Braves Fall to 1st Round Defeat
On Saturday afternoon, the Caledonian Braves entered the Scottish Cup with hopes of advancing to the 2nd Round, however fell narrowly short to Fraserburgh at Alliance Park. Our Highland League opposition found themselves up by two in the second and despite a late rally from our young Braves team, we were unable to find a leveller to take the game to extra time, with a true sense of disappointment in the air come the full-time whistle.
“We had to wait for the psychology of the game to change – as in we went one nothing down and they went one nothing up – to get going”, stated Ricky Waddell post-game. “That’s disappointing for me in a cup tie”.
Coming into the tie, the gaffer made numerous changes, looking to utilise his experienced players within the squad. Harvey Moyes came into the team at the base of midfield, whilst Chris Inglis added some steel to our backline at right-back. Additionally, Cammy Breadner moved to left-back, allowing Blair Hill to enter the side on the right wing.
The opening forty-five minutes of the game were fairly even, with Fraserburgh perhaps edging the overall play in the first half.
Our opposition came closest to finding the target in the opening periods, however Braves keeper Bernie White remained untested. The best chance of the half arguably fell to the Braves, through a moment of magic from Matty Collins. Our number 11 weaved in and out before cracking a great left footed strike from the edge of the box, which was well saved by the opposition keeper.
Unfortunately, the opening goal would eventually come for Fraserburgh, after Ryan Sargent tucked away a penalty with seventy minutes on the clock. The decision came after Harvey Moyes was adjudged to have tripped an opposition player, after reaching for a loose ball in the box.
As the Braves searched for a crucial equaliser, a sucker punch was delivered in the 86th minute. Ryan Sargent was once again the bane for the Braves, latching onto a flicked header, to finish with aplomb beyond Bernie White.
With little time on the clock, the Braves pushed forward once again and ultimately found themselves back in the game after 89 minutes. The goal came from a dangerous Matty Collins corner, which was turned into the net by the head of Jack McDowall – who proved dangerous from set pieces all afternoon – for his third goal of the season.
With a dramatic finish on the cards, the Braves threw everything they had in their search of an equaliser. Substitute Louis Thomspon came the closest, meeting a John Guthrie cross which was devastatingly deflected wide for a corner in injury time.
Despite this late rally from the Braves, we were unable to send the game to extra time and the disappointment was apparent from the Braves players as the full-time whistle blew.
“I’m proud to represent the club in the competition, which leads me to be pretty devasted about the result”, added the gaffer post-match. “As a coach you need to look back at it from a coaching perspective, but my initial reaction is one of real disappointment”.
“There’ll be positives in there to take to move forward, there’s no doubt about that. They’re a good bunch of boys, but they just didn’t do enough today”.
The Braves will look to bounce back next weekend away to Edinburgh University in the Lowland League.