Braves beat B Team

30 August 2022

Manager, Steven Naismith, was looking to build on positive recent results against Celtic B and East Stirlingshire. Two changes were made to the side that took the 3 points at The Falkirk Stadium on Friday night, Aaron Darge and Finlay Pollock dropped out and were replaced by Murray Thomas and Callum Sandilands.
The Wee Jambos got off to the perfect start with a well-worked move that brought about the opening goal after seven minutes.
Macaulay Tait fired a crisp pass into the feet of Aidan Denholm, who intelligently waited for Bobby McLuckie to arrive on the overlap. His low cross was perfect for the waiting Jaden Ferguson to tap home from close range.
The visitors were knocking the ball about confidently following that early goal and they nearly doubled their lead ten minutes later. Sandilands picked up the ball in a dangerous area and let fly from distance, but his effort came back off the crossbar.
Another chance came and went for the men in maroon after 25 minutes. Murray Thomas’ free kick was well saved by Chris Henry in the Braves goal, but the stopper couldn’t get the ball to safety and had to show excellent reactions to deny Sandilands’ follow-up attempt.
Against a Braves side that had scored 22 goals in their eight matches this season, it did feel like these missed chances would come back to haunt the Wee Jambos and they received a warning signal ten minutes from half time when Jamie Watson wasted a good opening.
Five minutes later the home side did restore parity. An overlap on the right, allowed for a deep cross to come into the Hearts box, and waiting at the back post was Scott Cusick to level the scores.
Just two minutes later Braves turned the game on its head. Another cross from the right this time found Watson, who finished neatly at the front post.
The second half didn’t produce as many openings as the first and when Braves added a third through Zac Butterworth’s volley, they would have felt fairly comfortable about picking up all three points.
The Wee Jambos huffed and puffed but were struggling to create too many openings against a physical Braves side. Ferguson grabbed his second in stoppage time with a curling effort from just inside the penalty box, but it wasn’t enough for the men in maroon as the final whistle sounded just moments later.
Caledonian Braves: Henry, Brown, Walker, McDowall, Forrester ©, Main, Butterworth, Stewart, Watson (Breadner, 70), Kelly, Cusick
Subs: Duncan, Collins, Lindsay, McNeil, Long, Thackray, Breadner
Hearts: Stone, Tait (Watson, 46), Denholm © (Chisholm, 46), Ferguson, Thomas, Dall, Gordon, Forrester, Rathie, Sandilands (Crookston, 83), McLuckie (Ross, 73)
Subs: McFarlane, Watson, Crookston, Ross, Chisholm, Nair