The Braves played host to Lowland League title favourites Kelty Hearts as Barry Ferguson’s side visited Alliance Park for the first time.
A fairly even opening but the Braves quickly found themselves trailing by two inside 10 minutes. Some good build up play from the away side allowed Dylan Easton time and space on the edge of the box. The former Forfar midfielder’s long range strike took a wicked deflection off of Jack McDowall seeing the ball float into the top right hand corner.
Immediately from kick off Scott Linton fired a long range effort down the pitch Nathan Austin was able to pounce on the ball beat the last man and slot home past Alex Marshall.
Kelty controlled the majority of the first half with good saves from Marshall and a great headed block from Alan Reid kept the scoreline down to 2-0.
The Braves started to grow back into the game. Kelty were forced into good saves from David Sinclair and Ross McNeil who were unlucky not to get their name on the score sheet.
The goal finally came from the home side. A lapse of concentration in the Kelty defence allowed Reece Glackin to intercept a loose pass. He calmly slotted the ball through to McNeil who sent the ball rolling across the keeper and into the bottom corner.
Just as the Braves thought they were on their way back into this match Kelty again doubled their advantage. A cross from the right hand side found and unmarked Easton with plenty of space to head the ball home for his second of the afternoon.
The second was played much the same as the first. Kelty were dominant in possession and more ruthless on the ball.
Marshall was forced into many good saves to keep the scoreline as it was as our defence struggled to keep tabs on Austin.
Blair Docherty had been scoring for fun so far this season but after a nice bit of footwork his goal-bound shot was easily collected by the Kelty keeper.
Kelty had a shot hit the post and another drag just wide of it as they searched for the goal to effectively end the tie as a contest. That goal eventually came half an hour from time as Daniel Ashe rose highest to head home from a corner.
Chances continued to flood at the Braves defence but Marshall had to be on top form once again. Neil McLaughlin had a chance at the end but his shot sailed over the crossbar.
A tough afternoon for the Braves as Kelty inflicted our first defeat of the season.
Up next another of the league favourites as we travel to K Park to play East Kilbride, Saturday 10th August 2019 3PM KO.