Benburb 1 Rossvale 1: Frustration for ’Vale as nine men hold out

Rossvale's Euan Baird can't believe a chance has gone a-begging. (pic by Helen Templeton)
Rossvale's Euan Baird can't believe a chance has gone a-begging. (pic by Helen Templeton)

Rossvale were forced to settle for a draw after being unable to find a winner against nine-man Benburb at New Tinto Park on Saturday.

’Vale, travelling to Govan for the second Saturday in a row after the previous week’s ‘home’ match with Johnstone Burgh at St Anthony’s, were dealt a pre-match blow when striker Craig Holmes failed a late fitness test.

But they started brightly enough and a sixth minute Steven Seaton shot was held by the Bens keeper Scott Sommerville.

Soon after this the Bens had a chance to open the scoring but a shot by Scott Jarvie went wide.

This match was being played like an old fashioned cup tie with both teams fighting to win every ball but it was Benburb who had the upper hand and a good spell of pressure resulted in a fine save by Jamie Donnelly after Ryan Metcalfe was through one on one.

At the other end Kirk Forbes intercepted a Benburb pass in midfield and played in Chris Dolan only for the shot go wide of the post.

The breakthrough came on the half hour mark when a shot from Jarvie was parried away by Donnelly only for Benburb to regain possession. The ball was played into the goalmouth and despite a last minute tackle by Sean Doherty, Metcalfe slid the ball over the line.

The goal enabled Benburb to go in at half-time a goal up - but they were also a man down as, just before the break, the home side won a free kick on the touchline and Forbes, stopping it being taken quickly, was kicked by Ryan McCrone right in front of the referee who had no hesitation in showing a red card.

Within a minute of the second half Rossvale were level.

A run by Euan Baird was intercepted by Sinclair Soutar but a mix-up between the defender and one of his team mates allowed Seaton to slot the ball over the line.

Benburb’s Steven Greer was shown a yellow card when he lunged in on David Leadbetter and two minutes later he was off for an early shower after receiving a second booking, this time for a foul on Baird.

It had been hard for Vale playing against 10 men but when Benburb went down to nine they shut up shop and wasted time at every opportunity. This frustrated Rossvale and boss Brian McGinty freshened things up by replacing Dolan with Gary Trussler.

Rossvale were searching for the next goal but a mixture of poor finishing and lucky defending by Benburb prevented this from happening. Benburb were resigned to shooting from distance and Metcalfe had a shot easily held by Donnelly.

Another change saw Erald Krasniqi replace Seaton with 15 minutes to play as Rossvale were really going in search of the winner.

But it was Benburb who nearly got it after a breakaway found a two on one situation; yet again Donnelly was on hand with another good save to push the ball to safety.

The ball was collected by Leadbetter who played a long pass to Anton McDowall.

He linked well with Forbes but a curling shot by the midfielder was held by the keeper and the match ended all square.