Helensburgh had two teams in action at the weekend, enjoying mixed fortunes. The second XI game was called off late on Friday, with Ayr conceding the game, which means the second XI received a 5-0 walkover and moved back to the top of division 2. However, the two other sides welcomed Western to town.

First XI v Western third XI


The first XI faced Western third XI, sitting just above Burgh in the league, meaning a win was important for the lads. The game started well with both sides jostling for possession, but both sides found it difficult as the ball swapped sides regularly.

Eventually Western took hold of the game and created several first half chances. Resolute defending from Rob Heywood and Brian Kennedy kept them out with Mark Findlay pulling off some much-needed saves in the goal.

Burgh were defending well with Kennedy pulling of an excellent last ditch stick save as Western reeled away in celebration, thinking they had scored. Helensburgh’s lack of ball in the D was starting to cause problems as the strikers couldn’t get any shots away. Eventually the pressure told and Western scored from a penalty corner, but the game was very much still in the balance as the teams went in at half time.

The second half started far more positively for Helensburgh as they kept possession much better. They started creating more chances too with their first penalty corner of the game going narrowly wide. Eventually, an equaliser came, with some clever play from Helensburgh.

Heywood found the ball out to Mark Ormsby on the left wing. His neat skills kept the ball and beat a couple of Western defenders before he found Jamie Caulfield lurking in front of the Western keeper. The experienced striker managed to slot the ball under the keeper to bring the scores level. ‘burgh kept pushing in the second half to try and secure a winner, with Jay Caulfield coming close on a couple of occasions.

Western weren’t without chances either as the game opened up but a combination of good goalkeeping from Findlay and excellent defending from Kennedy kept them out.

Sadly, for Burgh, the deciding goal fell to the away side. Helensburgh were pushing for a second but some resolute defending and great long ball out to the left, left the Burgh defence outnumbered. Western managed to pass round the keeper as the ball ended in the back of the net. Helensburgh kept pushing late on in the game but to no avail, as the game ended 2-1 to Western.

Helensburgh Team: Mark Findlay; Ian Bowyer; Brian Kennedy (MoM); Mike Jones; Harry Green; Rob Heywood; Gordon Black (c); Mark Ormsby; Callum Sumsion; Ewan McCartney; Jamie Caulfield (1); Barry Cox; Leo Caulfield; Henri Ruff; Jay Caulfield

Third XI v Western fifth XI 


The third XI welcomed Western fifth XI to Hermitage Academy. The first half started slowly for the home side with Western drawing first blood from a quick attack.

However, Helensburgh were quick to answer with Theo Andrews dribbling from the midfield through towards Western’s goal.

With a strong pass to top D goalkeeper-come-striker Mark Findlay was waiting for a shot to bring the score level. Western weren’t disheartened though as a breakaway through Helensburgh’s defence led to a 2v1 against keeper Benji Jones.

Unfortunately, Jones’ efforts weren’t enough to keep them from scoring another goal.

Helensburgh had a few chances to level the score with shots at goal from Lucas Jardine and Liam McKinnon however the keeper stepped up to meet the strikers. Luckily it wasn’t long before Helensburgh levelled once again with a low right shot from new player James Brimson slotted between the Western keeper and the post.

Western had some attempts to try to regain the lead but Jones had them covered making a diving save palming the ball away to keep it level.

After being awarded a short corner Western were denied success by Findlay’s stop on the goal line. The match remained 2-2 for the rest of the first half.

After a rousing half-time speech from captain James Pettit, out injured just now, the Helensburgh side went out with renewed vigour however the Western side remained tough.

After a period of stalemate, a well-placed aerial from centre-back Findlay found Callum Sumsion running into the Western’s half. With Sumsion dribbling to the right side of the D he sent a cracking shot flying into the top left of the net.Western weren’t out of it but solid defending from Elijah Brown and excellent goalkeeping kept them out.

Helensburgh finally put the game to bed after a pass from Sumsion on the left found Findlay just outside the D and after dribbling around a Western defender and the goalkeeper he slotted it home to extend Helensburgh’s lead to 4-2.

Helensburgh Team: Benji Jones; Duncan Lemay; Andy Richardson (c); Mark Findlay (2); Elijah Brown (MoM); Paul Moore; Theo Andrews; Sean Caulfield; Lucas Jardine; Harris McKechnie; Liam MacKinnon; James Brimson (1); Callum Court; Logan Hill; Callum Sumsion (1)

Thanks to Dayle Hartopp and Andy Richardson for umpiring.