More than matched our opponents for most of this afternoon’s encounter in Fife but were undone by a clinical five minute hat-trick just before the second half’s midway point from ex-Rangers striker Archie Campbell. Playing with the wind in our favour in the first half we had the better of things in attacking terms, with Declan Quinn very unlucky not to open the scoring with a sweet twenty yard strike in the sixth minute, the back post denying him with the ‘keeper beaten. Andy Jones twice had the ball in the net but the offside flag was raised each time; plenty of decent football played, decent possession and crisp passing a feature. Yet it was the Bluebell who went in leading at the break, Ross Drummond driving a low shot into the net two minutes before the break from fifteen yards out.
We’d made a change before the break when Mark Kuistra went off injured, replacement Ross Aitchison stepping in at right back while Ross King moved into midfield, and Darren Leslie came on for the struggling Gary Nicholson at the start of the second half. A free kick on the right led to Declan Quinn levelling the scores on fifty seven minutes with a fine strike from just beyond the penalty spot, but we were behind again just three minutes later when Campbell claimed his first. The same player then struck again on sixty two and sixty five minutes to leave us shellshocked and trailing 4-1 – to everyone’s great credit we didn’t capitulate, and kept pressing forward at every opportunity – Shaun Hill made it 4-2 with eighteen minutes left, and with a little more luck we might’ve had a third from a number of subsequent openings. Darren Leslie chipped the ball over the ‘keeper and into the net with minutes remaining but again a raised offside flag meant it didn’t count.
Disappointed by the scoreline, naturally, but can have absolutely no complaints whatsoever regarding the team’s effort and performance.
Mention due to our hosts, they’ve a good set-up through there and it’s always been a decent afternoon out anytime we’ve visited – appreciated their hospitality, wish them well going forward and look forward to crossing paths again sometime. That won’t be in league competition next year, as today’s result ends our slim top five prospects, but hopefully we’ll be back at the same level before an awful lot longer.