Kelso United 0
Peebles Rovers 0
Opinions can make football interesting when the action on the field fails to produce the goods, and that was certainly the case at Woodside Park.
Peebles coach John O’Hara labelled this goalless first game of the East of Scotland First Division a fair result, and heaped praise on goalkeepers Chris Malcolm and Elliot Turnbull.
But Kelso manager Prof Blaikie told The Southern: “There was only one team trying to play and that was us.
“We have heard good reports about Peebles and had watched them a few times, but from start to finish I felt we were the better team.
“I am disappointed with the result, but not the performance.”
While Blaikie did not feel his keeper Turnbull, who has returned after a spell at Gala Fairydean, had a lot to do, he is expecting the 27-year-old to prove a valuable addition.
Blaikie added: “Elliot gives us a voice at the back. He made a couple of saves late on, but the game should have been out of sight by then.”
Kelso certainly had the better of the first half, with 17-year-old Malcolm, a recruit from Berwick Rangers, proving difficult to get by.
After an unsuccessful appeal for a penalty against Philip Alexander’s handball, which Blaikie was adamant should have been given, Calum McClure was denied by Malcolm when clean through.
At the other end, Turnbull did well to block a close-range shot from Yussif Bernawi before United’s Liam Wallace just missed a Jordan Lauder cross.
The second half was less than a minute old when Lauder danced through the Rovers backline, only for Malcolm to save well.
In a frantic closing five minutes, Turnbull reacted brilliantly to stop a powerful close-in strike by Chris Flockhart.
O’Hara said: “Chris is still a bit raw, but he is learning a lot and I am really pleased with his performance.
“Elliot was at Gala when I was there last season and he is a top goalie and a great guy.”
Kelso Utd: E. Turnbull, D. Bowie, S. Angus, D. McNulty, S. Tait, C. Baillie, C. McClure (L. Hill 88), G. Gass, S. Bonnington, L. Wallace, J. Lauder (B. Chisholm 88).
Peebles Rovers: C. Malcolm, J. Flockhart, P. Alexander (D. Munro 81), J. Hall, D. Richardson, F. Arthur, Y. Bernawi (J. Manson 81), C. Flockhart, B. Gay, S. Sutherland, C. Edgar (S. P. Ritchie 60).