First Team

Report: Braves shoot down the star with two late goals to win the cup

29th May 2023

The Braves left Galabank Stadium in Annan with the Southern Counties Cup trophy on board, rounding off the season on a high after defeating Dalbeattie Star 3-1.

Dalbeattie got off to a strong start after they opened the scoring just five minutes in. Jay Riley drove into the Braves’ penalty area and launched a ball into the six-yard box which then deflected off a crowd of players and into the net. Dale Milligan claimed the goal as his own though as he wheeled away in celebration.

The Braves came close to a quick equaliser when Dalbeattie’s John Cumming was forced to clear Marc Kelly’s headed effort off the line.

Braves continued to press high throughout the opening half, creating a multitude of dangerous chances, but they couldn’t find the back of the net.

Ross McNeil eventually brought a reward for his sides’ efforts as he dragged the ball around Ross Hyslop before slamming it into the empty net.

The Braves were then left feeling wronged after Zac Butterworth’s cross was mishandled by Hyslop and brought down around the goal line. Many of the Braves players protested that it was a goal, but the score line remained 1-1 as the sides headed into half time.

In the second half, Ricky Waddell’s side maintained their high pressure on the Star as they continued to test the Dalbeattie back line.

Despite defeating Dalbeattie 10-0 in their last encounter in January, Braves found the men in red and black a tougher nut to crack this time around.

Both sides looked destined for extra time after Liam Craig missed two open chances in the box against his former side in the final 10 minutes. Luke Main had other plans though as he picked up the ball on the edge of the box and swivelled before clinically drilling it into the bottom corner in the 88th minute.

Braves then doubled their advantage as Kelly sent in a through ball from the left side of the box which came off a Dalbeattie defender and rolled into the net.

The final whistle blew at 3-1 as the Caledonian Braves celebrated on the grass at Galabank before hastily shipping the trophy back to Alliance Park on the party bus.

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