First Team

Honours Even at the Falkirk Stadium

3rd September 2023

For the third straight time, Caledonian Braves and East Stirlingshire thrashed out a 1-1 draw, with the latest instalment coming at the Falkirk Stadium this weekend. Ross McNeil looked to have won it, when he opened the scoring deep into the second half, before East Stirlingshire bagged a late equaliser to secure a point.


“I think a draw is probably a fair result if you look at it from a neutral perspective. From my perspective, we had chances to win it”, stated Ricky Waddell post-match. 

“It’s been a battling performance from the guys. If you look at the Hearts game, we battled so well, worked really well. We played a sort of stubborn shape and the boys have been working hard it”, added Ricky. "We don’t look like conceding a lot of goals which is a positive, we just need to start to unlock the doors a little bit in the final third.” 

The first half was a relatively equal affair, with neither team dominating phases of play. Bernie White was untested in the Braves goal, with our attackers creating the stronger chances in the opening 45. 
Matty Collins was our brightest spark, testing the keeper from the edge of the box, before unleashing a left-footed strike from inside the box that flew over the bar five minutes later.  
However, we entered the half time break with the scores all level. 
The first half hour of the second half went with minimal opportunities once again, which prompted the gaffer to  introduce Josh Gemmell, Ross McNeil and Cammy Breadner in a triple change. It was the first of whom, Josh, who made the difference after chasing onto a loose ball, before having his legs swept from behind. The referee had no hesitations and pointed to the spot, with 76 minutes on the clock. 
Club captain Ross McNeil was the man to step up from twelve yards and smashed home his effort into the bottom corner, for his first Lowland League goal of the season. 
Following on from this goal, the game opened up and the Braves players would’ve felt as if they could’ve scored a second. Winger Cammy Breadner tested the keeper twice with a pair of powerful efforts, whilst Ross McNeil came agonizingly close with a header from close range. 
Our hosts also responded from the goal and came close to scoring, after the ball rattled the woodwork in the aftermath of a set piece. 

Despite our strong defending throughout, our resolve was broken in the 86th minute. An East Stirlingshire made a strong run down the left, before sending a low cross in the box. Daniel Martins got a touch, but was unfortunate to see the ball land at the foot of Tony Coutts, who smashed in the equaliser. 
A heartbreaking moment for the Braves, who battled strongly to take the lead. They can, however, be proud of their fighting performance, which has seen them take one point along the road once again. 

We’ll be back on Tuesday night to host Gretna 2008 at Alliance Park. We’ll hope to see you there or see you tuning in for live coverage, as we look to pick up a richly deserved victory midweek! 

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