A double from former Berwick Rangers centre half Dougie Brydon gave Duns victory at Woodside Park on Saturday, keeping them hot on the tails of the league leaders.
Brydon, playing in midfield, struck early in the first half and completed the scoring three minutes before the break.
“We lost goals at critical times in the match and never really recovered from the initial one,” said Kelso coach Prof Blaikie.
“Duns are a big physical team and made it difficult for our young side, but it is a learning process for most of the lads.”
Duns virtually struck with their first attack of the game as a cross from the right was headed goalwards by Connor Devany. Home keeper Elliott Turnbull managed to stretch and parry the ball out, but Brydon was first to react to sweep the ball into the net from close range.
The home side had claims for a penalty in the 15th minute as Dean Boyne fed Jordan Hopkinson. The striker’s shot hit the outstretched arm of Duns defender Steve McHoul, but Edinburgh whistler Paul Hanlon waved play on.
A run down the right by David Gallagher found Hopkinson who passed to midfielder Ewan Hutchison but the youngster’s shot went wide of the post.
United did have the ball in the net after 37 minutes as Hopkinson netted after a great run by Hutchison, however, ref Hanlon adjudged the front man was offside.
The Dingers increased their advantage as Mike Robinson swung in a cross from the left.
The ball was missed by the home defence and Brydon pounced to fire home from six yards.
The visitors pressed hard to push home the advantage at the start of the second half and Gary Wales shot wide from 35 yards. This was quickly followed by a Brydon header going wide.
A burst from midfield by Devany almost brought the visitors a third goal, but he was thwarted by Turnbull saving the midfielder’s point-blank shot. Turnbull again denied Devany five minutes later as he dived to his left to push away a fierce right foot shot.
Devany must have thought he finally had got a goal five minutes from time, but this time his shot was blocked by the legs of the home keeper, the ball breaking to Jordan Lauder whose effort was cleared off the line by Steven Tait.
United had the last shot of the game as a Kyle Blaikie effort from 20 yards just went wide with visiting keeper Paul Tansy scrambling across goal.