Rabs make their point to move step nearer safety

David Barr gets above an Arthurlie opponent
David Barr gets above an Arthurlie opponent

Rob Roy had to be content with another share of the spoils after an entertaining Super League Premier Division encounter with Arthurlie at Guy’s Meadow on Saturday.

It was their second home draw in five days as they seek to edge towards safety.

Early chances fell to both sides with a Willie Sawyers header from a Gavin Mackie free-kick flashing wide of the post before Arthurlie’s Ryan McGregor’s attempt at goal was direct at Jon Murdoch and failed to concern the home ’keeper.

Rabs took the lead in the 23rd minute when Mackie’s free-kick into the box found midfielder Scott Upton who sent a powerful header into the top corner.

Two minutes later Rabs almost doubled their lead when Paul Finnigan’s drive from distance was parried to safety by Michael White.

Rob Roy dominated the latter stages of the first half although Murdoch had to be alert to block a goalbound effort on his line.

Mackie had a couple of attempts at goal but White was equal to them and Rabs went in at the break one up.

Rabs’ injury woes continued when Upton limped off on 55 minutes to be replaced by Kevin Watt.

Arthurlie were now looking dangerous and Murdoch made a brilliant save from an Ian Nimmo back header, pushing the ball over the bar as it was soaring into the net.

But Arthurlie’s relentless pressure paid off in the 66th minute when Nimmo smashed the ball through a crowded goalmouth and past Murdoch from the edge of the penalty box to level the score.

Arthurlie continued to press and Gavin Rushford lashed the ball over the top before full-back Conner McGlinchey flashed an inviting cross over the face of the Rabs’ defence but found no takers.

Murdoch then made another fine save, rising to push a McGregor volley over.

In the final 10 minutes Rabs pushed forward and won a number of fruitless corners, but it was the visitors who came close to with Craig Palmer’s free-kick causing concern.

In a hectic finale Rabs defence dug deep for what could yet prove a crucial point.