10 men Caledonian Braves fall to a 3-1 defeat away to Rangers B
Braves travelled to Rangers B for the first time this season on Saturday, after the earlier fixture was postponed a few weeks ago. Caledonian Braves were looking to get back to winning ways in the league after falling to Civil Service Strollers last time out. Rangers B were also hoping to get back on track after getting beat 4-1 by Cumbernauld Colts in a shock result.
Saturday’s team saw Braves midfielder, Marc Kelly, come back into the starting lineup in replace of Lewis Mclear. Apart from that Braves were unchanged and looking to test themselves against a strong Rangers outfit. A team featuring Columbian ‘wonderkid’ striker, Juan Alegria. Still unavailable for selection was Cole Starrs, Jamie Watson and John Guthrie.
The game started off with a frantic pace with both teams looking to gain control early on. Zac Butterworth broke away down the left and drove at the Rangers defence, he cut the ball back to Cameron Breadner who managed to win a corner. Braves Continued the pressure winning a flurry of corners in the opening 15 minutes, but with no end result.
However, against the run of play, the game swung on its head. Mathhew Henderson slipped inside his own box and brought the Rangers forward down with him. The referee pointed to the spot and Rangers had a penalty. Juan Alegria stepped up and slotted the ball into the back of the net, putting Rangers ahead 20 minutes into the first half. 1-0.
Braves didn’t let this affect the way they were playing and continued to drive forward at the Rangers defence. Their next chance was when Jack Brown took charge of a free kick at the edge of the box and whipped it viciously past the post.
The game was approaching the 30th minute mark and Rangers were starting to settle and get a foothold in the game and create some half chances, but Braves looking dangerous on the counterattack. From one of these counterattacks Braves won another corner. Rhys Armstrong fired it into the box and onto Marc Kelly’s head, he sent it agonisingly past the post.
Two minutes before the half time interval Caledonian Braves were down to 10 men. Cameron Breadner was driving down the right with the ball and charged into a 50/50 tackle. The referee produced a straight red card and Breadner was sent off, brining a frantic half to an end.
With Braves down to 10 men Matthew Henderson was replaced at half time, Jamie Walker was moved to left back and Lewis Mclear was sent on to lead the line up front.
Within 2 minutes of the restart Braves were level. Rhys Armstron whipped in another inswinging corner that was met by Jack Duncan at the back post. Braves were back in the game, 1-1.
You would have forgiven Braves for resting at 1-1 and sitting tight, but they didn’t. Driving forward again Lewis McLear waited for the overlap of Zac Butterworth who stood the defender up 1v1, but fired his shot wildly over the bar and almost into the Clyde.
Lewis McLear continued to provide a good focal point for the away side as he fired a cross across the face of goal this time, eventually causing enough panic to have it cleared for a corner. You would have been forgiven for thinking there was still 11v11 on the park as Braves didn’t look a man down at all the second half. However, with Rangers being patient and working the ball side to side, eventually Braves were undone. The Rangers number 10 dinked a perfect through ball into the path of his overlapping midfielder who slotted it home from a tight angle. 2-1 Rangers.
From here Rangers controlled the game and were in no rush to chase another goal. Substitute midfielder, Lowry, certainly changed the game for Rangers and played his part in the third goal for his side. After the Rangers forward was tripped in the box, Lowry stepped up and for the second time of the match, Chris Henry was picking a penalty back out of his net. 3-1.
Shortly before the final whistle Chris Henry produced an incredible fingertip save to deny Rangers a fourth goal.
Caledonian Braves will be frustrated having started so well in the game. To then go behind against the run of play through a soft penalty and then dropped to 10 men just before half time killed what could have been a great game. However, Braves went toe-to-toe with Rangers and didn’t look out of place even with a man down, the sort of fight we have seen develop this season in the young squad. Rangers were patient and eventually worked the openings enough to get their goals. Next up for Braves is a home game against Spartans.
1. Chris Henry
2. Jack Brown
3. Mathew Henderson
4. Jack McDowall
5. Jack Duncan
6. Rhys Armstrong
7. Zac Butterworth
8. Luke Main
9. Marc Kelly
10. Cameron Breadner
11. Jamie Walker (C)
75. Lewis Duffy
12. Scott Forrester
14. Gavin Lachlan
15. Lewis McLear
16. Amaury Testa
17. Ross Lindsay
18. Yacine Boualem