Caledonian Braves travelled to Cumbernauld Colts for matchday 18 and officially start the second half of the season. Last time out Braves managed a 1-1 draw with Spartans, Cumbernauld also picked up a point after drawing 2-2 with Celtic B. Both teams were searching for a win but it would be Braves who came out on top.
Saturday’s team saw Cameron Breadner serve the second match of his two-game ban. This saw Gavin Lachlan keep his place in the starting lineup in a holding role, with Luke Main continuing in the number 10 role. After Jack McDowalls knee injury last week, Scott Forrester started with Jack Duncan in defence. Still unavailable for selection was captain Ross Lindsay, Cole Starrs, Jamie Watson, John Guthrie and Jack McDowall
It was a dry and bright afternoon at Broadwood stadium as the teams headed out for a warmup and a feel of the pitch. However, the wind would play a part in the game as conditions got worse as soon as kick off arrived.
The action began with both teams trying to get the ball down and play. Cumbernauld had an early chance after some fine work down the left saw a cutback fall to their attacker on the penalty spot but Chris Henry tipped it round the post well.
After that chance Zac Butterworth drove down the right and fired a ball across goal, it eventually fell to Marc Kelly but his shot was deflected and cleared from danger.
Just before the 20th minute Caledonian Braves took the lead. Lewis McLear tried a shot at the edge of the box, it fell to Rhys Armstrong. He took a touch and curled it in off the post to send Braves ahead.
However, Braves lead didn’t last long. Ten minutes later Cumbernauld were level. Colt’s number 10 touch a touch, flicked it up and volleyed It over his head. It went looping over Chris Henry and rattled off the underside of the crossbar and in.
The game was scrappy in the first half but there was some great passages of play at times. Lewis McLear and Marc Kelly bounced a few one – twos in the middle of the park eventually getting Braves up the park and winning a throw. From there the ball fell to Gavin Lachlan on the edge of the box but he fired his shot narrowly wide.
At half time both sides would have felt they could have done better to keep possession at times, but the conditions were doing all they could to prevent this.
With no changes at the break the second half kicked off.
Ten minutes into the second half the game changed. Lewis McLear went to drive with the ball, but he was scythed down by his opponent. The referee didn’t hesitate and produced a straight red card for the ex-Braves player Dominic Slattery. From here Braves went up the park and won a corner. Rhys Armstrong whipped it in and found the head of Jack Duncan who put Braves ahead.
From here Braves pilled the pressure on, this time Zac Butterworth drove down the right and slipped in Marc Kelly, he found Luke Main but his shot narrowly went over the bar.
It wouldn’t be long before the sustained pressure paid off, another Rhys Armstrong corner found the head of Marc Kelly, his header crashed off the bar and rebounded to Jack Duncan who fired it home grabbing his second and braves third of the game.
Just before the final whistle Braves grabbed a fourth. Luke Main slipped in Rhys Armstrong who went through on goal and fired his first shot off the post, the rebound fell to him and he made no mistake in sealing a convincing win for Caledonian Braves.
Caledonian Braves will be delighted to grab four goals and get back to winning ways against a decent Cumbernauld side. The first half was difficult and both teams were creating the odd chance here and there. The sending off undoubtedly changed the game, but the performance levels in the second half and passages of play will please Ricky Waddell’s side. Rhys Armstrong and Jack Duncan will be especially happy after both grabbing two goals each.
Next up for Braves is a tough home fixture against Civil Service Strollers, last time out Braves were beaten 3-1 so will be hoping to have a different outcome this Tuesday, 7.45pm Alliance Park.
1. Chris Henry
2. Jack Brown
3. Jamie Walker
4. Jack Duncan
5. Scott Forrester
6. Gavin Lachlan
7. Zac Butterworth
8. Rhys Armstrong
9. Lewis McLear
10. Luke Main
11. Marc Kelly
75. Lewis Duffy
12. Amaury Testa
14. Matthew Henderson
15. Yacine Boualem
16. Callum Guthrie
17. Lee Dempsey