Whitehill Welfare 4 – 1 Preston Athletic
Ferrari Packaging Lowland League
After a much improved performance the previous weekend against Gretna even despite the defeat, the Panners travelled to Rosewell in expectation of kick starting their season and closing the gap on Hawick Royal Albert directly above them.
Both sides struggled to get to grips with the heavy underfoot conditions in the early stages but on 10 minutes it was a mistake from Preston’s captain David McLeod who mis-judged a long through ball and Daryl Healy rounded the on rushing trialist keeper Jamie Newman to put Welfare ahead.
Preston then created a number of chances to pull themselves right back into the match, firstly a good run by Kevin Keane saw a neat pass into Fabio Neto who immediately released Gavin Stevenson but the midfielder mis hit his shot and it was easily gathered by Bryan Young. Neto then dug out a cross that Keane managed to get onto the end of but the ball went just inches wide. McLeod then fired a long ball over the Whitehill defence with Jason Young collecting but the striker fired over from a good position.
Ex-Preston players Michael Osbourne and Conor Brydon combined for Whitehill with the latter’s cross / shot going just over hitting the roof of the net. Preston however continued to push and Neto again was released down the right and again he found Keane in the box who steadied himself and somehow managed to fire over with the goal gaping, Keane then released Young but his effort was blocked by Young for a corner, Keane took the set piece and found McLeod but his header went just wide.
The second period saw few opportunities until the 60th minute when Osbourne won a free kick on the edge of the box, he took the kick himself and found the bottom corner to put the home side 2 up. Preston made two changes immediately pushing more men forward and on 75 minutes with Brandon Cameron deeper than the rest of the Preston defence playing Whitehill onside and Brydon fed Osbourne to slot home his second against his old club.
Jay Cochrane pulled a goal back with his first ever strike for the Panners after being set up by Chris Inglis but moments later Whitehill made it 4 – 1 as Brydon again broke the offside trap and fed Steven Manson to complete the scoring.
The Panners now face a difficult task to retain their Lowland League status and next face Cumbernauld Colts next Friday as part of the organised Groundhoppers weekend
Whitehill Welfare: Young, Robertson, Kidd, Trialist, Manson, Dodds, Brydon, Kerr, Healy, Chalmers, Osbourne. Subs: Baillie, McCabe, Trialist, Gormley, Russell, Jardine
Preston Athletic: Trialist, Siegel(J.Cochrane), Inglis, McLeod, Cowan, Stevenson(Jardine), Trialist, Turkington, Neto, Young(Binnie), Keane. Subs: Trialist, Pennycuick, R.Cochrane.