The Braves kicked off their Lowland League season campaign with a comprehensive 6-0 victory away to Edinburgh University at Peffermill.
A Historic day for the club, the first competitive match under the club’s new name.
If you were told at half time the full time score-line would be 6-0 you wouldn’t quite believe that. A fairly even opening 45 minutes to the season as both teams looked lively and sharp.
Ross McNeil had been on fire in pre-season since his summer move from East Kilbride and he started the season in similar style. Four minutes on the clock before the striker hit the back of the net. Kyle Johnson’s long ball down left hand side was nodded behind by an Edinburgh defender. McNeil used his pace to latch on to the loose ball and coolly slotted round the oncoming Edinburgh keeper.
THE FIRST OFFICIAL LEAGUE GOAL FOR THE CALEDONIAN BRAVES!
The rest of the second half continued like the start. Both sides having chances, Edinburgh lead the way in chances created but failed to make some decent opportunities count. Alex Marshall was forced into a great save while Neil McLaughlin and David Winters had chances at the other end.
Alan Reid made an incredible block on the half hour mark to deny what was a sure goal for the home side. At the other end Edinburgh’s 17 year-old keeper made a remarkable save from point blank range from Marc Kelly to keep the score line to 1-0 going into the break.
The second half kick-off and the flood gates opened.
The Braves claimed their second of the afternoon through debutant Blair Docherty. The winger was found in space from a lovely chipped ball from Winters’ through the defence leaving Docherty with one on one situation.
The third came shortly later, effectively killing the tie. David Sinclair smashed home a free-kick from the edge of the box. Winters skipped over the ball as Sinclair put his laces through the ball as it found its way to the opposite corner leaving the keeper with no chance.
The Braves were playing nice football and Edinburgh were beginning to struggle. Some excellent link up play from McNeil and Winters allowed McLaughlin time and space to hit a sweet strike that would loop over the home keeper.
A spell in the second half allowed Edinburgh to show glimpses of what they were like in the first half but the game was all but done. Both Winters and Kelly took knocks during the game and were substituted.
The final two goals came in the dying moments of the game. A sensational half volley from Sinclair allowed McNeil to coast in behind the defence and slot past the keeper for his second. Docherty also bagged his brace, the wingers initial shot was blocked but as the ball spun up into the air he caught it sweetly and buried it into the net.
Terrific result to start the season and six very good goals. Up next Gretna 2008 at Alliance Park, Wednesday 31st July, 7:45pm KO.