Strollers 13s have wind in their sails with second-half show
Civil Service Strollers 13s came back from behind twice against St Bernards BC Midlothian to win their match 5-2 in front of a home crowd.
Wildly windy weather gave the team playing with the blustery conditions behind them a large advantage.
St Bernards broke the deadlock with the first meaningful attack in the second minute when Aaron Robinson latched onto an inviting ball and sent it into the back of the net.
With the wind on their side, St Bernards looked in the ascendancy. Passing the ball about in the midfield was drawing in the Strollers full-backs as they looked to help defend, but then an incisive ball out to the wing exposed the space behind the back four.
Strollers equalised in the 17th minute through Connon Pettigrew. A brilliant ball in by John Steedman caused confusion between the St Bernards defence and the goalkeeper and Pettigrew was quick to react and blasted the ball high into the net.
The second goal for St Bernards was scored by Owen Huthersall, who did well to break free from his markers before firing the ball over the outstretched keeper.
At half time St Bernards were in the lead due to a strong midfield presence linking up play as well as breaking the opponents stride. However, they were yet to face the challenge of playing into the elements.
Strollers almost scored within the first minute of the second half. Lennox Anthonay found Mikey Leslie, who took the ball to the by-line before cutting it back into the technical area, but Sandy Gailey was unable to convert the chance.
Strollers did equalise not long after that as Dylan McKellar showed great skill to get past his opponent and whip a ball towards the back post, where Pettigrew slid in and tapped the ball over the line to take the score to 2-2.
Leslie fired home to take Strollers into the lead for the first time in this match in the 42nd minute. Again Steedman was the provider, using his pace to get down the wing he was able to float a ball across the box before Leslie placed it in the back of the net.
With the wind in their favour, Strollers looked a completely different team. They found themselves the aggressor for most of the second half as St Bernards struggled to properly clear their lines and push further up the pitch.
When St Bernards did venture up the pitch, they were often left frustrated as the final ball let them down.
Gailey added a second to his goal tally six minutes before time. As a corner was hit deep into the box, he did well to keep composed before connecting sweetly with the ball and firing past the stranded keeper.
Just before the referee blew his whistle for full-time, McKellar was able to add his name to the list of Strollers scorers. A goal capped off a good performance from him since coming off the bench in the first half. His ability to turn quickly on the ball and change the direction of play was often too much for defenders to handle. Great close control of the ball often made it look like the ball was glued to his feet.
The match finished 5-2. Strollers coach, Gavin Munro, congratulated his players after the final whistle as despite being down at half-time, a great second half performance saw them fight for the match and get a deserved win.