A last minute goal denied Rob Roy a point in an agonising finish to their Premiership game at Kilbirnie on Saturday, reports Neil Anderson.
The match was switched to Kilbirnie after both clubs agreed to reverse the fixture due to Guy’s Meadow being waterlogged.
In contrast conditions at Valefield Park were perfect and Rob Roy made a bright start with a Martin McBride free-kick which found no takers at the back post.
Kilbirnie responded and Mark Ferry failed to connect with a cross when free in front of goal before Danny O’Halloran made a great goal line clearance to deny Peter McGill.
But it was the Roy who went in front after 20 minutes when McBride’s clever pass out to the right found Jay McInally who turned his defender before setting up Grant Brennan to slot past Joe Wilton.
Two minutes later Rabs’ keeper John Hutchison brilliantly tipped a Mick O’Byrne header over the bar and then showed a clean pair of hands to save Chris Craig’s effort.
The Blasties continued to press and O’Halloran made another goal line clearance to keep out Jamie Longworth’s shot.
However, Kilbirnie were not to be denied and on the half hour Craig curled a free-kick from 20 yardsover the Rob Roy wall and beyond Hutchison.
The goal gave the home side confidence and Craig’s shot was stopped by Hutchison with McGill blasted the follow-up over the bar.
But The Roy were never out of the game and McBride’s 20 yard effort was taken easily by Wilton.
At the other end David Ramsay fired wide after breaking clearbroke clear of the Rabs defence and on the stroke of half-time Scott Forrester blocked Longworth’s shot out for a corner from which resulting kick David Green’s attempted headed clearance hit his own bar and bounced clear.
After the break Wilton saved a Sam Mackenzie header and, as the game flowed from end to end, McGill fired past from eight yards out and Hutchison saved well from a Craig free-kick.
McInally then broke through the Ladeside defence but his shot blocked by Wilton who caught Mackenzie’s follow up chip.
Hutchison was again in action to save from McGill and then brilliantly stopped a deflected James Finlay shot at the base of his post.
With three mintes to go a free-kick from Rabs substitute David Gray was headed just wide by McBride.
In the 90th minute Hutchison made a great diving save from McGill to push the ball out but Rabs’ hearts were broken from the resulting corner Keiren Wood ran in to bullet a header beyond the keeper.
The Roy refused to accept defeat and pushed forward for an equaliser. Gray’s corner was scrambled clear before Jordan Currie-McLean’s break down the left stretched the Ladeside defence but they eventually cleared before referee Fullerton blew the final whistle.
It was cruel to concede the winner goal so late after man of the match Hutchison had performed heroically to keep the match all square.