Rob Roy draw at Irvine to boost bid to beat drop

Chris Duff was on target for Rob Roy at Irvine
Chris Duff was on target for Rob Roy at Irvine

A last minute equaliser secured Rob Roy a point towards their Super Premier League survival as they drew 2-2 at Irvine Meadow on Saturday.

But they will rue their failure to make the most of clearcut chances which fell to them in the first half.

Rabs should have taken a fourth minute lead but Luke Whelan’s header was deflected wide and from the corner kick David Barr headed over the top.

Meadow broke the deadlock in the first raid on the Rabs goal after 10 minutes when Gary McCann sent Stuart McCann free on the right to run in and flick the ball over the head of Rob Roy’s stand-in ’keeper Kevin Bell.

The home side had a chance to increase their lead but Ross McPherson headed a Gary McCann cross past the post when in a good position.

With Rabs showing eagerness they spurned an easy chance to draw level when Chris Duff, through on goal, could only fire the ball against ’keeper Daniel Tobin.

Minutes later Tobin did well to parry Duff’s effort to safety.

Garry McMenamin shot narrowly past the post following a clever 1-2 with Willie Sawyers before Duff blasted a Whelan cross over the bar.

The swirling wind was causing problems to both defences with Barr forced to head a Deas corner over his own crossbar.

Rabs were denied a stonewall penalty before the break for a handling offence in the Meadow box but the referee Graham displayed little interest in the penalty claims.

Rabs continued to push forward. Barr headed a Gavin Mackie free-kick past the post from close range then in a goalmouth scramble Rabs had three attempts to score before Tobin snatched the ball.

The last chance of the half fell to Mackie but his finish lacked power and was easily taken by Tobin.

It took Rabs only a minute into the second half to get back on level terms when Duff connected with a ball from defence to run in on goal before lobbing the ball over the onrushing Tobin.

With Rabs going all out to take the lead Tobin did well to stop a Sawyers drive then Barr headed over from a Whelan cross before Tobin saved a Mackie 30-yard free-kick underneath his crossbar.

In the 66th minute the relegated Ayrshire side restored their lead when good leading up play from Ryan Deas released Stuart McCann on the left to send over a low cross for substitute George Thomson to knock the ball into the net from close range.

Sawyers was unlucky to see his angular volley smash against Tobin’s upright and out to safety.

At the other end Barr conceded a foul on the 18 yard line, Deas took the free-kick but it failed to trouble Bell.

Rabs achieved parity in the final minute when Whelan collected the ball 18 yards from goal before lashing a thunderous volley high past Tobin for a well-deserved point.