Early Bradley header puts Rabs in the driving seat but Ashfield rally for draw.
Rob Roy: 2
West of Scotland Premier Division
Rob Roy relinquished a two-goal early lead to settle for a share of the points in an exciting, action-packed Saracen Park encounter.
Rob Roy had the better of the early play with Diack’s overhead kick going wide. In the eighth minute the visitors took a deserved lead when, from a McAleenan corner, Bradley rose at the front post to send a glancing header off the post and into the net.
Ashfield responded with both Cairley and Fraser sending efforts wide of the target. Rabs doubled their lead in the 26th minute when a partial clearance landed at the feet of Meechan, who drove the ball low into the corner of the net from the edge of the penalty box.
Rabs were looking dangerous on the break with home keeper Hall making a fine stop from Diack after the striker was sent through on goal from a Easton pass.
Diack should have made it three in the 34th minute when, with only Hall to beat, he fired into the side netting. A minute later Ashfield cut the deficit in half when Fraser released McCann down the left wing and his cross was headed home at the far post by Chris Hall.
The goal gave Ashfield confidence with McCann shooting over the bar from a McCann lay-off.
His side should have gone in level at the break when Rabs keeper Robertson and Smith chased the ball in the penalty box. Smith won the race and rounded Robertson to send the ball to Fraser in front of the vacant net, but the Ashfield man used power instead of a simple tap-in and hit the underside of the bar with his shot.
Rabs forced a number of early second-half corners, but it was the home side who grabbed the equaliser in the 51st minute. Chris Hall collected the ball just inside the Rabs half, brushed aside a couple of feeble tackles and unleashed a great strike high past Robertson.
As play raged from end to end both sides spurned a host of chances. Diack drove wide of the open goal from five yards after being set up by the hard-working Bradley.
Then at the other end Maxwell headed over when in a good scoring position.
In the 72nd minute a poor McLachlan pass back led to keeper Robertson’s booking for handling outside the box, with the home support and bench calling for a red card.
Ashfield’s pace was causing problems for the Rabs rear guard, with Fraser firing over the bar then Connolly scrambled away substitute Wright’s cross in front of goal.
In the final minutes Henderson made a crucial last-gasp tackle to prevent Wright from scoring a certain winner to ensure the thoroughly entertaining match ended level.
Rob Roy: Robertson, McLachlan, McVey, Smith, Henderson, Bradley, Meechan, Hunter (C Connolly 66), Easton (Lindsay 66), Diack, McAleenan. Subs not used: K Connolly, Adam, Brown.
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