'Maybe the heat caused our level to drop' - Caledonian Braves boss Ricky Waddell relieved to get into Lowland League Cup quarter-finals

Early goals by Cammy Bremner and Jamie Watson eased Caledonian Braves into the Lowland League Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 home win over Dalbeattie Star in their final group match at a sunkissed Alliance Park on Saturday.

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Braves gaffer Ricky Waddell has led his side into the Lowland League Cup quarter-finals

Marc Kelly later had a second half penalty saved after Kelly himself had been fouled, before Dalbeattie had a man sent off for a reckless challenge on Luke Main, who reacted angrily.

“I’m going to give you the classic cliche,” Braves boss Ricky Waddell told GlasgowWorld Sport. “It was a game of two halves.

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"We were very, very good in the first half, aggressive with our press, we were aggressive with our passing and we played at a good tempo.

"The weather was pretty hot on Saturday but our tempo was pretty good.

"I was very pleased with the first half. We probably should have been another goal or two up going into half-time.

"But we went in at 2-0 and I don’t know what happened after that but the tempo dropped a wee bit and we started to let Dalbeattie into the game.

"Maybe the heat was a percentage of the factor causing our level to drop. The guys have been playing pretty regularly, Saturday, Tuesday or Saturday, Wednesday for the past month.

"Speaking to the boys they said they felt a bit leggy. They put a lot into the first half, the heat got the better of them and there were a few that hadn’t played for a while.

"In the second half Dalbeattie were the better side. They missed a couple of good chances and we also missed a penalty so we could have made it easier work.

"We dropped a bit deeper and I didn’t ask us to do that.

"I’m just glad we’re through to the last eight with six points out of nine in the section.

"But we need to improve over the course of 90 minutes.”

Braves – who also lost 3-1 against East Kilbride in their second League Cup group game at Alliance Park last Tuesday night despite a goal by Jamie Walker – at time of going to press didn’t know their League Cup quarter-final opponents.

Braves are playing a Southern Counties Cup quarter-final at Queen of the South tonight (Tuesday). The Motherwell outfit have no fixture this Saturday.