EUMHC 2 (Coultas, Moodie) – Kelburne 1
It was a week that had the potential to derail EUMHC’s season. An unsuccessful appeal led to a points deduction that saw the team crash from 3rd in the table to a lowly 8th, three points off the coveted 4th position. To make matters worse, the side were facing Kelburne, a team they had never taken a point off in Graham Moodie’s 7 years in charge.
When the sides met earlier in the season, Kelburne winning that encounter 2-0, the students had been disappointed with their poor opening spell that gave Kelburne the upper hand in the game. There was a lot of talk about avoiding a repeat, imposing the teams style early, and proving from the off that the university was every bit a match for the 11-in-a-row Scottish champions. That ambition was dealt a blow in the opening minutes, when after a short corner breakaway Chris Duncan spent 10 minutes on the sideline for a dubious bundling down of a Kelburne forward. However, belief remained and the students saw out the 10 minute spell without conceding any major chances.
The breakthrough came midway through the first half. Dan Coultas, having been unsuccessful with his first two attempts on goal, saw his flick beat the keeper and hit the back of the net. 1-0 to Edinburgh, and 1-0 it would remain at half time, despite a couple of Kelburne chances late in the half.
The second half began as a cagey affair, with players from both sides seeing time on the sidelines for back challenges. Attempts on goal were arguably in Kelburne’s favour at this point, and they had a huge chance to level the game when the ball fell to a forward on the flick spot, only for him to shovel the ball over the keeper, and over the bar. After a spate of corners another big opportunity fell to Kelburne when a crash ball down the end line was deflected away from goal, but the forward couldn’t find his way past Jakim Berndsen in the university goal with the rebound. These were opportunities that, in previous years, Kelburne would have buried, and players and spectators slowly got the feeling that this might just be the universities day.
It was at this point, having ridden out a spell of Kelburne pressure, that the university began creating opportunities of their own. With 15 minutes left in the game, Stevie Dick put the ball across goal and an unlucky touch from the keeper brought the ball into the path of Ian Moodie, who showed what his side has been missing the past weeks by slotting home.
“The ball was going in, and was on the goal line, but I definitely got a touch”, said Moodie after the game, and with this being the moment he finally broke his goal hoodoo, Stevie was happy to settle for an assist.
Jock Breckenridge nearly got in on the act late on too. The defender, evidently so surprised by the 2-0 scoreline that he got lost and ended up in the wrong D, smashed the ball past the Kelburne keeper and seemed for all the word to seal the game with a 3rd, only for the ball to rifle back off the uprights.
With two minutes remaining, Kelburne had the opportunity to make the game exciting again. Edinburgh, usually so clinical with the defensive set piece, failed to deal with a broken down short corner, and the ball went careering into the bottom corner. It proved to be no more than a consolation for the Glasgow side, with the uni expertly riding out the final minutes for a memorable 2-1 victory under the lights at Peffermill.
As mentioned at the beginning of this match report, this had the potential to be a devastating week for the side. It takes character for a team to bounce back in the fashion that this team has done. This is more than a memorable win against one of the top sides in the country; it’s a statement that we plan on taking this points deduction in our stride. A statement that we’re not going to let anybody but ourselves dictate the outcome of our season. We set a goal of finishing top four in Scotland at the start of the season, and even if the job has been made that little bit harder, that’s not a goal we plan on redefining any time soon. The appeal verdict was met by a resounding call to arms by captain Aedan Mccrossan, and it’s instilled the belief that there’s still plenty to play for this season.