Easthouses Lily 2
Kelso United 2
EoS FIRST DIVISION
GEORGE RILEY reports from Newbattle
DESPITE dominating the majority of the game, United could only muster a draw at windswept Easthouses.
Disappointed Kelso manager Prof Blaikie was philosophical, knowing that his team were the better outfit but failed to take advantage.
He told TheSouthern: “We should have won this match being 2-1 up and the home team down to 10 men, but the players seem to lose concentration once in the lead.”
The visitors started on the front foot and the first chance fell to United midfielder Chris Tait, who fired a shot from just outside the box, but Lily keeper Bryan Young was alert and saved with a right-handed dive.
United were awarded a free kick 25 yards out and Jordan Lauder’s effort saw the Easthouses keeper at full stretch to tip over the bar.
Lily’s first effort on goal came after 20 minutes when Stuart Harker was judged to have andled the ball 30 yards out and from the resultant free kick, home full back Jamie Shields whizzed the ball just over the bar.
The home side went in front halfway through the first half when United defender Steven Tait pulled down Euan Smith in the box and referee Jim McCunnie pointed to the spot.
The penalty was duly dispatched by Craig Stupart with a fierce right-footed shot.
On the half-hour mark, United created a couple of efforts when Stuart Harker flung in a cross to the back post where Calum Webb just failed to make contact, and then a cross from Liam Wallace saw Jordan Lauder outjump the home defence, but the big striker’s headed effort struck the outside of the post with the keeper beaten.
United equalised a minute from the break when they caught Easthouses with a quick counter move.
Following an attack by the home side, the Kelso defence cleared to Webb galloping up the left wing.
The winger then squared the ball to striker Jamie Milner, who coolly chipped the outrushing home keeper from 20 yards and saw the ball settle in the right-hand corner of the net.
United continued to dominate and went in front just two minutes after the restart.
A free kick was awarded 22 yards out when Webb was upended. Lauder stepped up to take the kick and his effort struck the crossbar, the rebound falling to the head of Harker and the big defender made no mistake in beating the home keeper.
Ten minutes into the second half and Lily were down to 10 men.
Initially, Graeme Young was booked for a challenge on Steven Tait, but after an exchange of words, referee McCunnie produced the red card.
The home side drew level in the 56th minute when Gary Mabon failed to clear and Stupart pounced to whip in a cross from the right wing into the edge of the box, where Daniel Watson found himself in acres of space to plant a shot just inside the left hand post.
United had a big claim for a penalty with 10 minutes remaining when Webb nipped in to collect the ball in front of the diving Bryan Young in the home goal.
The keeper seemed to upend the winger, but the referee had other ideas, booking Webb for diving.
A frantic last couple of minutes almost saw United clinch it when Des Burnett, who had come on minutes earlier, broke down the left and crossed for Lauder, whose header was parried by the keeper to Wallace and the blond midfielder could only shake his head in disbelief when his shot was cleared off the line.
Kelso United: D. Simmonds, J. McCutcheon, G. Mabon, S. Harker, S. Tait, D. McNulty, C. Webb (D. Burnett), C. Tait ( C Black), J. Lauder, L. Wallace, J. Milner (M. Lockhart).