Coldstream 0-3 Whitehill Welfare
Injury-ravaged Coldstream had two men sent off as they went down to their first home defeat of the season at the hands of superior Premier Division opponents in the South of Scotland Challenge Cup second round.
On a day when they were missing no fewer than ten players for a match against one of the top three Premier Division teams, Coldstream went into this tie in hope more than expectation.
Hoping for a win, perhaps. But mainly hoping that they would get through the 90 minutes without picking up any more injuries or suspensions. There was no such luck.
Red cards for Mitchell Simpson and Josh Hebdon, who was the home team’s best player, left the First Division leaders with just nine men at the end.
Richard Baxendale’s return from injury also ended prematurely, compounding a miserable day all round. The centre-back hobbled off at the end of the first half with a recurrence of the ankle injury that has plagued him all season.
Goals in the eighth and 43rd minutes from Andrew Kidd gave the visitors a comfortable lead at half time, and Willie Kidd notched the third 15 minutes into the second half to finish the tie as a contest.
Their first home defeat of the season left Coldstream licking their wounds, with more suspension and injury trouble continuing to test Andrew Gibson’s big squad to the limit.
The Coldstream manager handed Kris O’Neil his first start since signing from Hawick Royal Albert, while Martyn Cornish was left out to give Baxendale the chance to test his fitness at centre-back.
Alan Brown’s pace on Whitehill’s right flank was causing all sorts of problems for Coldstream early on.
But the opening goal came from a corner on the left. Andrew Kidd’s first attempt at the near post was blocked on the line by Hebdon, but the rebound fell kindly for Whitehill midfielder, who fired high into the net from eight yards.
At the other end, John Crawford had a shot on the turn well saved after good work from Gary Wales on Coldstream’s right wing.
But although the home team were neat in possession at times, there was little end product. Most of the possession and most of the chances belonged to Whitehill.
Jordan Hall pulled a shot just wide from the edge of the box and Streamers goalkeeper Mark Walters made a good save at the feet of Wayne McIntosh.
The second goal arrived when Brown’s run and low cross from the right gave Andrew Kidd the chance to double his tally from eight yards. The midfielder made no mistake with his shot, giving Walters no chance.
The second half started the way the first half ended, with Whitehill on top. But after Willie Kidd made it three with a neat finish from ten yards, Coldstream would have been happy to hear the full-time whistle.
Mitchell Simpson was then shown a straight red card for what the referee deemed to be a reckless challenge, leaving Coldstream to play out the last 20 minutes with ten men.
Hebdon was shown a second yellow card in injury time, and final whistle sounded just a minute later.
Coldstream: M Walters, J Ainslie, M Simpson, J McLeod, R Baxendale (M Cornish 36), M Tait (G McCrudden 76), G Wales, J Hebdon, J Crawford, K O’Neil, D Cornish.
Whitehill: D Walker, A Brown, G Thom, M Bruce, John Hall, W Kidd (P Forbes 74), D McGlashan (S Manson 68), A Kidd, S McCulloch, W McIntosh (S Gormley 74), Jordan Hall. Subs not used: A Somerville, D Robertson.