The Caledonian Braves secured a place in the third round of the South Challenge Cup after a dramatic comeback at Alliance Park to go from 2-0 down to win the game 3-2 after extra time.
When asked about his thoughts on the game Ricky Waddell said: “I’m going to give the boys a lot of credit for coming back. 2-0 against a team you should be beating, in theory and to come back I was really pleased with that, they should take a lot of credit from that because they did dig deep.”
Our starting XI saw three changes from our defeat to Bo’ness United, with Aiden Clocherty and Luke Biggart coming in at fullback and Jacob Long on the wing.
It was a strong start from the Braves with 3 chances in quick succession coming from Kristian Gkegka, Jaimie Watson and Cammy Breadner, However, the boys were unable to capitalise and take the early lead.
The first chance for Girvan came in the 17 th minute. The free kick from the edge of the box was hit low and hard towards the bottom left corner, but Bernie White was able to get across and save the shot.
The Braves replied almost instantly with their best chance of the game, However, Jaimie Watson’s shot was cleared off the line by a couple of Girvan players. The Caledonian Braves were unlucky to not take the lead.
The game continued to be very end to end with neither team able to create any clearcut chances until the 45 th minute Girvan go their best chance of the game when the ball was flicked on from a header in behind the Braves defence from Girvan’s number 9, Smith. Their number 10, Craig Harvey chased the ball beating Daniel Martins for pace charging towards the Braves goal, he fired his shot across goal, but it ricocheted off the post and went out for a Braves throw.
Girvan started the second half off strongly with a goal in the 52 nd minute after a mix
up at the back from the Braves, the ball fell to Craig Harvey, he rounded Bernie White and slotted the ball into the open net.
It didn’t take long for Girvan to get their second goal with it coming only 5 minutes later. The ball was crossed in from the left, Bernie White done what he could to get a hand to it and palmed it onto the crossbar. Unfortunately, the ball fell to Todd Henderson who put the ball in the back of the net.
The Braves were able to reply instantly in the 62 nd minute with a goal to get them back in this game. The goal came from Matty Collins, he received the ball in the box and struck it on the half volley into the bottom right corner.
Things were looking even better for the Braves after substitute Ross McNeil got the equaliser in the 72 nd minute. Matty Collins played the ball into the box Ross McNeil took his first touch well and calmly swept the ball into the bottom corner.
The game was all Braves for the rest of the half with the best chance coming from Cammy Breadner. He picked up the ball on the left wing, skips past his defender cutting on to his right foot. He struck the ball well from just outside the box. The keeper did well and was able to tip the ball onto the bar.
The game finished 2-2 after normal time with extra-time the next course of action. The Braves were able to carry over their momentum from the end of the second half and continued to apply the pressure on Girvan and really dominate the ball.
Their efforts were rewarded in the 98 th minute with an outrageous goal from Josh Gemmell, he followed onto a rebounded and finished the ball with an audacious back heel.
Ricky and the lads did a great job after going two goals down, to come back and win it in extra time.
Following on from the game, we were drawn away to face East Stirlingshire, in the fourth round. Fixture details here.