be upended by Kelso keeper Dave Simmonds.
Referee Paul Hanlon immediately pointed to the penalty spot and yellow-carded Simmonds. Peebles captain Cairns duly dispatched the penalty into the net to give his team an eighth-minute lead.
Peebles continued to press until Kelso had their first chance on the half-hour mark. A great ball from midfield found Mark Lockhart free in the box, but his first touch took the ball away from him.
The visitors continued to enjoy a good spell with Des Burnett blazing over from a David Richardson ball before Chris Tait fired wide from 35 yds, but it was Peebles that went into the break in front.
Whatever was said at half-time by Kelso boss Prof Blaikie seemed to work as they looked a different team after the restart. They dominated the first 10 minutes, with Lockhart, Callum Webb and John Waldie all going close.
Then, in the 56th minute, Peebles striker Edgar headed for goal only for Simmonds to produce some brilliance, tipping the ball over the bar.
United continued to hunt for the equaliser – Tait and Lockhart both sending efforts over the bar. They went for broke, bringing on three young subs to give them an energy boost.
With two minutes to go, the changes paid off as Aaron Swailes won the ball in the middle of the park and played it out wide to Burnett, who drove into the box and cut it across goal for Liam Hill, coming in between two Peebles defenders, to slam the ball into the net.
It was the 17-year-old striker’s first goal for the club and secured a much deserved point for Kelso.
Peebles Rovers: J. Nisbet, D. Urey, D. Knox, Raymond Fleming, S. Joyce, G. Young, N. Cairns, G. Shortreed, C. Edgar, P. Conaghan, S. Watson. Subs: Ronald Fleming, D. McCall, J. Martin.
Kelso United: D. Simmonds, J. Waldie, D. Richardson, S. Harker, J. Swailes, C. Webb, C. Tait, D. Burnett, L. Wallace, M. Lockhart, J. Milner. Subs: A. Swailes, L. Hill.