Strollers travelled to Pilton to take on North Edinburgh Wanderers who are going well in a higher division than the Strollers. Strollers were missing some key players, Thomson away on a stag do and Langstaff missing through injury. Dave Allen returned to the club and took Thomsons place in Centre midfield with Hentges rewarded for his work ethic with a place on the left of midfield. Tomarelli was running late due to the recent birth of his child Lucy. All at the Strollers would like to congratulate Tomarelli on the recent arrival.
Strollers started very poorly and in the early stages of the game the defence were all over the place. The first chance came 5 minutes in when Brown dived into a challenge, the striker rounded him and was clean through, he left Allan helpless but thankfully for the Strollers the ball bounced off the underside of the bar, Watt was there to prevent a certain goal with an outstanding block to prevent the rebound being tapped in.
Strollers did fall behind soon after though when Watt sliced his attempted clearance straight to the edge of the box and the Wanderers midfielder blasted home through Allans legs.
It was soon 2-0 when poor marking allowed a free header for the Wanderers and the tall midfielder bulleted home clinically to leave Allan helpless.
Strollers in past seasons would have went down 6, 7 or 8 nil in a game like this however they rolled the sleeves up and battled back very well. Matt Gaunt reduced the deficit when he picked up a loose ball, cut inside and hit a fantastic strike right into the bottom corner of the net. It was a fantastic goal from Gaunt and you could see the lift it gave to the Strollers as they began to pass the ball a lot better and make much more of a game of it.
The Strollers levelled matters just before half-time, Clement prodding home from close range after some dreadful defending by the home side.
Campbell was delighted with the fightback at half-time and wanted the boys to go out and play the same as they had for the last 20 minutes of the first half.
Allan came to Strollers rescue early in the 2nd half when he raced out his box and produced a brilliantly timed tackle on the striker to prevent a certain goal.
Unfortunately the Strollers were not level for long, as the defence screamed for offside the Wanderers frontman nipped in and rounded Allan before slotting home.
It was 4-2 shortly after when poor marking at another set-piece allowed another free header to be bulleted past Allan.
Burden was brought on for Hengtes and within 5 minutes he had won a penalty to give Strollers a great chance of getting back into the game. Burden stepped up to take it but the keeper went the right way and produced a good save, Burden was not expecting the penalty to be saved and was far to slow following in for the rebound and the defender scrambled clear.
Then came a 10 minute spell of dominance for North Edinburgh Wanderers where they had chance after chance but luckily for the Strollers the shooting was wasteful.
Strollers reduced the deficit in the final minute when after a scramble where Brown was fouled and should have had a penalty, the ball broke to Clement who went down, it looked like a dive from Clement but the ref gave the penalty although a penalty should already have been awarded for a foul on Brown. Clement stepped up and beat the keeper with a well taken penalty which the keeper almost managed to save. This was Clements 5th goal in 2 games.
North Edinburgh Wanderers 4 - 3 LBG Strollers
All in all it was a deserved win for the home side, however the Strollers can be very happy with the way they played and that they competed so well against a team in a higher league. They will look to take the positives into next weeks Scottish Cup game against Kirkcaldy YMCA.