First Team

Capital calling as Braves travel to face Civil

24th March 2023

Tomorrow, Braves are on the road to Edinburgh once again for a Lowland League clash against Civil Service Strollers as we look to stretch our winning run to five games.

Ricky Waddell’s squad enter Saturday’s match feeling fresh, after last week’s match with Rangers B was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch in Dumbarton. In lieu of the Braves’ absence, East Kilbride’s 2-1 victory over Saturday’s opponents, Civil Service Strollers, extended the gap between us and East Kilbride to six points.

Saturday’s match presents an opportunity for the Braves to capitalise on games in hand, as we look to climb the table. Hearts B’s 4-1 dismantling of East Kilbride means the gap between us remains at six points, however, EK face second-bottom Edinburgh University on Saturday at Peffermill.


Opposition Report


Civil have had a mixed campaign so far and lie in 9th place just behind ourselves, due to our superior goal difference. Civil fans may have been daring to dream earlier in the season as a superb run in the first few months of the campaign saw them reach as high as 2nd in the table at the beginning of November.

Building momentum has been difficult since then though as they have slipped down the table. A barren run of 6 defeats in 8 between November and January was key to this slide down the league.

Civil were also hit with the loss of top scorer Alieu Faye to League Two side Bonnyrigg Rose in January which surely has been another contributing factor to a tough run of form.

Civil Service Strollers enter Saturday’s match off the back of a dramatic defeat to East Kilbride at K-Park, thanks to academy graduate Danny Connor’s thunderous added-time strike. However, it was Louis Kennedy who opened the scoring for the visitors, as East Kilbride were put on the back foot following a slow start. Danny Connor’s arrival before the second half rejuvenated Kevin Rutkiewicz’s side, as Ronan Hughes’ strike and a late winner from the former meant Civil Service left K-Park with nothing to show.

One to watch out for in the Civil side is their captain Conrad Balatoni, with the 32-year-old centre-half's career taking him to clubs all across the SPFL pyramid, representing the likes of Partick Thistle, and Kilmarnock. Being able to call on a player of Balatoni’s pedigree is always an advantage particularly at this level.

Caledonian Braves know the feeling of victory against Civil Service Strollers, with a 3-1 win over the Edinburgh club at Alliance Park in November setting a precedent for the competitiveness of this fixture.

In familiar fashion, Marc Kelly opened the scoring on that cold November night, after latching onto John Guthrie’s adept delivery from the right wing. Having taken the lead in six minutes, Ricky Waddell’s men did not let up, and continued to apply pressure on the Civil Service defence. Zac Butterworth’s driving run along the left flank saw his chance deflected out for a corner, however, the winger would get his goal and extend Braves’ advantage to two, after an effective attacking move.

Civil Service Strollers would pull a goal back before half-time, thanks to Matthew Cunningham’s unstoppable strike, which rocked the crossbar on its way past ‘keeper Chris Henry, who had a relatively quiet first half until that point. Braves emerged for the second half looking to put the stamp on what had been a dominant display, and Jack Duncan’s driven strike shortly after the hour-mark certainly did just that.




Tomorrow is another important afternoon in the context of the league table for Braves. Realistically, with five games remaining the two teams we can catch are Berwick and East Kilbride.

If we are able to win our two games in hand over Berwick, we will be just the 2 points behind them with 3 games each left to play. East Kilbride, on paper, may be more of an uphill battle to oust as they lie 6 ahead of us having played the same 31 games that we have. However, EK must be low on confidence having had an inconsistent 2023 so far which has seen them fall out of the promotion battle altogether. They are also coming off the back of a midweek thrashing from Hearts B. If Braves can continue picking up three points till the end of the season, East Kilbride may also need to look over their shoulder rather than looking up the table.


Match Details


Kick off is 3pm at Christie Gillies Park. Tickets are priced at £8 for adults and £5 for concessions.

We will have live commentary available on our Twitter Spaces platform from 2:50pm, so  feel free to tune in! There will be also be live text updates on Twitter and on our app.




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