Winning was Saturday’s objective and we reached that through sheer determination and an unwillingness to lose.
In preparation of our long journey to Kirkconnel, we had arranged to stop off at Auchinleck Talbot’s Beechwood Park for a pre-match meal. Not only did we receive a fantastic reception from them, they we were kind enough to give us an opportunity to look around their impressive set up. So a big thank you to them for this.
When we arrived at Kello’s Nithside Park, we could see it was heavy and considerably smaller than our own, so we had to modify our team selection and set up to adapt to the conditions.
Within the first 10 minutes of the game you could see that our hosts were a very competent footballing side, keen to get the ball down and play at every opportunity, which I thought would suit us, however, the game took a big turn for the worse when Jamie Robbie received a red card after he was deemed to have been the last man. We had to reshuffle the pack, unfortunately this meant that we had to sacrifice Pat Smith who was replaced by substitute goal keeper Alan Cormack who came in for his first competitive game of the season. For the next 15 minutes we worked hard to try and get into our new shape but found it tough, the killer blow came right on half time when we left a man spare in the middle of the box, who neatly tucks the ball away.
When we came in at half time I stressed the importance of keeping the ball, and making better decisions in the final third, if we did that we would get back into the game. During the half we started to dominate the game, creating chance after chance, we hit the bar 3 times and post twice before eventually levelling in 73rd minute after a goal mouth scramble and club captain Steven Cook poked the ball home. From there on Kello looked tired and our superior fitness levels began to dominate further. The winning goal was superb and came in the 80th minute, Sam Simpson cleverly clipped the ball into Gordon MacDonald who volleyed home with a superb finish taking his tally to 3 in 3 games.
As much as beating Bonnyrigg Rose 2-1 the week before was a fantastic result and a great team effort, this felt just as good. We played 60+ minutes with 10 men against a well organised side. Every single player played their part, working tirelessly in what was a superb result.
We now look forward to the draw for the 3rd Round which is a week today on Tuesday 1st November.