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Derek Hall’s report from Easthouses Lily v Peebles Rovers August 7th

todayAugust 13, 2021


Easthouses Lily 2-2 Peebles Rovers
A Friday night fixture up at Newbattle saw the home side from Midlothian looking to move into the upper half of the conference at the expense of their opponents from the Borders who had yet to register a point. Within the first minute, McQueenie of Lily was the recipient of a strong warning from referee Chris Newman after disputing a throw in and in the next phase of play, Peebles Lamb was yellow carded for pulling down McQueenie as he ran forward into the Rovers half. On 5 minutes, Andrew of Rovers took a knock to the head whilst blocking a Robertson drive but was able to continue after treatment. The visitors then made progress down the left flank with McGill finding MacLean and his low cutback into the Lily box saw Hunter poke the ball away as Lindsay looked to be about to step onto the ball. The rain was now lashing down and Lamb tried his luck from fully 30 yards with a low free kick which home keeper Amos couldn’t hold but then bravely dived on under pressure to grab the slippery ball at the second attempt. Lily moved to the other end and Russell did brilliantly to reach a back post cross at full stretch and turn it back to Robertson whose goal bound flick beat keeper Hanratty but was headed off the Rovers line by Andrew. After sixteen minutes, Elliot played Russell in but his low 22 yard left foot drive was a couple of yards wide of the Peebles goals. Peebles responded as McGill swung a cross to the back post and Kinross only just failed to make contact as the ball went behind. After 20 minutes, the home side carved out the games best chance when Elliot got to the goal line and his cutback saw keeper Hanratty making a brilliant block from Robertson’s low effort with Elliot smashing the rebound into the side netting from a difficult angle. A Janczyk corner then picked out Meikle six yards out and his downward header bounced just wide, but the Lily defender seemed to land awkwardly whilst jumping and was replaced a couple of minutes later by Lennie. However this setback didn’t break the flow of play and with 27 minutes gone, the home side hit the front as Janczyk found Elliot and his lovely crossfield pass evaded the despairing effort from McGill to cut the ball out and Russell strode through to plant the ball low past keeper Hanratty from 20 yards with a really composed finish. On the half hour, Lily’s Taylor took a quiet word in his ear from the referee just to calm him down. Three minutes later, a through ball saw Robertson take the ball early on the half volley from around 23 yards and Rovers keeper Hanratty distinguished himself with a superb block which kept the deficit to a single goal and he was involved again minutes later as he clawed a Janczyk corner away from under his crossbar with the ball eventually falling to Russell who drove wide from 20 yards. Peebles kept plugging away with Lamb finding Lindsay and his cut back picked out MacLean but Hunter stood up and managed to prod the ball out of harms way before Lily quickly broke to the other end and Robertson got into the box and toe poked the ball past keeper Hanratty from around 12 yards but the ball ran agonisingly wide. Four minutes from the break, McGill played in Taylor to the left edge of the Lily box and his cross saw Lindsay try to flick the ball up and over keeper Amos but the keeper confidently held the ball. A minute from the break, the home side went close again as a Russell cross picked out the arriving McQueenie at the back post who met the ball on the volley and the strike from 10 yards only just cleared the bar. For all their pressure, it looked like Lily would take the most slender of leads into the dressing room but from the goal kick, Peebles tried to be far too elaborate and the Lily press caused the turnover which allowed Elliot to gain possession on the edge of the box and he finished clinically with a right foot drive along the ground from the edge of the box to double the home sides advantage. The break arrived with Easthouses in command and the two goal lead was probably merited on possession and chances created, but Peebles would be cursing the suicidal defending just before the break which gifted their opponents a really cheap second goal.
Both number 12’s were on at half time as Lily brought on Sives and Peebles introduced Walker and it was the Rovers substitute who was involved first on 49 minutes as he curled a 22 yard left footer just wide of the Easthouses goals as keeper Amos looked on. A minute later, McQueenie again drove forward for the home side before sliding a nice pass through to Robertson who just sat back a little on his 12 yard drive which went over the top. Lindsay then worked an opening for himself from about 10 yards and Lily keeper Amos had to block the low drive behind for the concession of a corner which picked out Lamb on the edge of the box but his left foot drive was off target. After Peebles again almost made a mess of coming out from the back, Andrew then played a superb through ball cutting open the home defence and MacLean was in one on one with keeper Amos, but the Lily custodian stayed big and made the important block. A minute later, Peebles Andrew became the games second yellow card for a fairly cynical trip on Elliot as he went past him and there were no complaints from anyone about this most obvious caution. However on the hour, Peebles were right back in the game as a ball to the right edge of the home penalty area was turned back into the six yard box by Lindsay and when the ball came back off a defender, MacLean was in the right spot to force the ball home from close range, and with half an hour still remaining, it was very much game on. Elliot immediately responded with a surging run down the right to the goal line and his cross looking for Russell at the back post was expertly handled by keeper Hanratty. With 63 minutes gone, the home side rung the changes as Hunter and Russell were replaced by Neilson and Brown and they arrived just in time to see Robertson fire a brilliant ball right through the Rovers six yard box from a tight angle with nobody on hand to get an all important touch. Elliot then carved out another opportunity for Robertson but this time the drive was well wide. However with the game now very open, a quick pass saw Walker in again for the visitors on 65 minutes and his 20 yard drive smacked off the face of the Lily crossbar and was scrambled clear. After 67 minutes, Smith of Easthouses became the games third yellow card for a foul on MacLean close to the dugouts as Peebles continued to sense there might be something in this game for them. McCormack entered the fray for the visitors after 68 minutes and not long afterwards, referee Newman was over having a word with the assistant coach in the home dugout as the game now entered its final quarter. The home side then went very close as Sives found Elliot and his cutback saw Robertson beat keeper Hanratty at the near post but the ball appeared to clip the base of the post as it went just wide. With 15 minutes remaining, Lily brought on McDermott for Taylor and within seconds, Elliot, who had been excellent for Easthouses, found Neilson with a lovely flick and his pass should have put Robertson in, but the pass was too heavy and keeper Hanratty gratefully gathered the ball. Ten minutes from time, Kinross headed another dangerous cross from Elliot behind and when Janczyk’s set piece was only half cleared, Sives shot from the edge of the box again saw Kinross throwing his body in to bravely make the block, an action which saw the big Rovers defender pick up an injury leading to his replacement by Weighand. Five minutes from the end, Peebles missed a glorious chance to equalise as Walker beat the offside trap before getting the ball onto his right foot and his 15 yard angled drive across keeper Amos was parried straight into the path of McCormack who somehow managed to scoop the ball over the gaping goal from six yards via the top of the crossbar, an amazing miss. Four minutes from time, excellent chest control saw Neilson take a pass down and move into the Peebles box and as he pulled the trigger 14 yards out, only a superb block tackle from Mitchell denied the Lily substitute what looked a certain score. That moment was to prove pivotal as Peebles moved to the other end and as McCormack darted across the face of the Easthouses penalty area, a tired challenge clearly caught the Peebles substitute and referee Newman had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, with the total lack of protests at the award telling its own story. Lindsay remained ice cool and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way as he slotted the penalty low into the bottom corner to bring the visitors level with two minutes remaining. In the end, a share of the spoils which looked unlikely at the break as a very good first half performance gave the home side a two goal advantage which their overall play had most definitely merited. However huge credit must go to the visitors for a battling never say die second period which ultimately earned them their reward late on and the Borderers will hope that this result will kick start their season as they attempt to reel in the teams just above them.

Written by: Russell Aitken

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