Rob Roy 2 Hurlford 2: Point made by out-of-sorts Rob Roy

Rob Roy had to battle to take a point from Hurlford
Rob Roy had to battle to take a point from Hurlford

A battling Rob Roy fought back to secure a point despite putting in a poor performance against an eager Hurlford, writes Neil Anderson.

The Ayrshire visitors created enough chances to win the game, but were punished by the home side for failing to take them.

Rob Roy started brightly, with a Danny O’Halloran free-kick going wide and a good move between Willie Sawyers and Kevin Watt forcing Chris Robertson to head out for a corner.

However it was the visitors who took the lead in the seventh minute when, after a good move down the left, Dean Agnew crossed for Ross Robertson to slot the ball past Steven McNeil from what Rabs claimed was an offside position.

Three minutes later McNeil had to block an effort from Calum Watt and it took until the 16th minute for the Roy to threaten the visitors’ goal, Sawyers unlucky not to connect with an Andrew Johnstone cross.

Sean McCall replaced the injured Johnstone in the 24th minute and three minutes later Rob Roy pounced on an error by Glen Mitchell but Kevin Watt’s shot went wide.

However Hurlford were always a danger and Agnew shot wide on the half hour mark after a good move down the right.

A minute later Danny O’Halloran tested visiting keeper Ally Brown with a free-kick from the edge of the box that was saved in the top right-hand corner.

But four minutes later Rob Roy were more successful.

A long clearance from McNeil confused the centre-backs Glenn Mitchell and Chris Robertson and Sawyers cleverly anticipated their inability to clear their lines and coolly lobbed Brown to equalise.

Scott Walker then had a great run from the halfway line that ended with him shooting just wide before Hurlford hit back and McNeil saved well from Agnew.

Just before half-time whistle Ross Robertson had his free-kick blocked by the Rob Roy wall and, after a good cross from Sam Lidington, his header just went wide.

The second half continued in the same vein and McNeil was alert to thwart the ever-dangerous Ross Robertson as Hurlford pressed.

An out-of-sorts home team that struggled at times to match their opponents and the visitors eventually got their reward in the 71st minute, Adam Hodge following up on a McNeil parry to slot into the bottom corner.

Rob Roy responded and Sawyers shot over after a good run by Robert Maguire, but the visitors continued to be dangerous and McNeil saved well from Hodge after the full-back’s mazy run.

But it was the home side who found the net next as they battled to stay in the game.

A cross from the left evaded the Hurlford defence and the alert Kevin Watt ran onto the ball and shot past Brown.

Hurlford were stunned by the equaliser and following a corner, McNeil saved well from a Chris Robertson header.

As the game went from end to end, Mitchell did well to block a Gavin Mackie effort after a great run by Shaun Fraser.

Both teams continued to battle away but there was no further scoring and it was certainly a case of a point gained for the home side when the final whistle was blown.

Hurlford will feel they deserved more from the game and with some of their big names out of their squad, the team put in a very good performance.

Sponsor Jim Neilly presented the supporters’ man of the match trophy, kindly donated by Roddy the Dog Walker, to Gary McMenamin.