Melrose kicked off the game, kicking into a very strong blustery wind looking to avenge a previous 3-1 defeat to Kelso earlier in the season.
With just three minutes on the clock and with the first half chance of the game, Kelso's Craig Younger found himself in a shooting position at the edge of the box, following good pressing on the Melrose midfield. Younger calmly made the most of the opportunity by slotting past Melrose goalkeeper Kyle Cockburn, and into the bottom left corner.
It was a great start to the game, and a sign of things to come. Just two minutes later, Kelso managed to force a corner down the right side. Mikey Kavannagh took it, inswinging on his left foot and it was met with a powerful downward header from centre-back Andrew Thomson. 2-0 to the home team after five minutes, what a superb start!
With the conditions continuing to make things awkward for both teams, Kavvanagh took aim with the first of a succession of shots from long range, however Cockburn was able to gather the ball at the second attempt. A hard-fought midfield battle followed, before Kavvanagh again picked the ball up 25 yards out, where he played a great through ball for Josh Abbott to run through on goal, and place a right footed shot past the keeper and into the back of the net to make it 3-0 after 15 minutes.
Up until this point, Kelso's hard grafting had not allowed Melrose a sniff at goal before Callum Weston warmed the gloves of Jake Douglas in the home goal. A bit of hope for the travelling away contingent who'd made the trip over despite the freezing cold wind and an attractive looking Champions League tie on the TV.
What followed turned out to be the best move of the game. From the kick-off, Melrose conceded a free kick just inside the Kelso half. Thomson angled a superb diagonal ball into captain Sam Kyle, who had made a cute movement to provide himself with a bit of space on the outside right channel, and he fired in a dangerous low cross where Younger was lingering. The ball was slightly behind him but he managed to swivel and drive it past the retreating defenders on the line to make it 4-0.
This was followed by Melrose bearing down on the Kelso goal to try and reduce the deficit, however Douglas was equal to Callum Smith's deft chip. Harry Botterell did restore parity however with a neatly taken shot into the far corner of the net. This turned out to be the first of an impressive four goals for the talented Botterell.
Kavvanagh again had another crack from 30 yards for the home team where Cockburn made a comfortable save. Defender Thomas Billet then made an excellent tackle to deny Abbott again as he bore down on goal. Kelso were not to be denied though, as right back Ryan Fletcher showed great pace down the right hand side and dispatched his shot across the keeper and into the net. This was to make it 5-1.
Melrose immediately responded through Botterell again where he took an excellent touch from a long ball, made space for a shot and drove it low beyond Douglas. It was a thoroughly entertaining game and Melrose were making a real fist of it despite being three down after 15 minutes.
A strong run from Kelso's Morgan Thompson forced Cockburn into making an excellent reflex save. Another half chance came Kelso's way as Younger made an excellent run and dash in the left-wing position to deliver a teasing cross where Abbott could not quite reach it.