Rossvale lose out to Arthurlie in promotion clash

Rossvale celebrate Gary McGrath's equaliser at Arthurlie (pic by HT Photography/@dibsy_)
Rossvale celebrate Gary McGrath's equaliser at Arthurlie (pic by HT Photography/@dibsy_)

Rossvale lost only their second game of the season away to promotion rivals Arthurlie on Saturday.

But with other games going to their advantage, and still with several games in hand, it may not dent their promotion hopes too much.

It was a game also of two penalties.

Rossvale won the first one on ten minutes when Liam McGonigle was nudged off the ball as he burst into the box.

McGonigle took the kick himself but James Digney picked the right side to dive, blocked the attempt and also got to Jamie Hunter’s rebound.

From that Arthurlie burst upfield and Jamie Donnelly did well with a great full stretch save.

Donnelly then touched over a Derek McNab effort before McNab, who was causing problems for the Vale defence, broke down the right and fired over an excellent cross to Payne who brought out another good save from Donnelly.

After the break a Hunter header into the box found Matt Niven at the back post and his looping header was punched clear by Digney.

But it was ’Lie who took the lead with the second penalty of the game on the hour.

David Reid burst through the middle and Donnelly saved his effort with his legs, but the rebound fell straight back to Reid and Craig Buchanan slid in and took the legs from him.

The referee had no option but to award the penalty and McNab stepped up and put Donnelly the wrong way and ’Lie into the lead.

But 10 minutes later Gordon Moffat’s side were back on level terms. David Leadbetter’s throw-in was headed across goal for Gary McGrath to head in at the back post.

However Arthurlie themselves then hit back to regain the lead in the 80th minute. McNab who burst down the right and fired in a shot which Donnelly saved but Lee Ralston was on hand to bury the rebound.

Rossvale almost levelled again when a diving Hunter just failed to connect with Leadbetter’s cross in front of goal.

Rossvale remain sixth in the table and face another massive game this Saturday at home to Benburb, the only other team to beat them this season, at Huntershill, kick-off 2pm.

Report: Andy Sandilands