Almost 100 fans were finally back on a warm summer’s night at Alliance Park, as Caledonian Braves looked to bounce back from their narrow 1-0 defeat to Berwick Rangers.
There was one enforced change for the home side, as Brave’s midfielder Luke Main was suspended for the tie after picking up a red card against Berwick last week. He was replaced by Rhys Armstrong in the middle of the park. As for Ritchie Maxwell, his side came into the game having enjoyed a 1-0 win against Civil Service Strollers last time out.
Caledonian Braves started on the front foot in the opening minutes after Cole Starrs and Jamie Walkers link up play caused the oppositions defence problems. This was a constant theme on both sides, with Jack Brown and Marc Kelly linking up well on the right wing as well.
After a spell of attacks from Caledonian Braves it was Dalbeattie’s turn, their number 8 Connor Graham struck a fierce shot from 20 yards out however, Chris Henry was routine to the save.
The breakthrough finally came after a fluid attack by Dalbeattie Star, a deep ball was played in from the left wing to the back post. Rising highest the Dalbeattie striker Russell Currie was able power home a header off the underside of the crossbar and make it 1-0 to the away side.
Dalbeattie didn’t sit back and instead took the game to Caley Braves after opening the scoring. Another chance fell to the reds after their winger fizzed a lovely ball to Currie, unfortunately for him, the number 9 couldn’t convert his chance just before the half time interval.
Both teams remained unchanged as the second half began. The half started off more conservative than the first however, with Dalbeattie keeping the ball well in the opening exchanges.
Soon after Caledonian Braves kicked into gear with right back Jack Brown floating a ball into the path of Jamie Watson, but he was forced wide and the danger was cleared.
The chances for Caledonian Braves kept coming after Ricky Waddell’s side took the game to Dalbeattie looking to find an equaliser. Lewis McClear found himself free in the middle of the box and spun well to get a shot away, however, the chance was blocked well by the Dalbeattie defender.
With 30 mins to go Braves brought on Zac Butterworth for Jamie Watson, looking to change things up and find a goal. The young winger was involved in the action straight away after taking the ball past two of the Dalbeattie defenders but unable to manage to get a cross away.
With 20 minutes left and the sun setting on Alliance Park, Lewis McClear found space for another chance after a lay off from Zac Butterworth, the shot was deflected wide and the corner cleared.
The home side didn’t stop there as Cole Starrs was played through on goal and managed to get a good shot away, but the keeper came out to narrow the angle and save well.
With only 10 minutes left to play, another chance came when a great ball in from the overlapping Jamie Walker found Lewis McLear, he threw himself at the header and narrowly put it wide.
Dalbeattie were pinned against the ropes for most of the second half but did manage to threaten from set pieces throughout. This time with five minutes to go they floated a ball to the back post, it was headed back across and after a scrambled was poked into the net, only to be ruled offside.
In the dying minutes of the game some great work again from Jack Brown saw a cross fired into the box in which the Dalbeattie keeper punched to the edge of the box, Zac Butterworth rattled a fierce volley toward to open goal first time, narrowly falling past the post to the agony of the Braves fans.
With seconds remaining and Braves throwing everything at an equaliser, a long ball was hoofed up by the opposition defender which left the home keepr, Chris Henry, rushing out to meet it. The Dalbeattie striker beat him to the ball and skipped round him to nod the bouncing ball home for his second of the game.
Dalbeattie dug in well and will be happy they hung on for two wins from two. The home team will feel disappointed however, after creating more than enough chances to get something from the game.
Next up for Caledonian Braves is a home tie against University of Stirling on Saturday the 24th of July at 3pm, Alliance Park.
Caledonian Braves line-up:
Watson (Butterworth 62')
Dalbeattie Star line-up: