Broughty Athletic dropped two points and had to settle for a 2-2 draw as visitors Newtongrange Star battled back and equalised late in the game at Whitton Park. The Fed went into the game looking to get back to winning ways following their East of Scotland Cup exit last Saturday and nearly pulled off the three points but for a battling Star side.
The Fed welcomed back Barry Myles to partner Ryan Suttie at the heart of the defence and Stewart McConnachie partnered Shaka Roy upfront. Defender Drew Fleming was on the bench following his recent injury. Out injured was Paul McLellan.
From the kickoff, Broughty pressed their visitors and within the first minute, Shaka Roy hit the Star post after a fine run from Danny Cavanagh down the left side. 4mins on the clock and the visitors tested Iain Ross in the Fed goal but he saved low. 12mins and captain Jamie Winter tried his luck with a 25yrd effort from a Fed corner but it flew over the crossbar.
Then after the bright start from the home side, Star ran upfield and scored from a 20yrd free kick just outside the box. Ross was beaten in the goal with no effort from the Fed wall, 0-1 to Star. 24mins and Cavanagh tried to curl in a free-kick but it was saved low and cleared from 20yrds out. Then on 28mins Broughty drew level. A corner was swung in and headed into the Star goal by one of their own defenders, 1-1.
Then within four minutes, Broughty took the lead courtesy of both strikers combining well. Stewart McConnachie was put through on the left by Ryan Suttie, his shot was saved by the Star keeper only for it to fall to Shaka Roy and he prodded it into the back of the net, 2-1. But within a minute Star had the chance to equalise when they were awarded a soft penalty. Fed keeper IRoss was the hero though, saving to his left and keeping the Fed ahead. Then another glorious chance fell to the visitors, clean through on goal on the left side, the shot went past the advancing Ross but somehow, Fed defender Ryan Blair raced back and cleared the ball on the goal-line and out for a corner. What a clearance it was, 99 times out of a hundred it would end up in the net but not this time.
Last chance before halftime fell to the visitors, heading over unchallenged from 10yrds out. H/T 2-1.
It was the visitors that came out the starting blocks in the second half and should have equalised but the goal cut across the Broughty goal with no takers to tap it in. 51mins and from a Broughty corner, Star broke upfield and the resulting cross into the box was headed over the bar. 57mins and McConnachie had a chance to extend the Fed’s lead but his effort was blocked on the line by the Star keeper and defender until the referee blew as the Star keeper went down injured.
64mins and Broughty’s Jamie McCunnie was shown a yellow card for a rash and reckless challenge on the Star forward as he ran goalwards with the ball. One minute later and Star looked to have all but equalised but their striker shot over from 10yrds out after rounding Ross in the goal, the ball actually went out the park and into a neighbours garden! 75mins and Winter tried again this time from 30yrds out but his effort went over the bar. Two minutes later, substitute Brian Clark put in McConnachie but his attempted lob was easily saved by the keeper.
As the clock ticked towards the ninety minutes mark, Newtongrange pushed the Fed deeper and deeper into their own half and battered on the door for an equaliser. 86mins and substitute Drew Fleming cleared off the Broughty goal line when a goal looked certain from a corner. With the ball not properly cleared a 20yrd effort then crashed off the Broughty crossbar with Ross beaten in the goal. But within 60 seconds the visitors scored their deserved equaliser from a corner. The ball wasn’t cleared as it pinged around in the box and was slammed home, 2-2.
Newtongrange stormed up the park and wanted the winner and if not for a fantastic block in injury time, a full-blown shot to the body of Frankie Lannen, then all three points would have been leaving Whitton Park with the visitors. F/T 2-2.
Summing up, Broughty survived an onslaught in the latter stages of the game by their visitors today and will feel lucky to have finished the game with a point. Newtongrange showed some battling skills to put Broughty under pressure in the second half. They could have taken all three points and will be wondering how on earth they didn’t! On the plus side for the Fed, the point means Keith Gibson’s side stay seventh in the league and won’t finish in the bottom two automatic relegations places of the league despite plenty games to still play.
Man of the Match for the Fed, some solid displays today once again, Iain Ross in the goal with the penalty save, defender Ryan Suttie for not giving up for 90mins, Stewart McConnachie for battling with the Star backline, but it goes to Jamie McCunnie for a superb display in the Broughty defence.
F/T: BAJFC 2-2 Newtongrange Star – Scorers: Own goal, Roy