United fall away after making great start against Craigie battlers

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Kelso United 1

Craigroyston 3

EoS QUALIFYING LEAGUES GROUP B

GEORGE RILEY reports from Woodside Park

TO QUOTE an old cliché, this was certainly a game of two halves with United dominant in the first and the visitors getting much the better of play in the second.

The home side started brightly and with only three minutes gone United were one up with the Kelso front three all involved.

A good run down the left and a pass by Jordan Lauder found Des Burnett in the middle.

Burnett placed the ball right for Chris Black, whose shot deflected off Craigroyston fullback Andrew Milligan and into the net.

The same combination of players almost increased the Tweedsiders’ lead on the quarter-hour mark when another break by Lauder passed through Burnett, who in turn played the ball to Black but this time the tall striker’s thunderous effort rattled off the crossbar with the keeper beaten.

United kept pressing and a Mark Lockhart shot went over the bar following a free kick from 30 yards out.

Craigroyston’s only real goal effort in the first half was when Martin Laidlaw was played through on goal, but the midfielder could not control the ball and his shot went wide.

The tables turned in the second half and six minutes after the restart the visitors drew level. Jamie Stewart swung a high ball to the far post, following a good run, where Darren Lochart rose above the United defence to angle a header past keeper David Simmonds.

On the hour mark, Craigroyston took the lead through a great individual goal by their striker Ubong Umotong. The number nine picked up the ball on the left side of the field and with pace and strength shrugged off the challenges of the United defence to place the ball in the left hand corner of the net.

The game was still in the balance until the 78th minute when the visitors were awarded a penalty. A loose ball in the box resulted in a tangle of legs and the Craigroyston midfielder fell over. Nobody thought it was a penalty except for young referee Peter Stuart, who was handing out bookings like confetti, and striker Umotong made no mistake with the spot kick to give the visitors a two-goal advantage.

Kelso: D. Simmonds, J. McCutcheon, S. Angus, J. Brown, S. Harker, D. McNulty, J. Lauder, M. Lockhart (C. Ferguson), D. Burnett, J. Swailes (J. Milner), C. Black (J Hogarth).