Kirkintilloch Rob Roy battled back to salvage their first point of the season with a 2-2 draw at Irvine Meadow on Saturday.
It was a game they looked the more likely to win at one stage before eventually needing a last-minute leveller to earn a deserved draw.
Both sides started well and after Gary Carroll had hit the post in the first minute Meadow responded with Andy McLaughlin heading over the bar from a Jared Willet cross and Callum Gow blasting a free kick wide.
Rob Roy then broke down the left and from Carroll’s cross, Lee Gallacher set up Connor Hughes but Meadow keeper Michael White saved his effort.
However the Roy made the breakthrough in the seventh minute.
Following a foul by Darren Miller on Carroll, Gallacher’s free-kick was handled in the box by Rhys Devlin and referee King awarded a penalty kick. Carroll did his usual immaculate job with the spot kick to put the visitors ahead.
Home keeper White had to chest the ball clear and then Graeme Ramage’s follow up effort was saved for a corner as the Roy started to dominate play.
White punched clear a Gallacher corner and from the second ball Deny Zekaj set up Joe Slattery whose effort went over the bar.
At the other end Rabs keeper John Hutchison did well to keep out a Graham Boyd effort following a Meadow breakaway.
White then saved a Ramage free-kick before Hutchison showed safe hands to keep out a curling free-kick from Miller.
Just before half time Kevin Finlayson, who was having an outstanding game in defence, cleared another Meadow attack to maintain the visitors’ lead at the interval.
However the second half was only a minute old when Willet was brought down in the box following a mazy run and referee King awarded another penalty kick.
Boyd sent the ball low to Hutchison’s right and into the net to give Meadow the equaliser.
The Roy responded and following a foul on Carroll, Martin McBride’s free-kick flew over the bar. Then White did well to save Gallacher’s effort following a long clearance from Hutchison.
The keeper then had a fine one handed save from a McLaughlin effort before White saved a McBride shot after being set up by a Michael Daly header.
And following a Ramage cross, Hughes had his shot blocked for a corner, from which Daly headed wide.
However all this effort was undone in the 85th minute when Hutchison was unable to hold a shot from the left and Boyd was on hand to pounce on the rebound and slot home to give Meadow the lead.
A stunned Rob Roy side battled back to try and salvage something from the game and their perseverance was rewarded in the final minute.
John Sweeney set up substitute Willie Sawyers who turned and won a corner. Gallacher’s cross was met at the back post by Slattery and his header was helped over the line by Hughes to give the Roy a deserved point.
The draw helped lift Rob Roy away from the foot of the table; however they will also see it as an opportunity missed to collect all three points.
Sponsor Andy Smith presented the Supporters’ Man of the Match trophy, kindly donated by Roddy the Dog Walker, at the end of the game to Joe Slattery.