United back on form, but fail to find goal

Kelso United 0

Craigroyston 0

EoS FIRST DIVISION

GEORGE RILEY reports from Woodside Park

ALTHOUGH the scoreline was blank this was a much-improved performance by United and they were unlucky not to come away with a win after dominating their city opponents for most of the game.

The first 15 minutes of the match was tit for tat with both teams probing, but getting bogged down in midfield.

After this initial period the game sprang to life and with 17 minutes gone good work down the left by teenager Aaron Swailes found Des Burnett in the box, but the striker’s shot was well saved by Craigroyston keeper Stewart Addison.

Craigroyston retaliated when full back Craig Sinclair found centre forward Greg Irvine, whose deft flick rattled off the United crossbar. Midway through the first half Sean Angus set up Burnett, but the front man’s shot just drifted wide with the visitor’s keeper beaten.

United continued to press and on the half hour mark another chance fell to Burnett from a Paul Dumma free kick. The striker got in front of the visitors’ defence with a glancing header, but keeper Addison saved at the second attempt. Just before the break a corner on the left by Chris Black was met by the head of Swailes, but the youngster’s effort went just over the bar.

United keeper David Simmonds was called into action in the 53rd minute when he had to deal with a Kieran Dodd shot. This was followed by some good interplay between Burnett and United substitute Jonny Waugh at the edge of the box – the latter just shooting wide.

Kelso had a strong appeal for a penalty in the 67th minute when a cross from the right by Black hit the hand of defender Paul Russell in the box, but referee Michael Scott waved play-on.

Craigroyston could have stolen the match at the end when a corner from the right was headed out by the United defence and with a couple of deflections the ball ended up at the feet of Greg Irvine, but he shot wide with just the keeper to beat.

The final piece of action saw the visitors down to 10 men when full back Stephen Sproule was sent off for his second bookable offence following a late challenge on Steven Tait.

Kelso United: D. Simmonds, J. McCutcheon, S. Angus (J. Milner 80), P. Dumma, S. Harker, D. McNulty, S. Tait, D. Burnett, A. Swailes, C. Black, A. Jameson (J. Waugh 54).