Caledonian Braves came back from a goal down to beat Broomhill 2-1 and extend their unbeaten run to 3 games after a thrilling contest at the Indodrill Stadium.
After drawing 1-1 with East Kilbride midweek and possibly feeling unlucky not to take 3 points, Braves were on the road again and back in action against Broomhill this time. Ricky Waddell’s side were down to the bare bones as injuries ruled out Luke Main, Lewis McLear and Jamie Watson from the matchday squad. Ross Lindsay just managed to make the bench but was still carrying a knock which seen him miss the East Kilbride game. Chris Henry returned from COVID-19 isolation measures, but Lewis Duffy kept his place in goal after some fine performances. With all these problems, assistant manager and ex-player David Winters was named on the bench alongside a young trialist and the returning Amaury Testa.
Broomhill came into the game having only lost once to Bonnyrigg Rose out of the opening 4 games, scoring 7 goals in the process.
The game began with continued Braves pressure, popping the ball about sharply and probing at the Broomhill defence. However, a long ball somehow broke through to the home sides striker and he made no mistake in capitalising to send them into a lead with only 4 minutes played in the game.
Braves dusted themselves off and continued to play as they had started before the goal. The first chance came as Gavin Lachlan picked the ball up deep, got his head up and pinged a fantastic ball to the back post where Marc Kelly brought the ball down perfectly and forced a great save from the keeper.
Sustained pressure paid off for Braves as ten minutes later they were level. Rhys Armstrong swung in a great free-kick to the back post, where Jack McDowell was waiting to fire the ball home first time and grab his first goal of the season. Another assist for Armstrong in the process making it 4 in 5 games. 1-1.
Ten minutes later it was almost an identical second. Armstrong again swung in a perfect free kick to find McDowell unmarked at the back post, but the big centre half couldn’t connect with enough power to see his volley beat the Broomhill keeper.
As the referee blew for half time it was clear Braves had settled well in the first half after conceding early on. Dominating most of the possession and forcing Broomhill to look for long out balls.
With no changes at the break for either team the second half started with a great chance for Braves. Marc Kelly curled a first time shot from the edge of the box toward the top corner, only for the Broomhill keeper to produce a fantastic save to deny the midfielder.
Jamie Walker caused problems for the Broomhill full backs all afternoon and it finally paid off. Standing the left back up and nutmegging him brilliantly, Walker was hauled to the ground as he skipped round the defender and won a free kick on the edge of the box. A bit of handbags ensued as Walker was clearly irate at being denied the opportunity to get beyond the defender and both players were booked for the stramash. From here Braves won a series of corners which eventually fell to Jack Brown who struck an outrageous effort from just after the halfway line, rattling off the post Jamie Walker was on hand to pounce on the rebound and send Braves ahead. 2-1.
It was nearly another goal for Walker after a mix up at the back saw a bouncing ball go beyond the Broomhill keeper, Walker chased after it to tap it into the empty net but it just managed to sneak past the post before he could reach it. From the over hit corner Lachlan done well to keep the danger alive, setting up Butterworth who cracked a curling effort on goal, producing another great save from the Broomhill keeper.
The last ten minutes were a cagey affair as Broomhill started to grow into the game, forcing Braves to dig deep and see the game out. With seemingly endless injury time added on, long ball after long ball was launched into the Braves box. The defence stood strong and dealt with anything that was sent their way.
Finally, the referee called the game to a halt as Braves picked up another fantastic 3 points. A dominant team performance from Caledonian Braves will leave Ricky Waddell delighted with how his side is progressing. Week on week they look more of a team capable of dominating games but also becoming more of a defensive unit in the process.
Caledonian Braves are now unbeaten in 3 games and have some real momentum going into next weeks game against Bonnyrigg Rose, who arguably will provide their biggest test yet. This fixture will be broadcast live on our app, or come along to Alliance Park on Saturday 7th August, 3pm kick off.
9. Starrs (80’ Lindsay)
14. Morrison (Trialist)
16. Winters (Trialist)
1. Owen Scott
2. Lewis Crawford
3. Regan O'Sullivan
4. Aiden Cassidy
5. Mick Dunlop
6. Ryan Sinnamon
7. Ross Alexander
8. Dom Lavelle
9. Sean Slaven
10. Jack Hodge
11. Gabe Skeoch
12. Scott Cusick
14. Ewan Loudon
15. Andy Monk
16. Liam Evans
17. Finlay Gray
18. Jordan Duncan
21. Stephen Barr