Kirrie Thistle 3 Montrose Roselea 3
Roselea travelled to Westview Park, Kirriemuir on Saturday in a rich vein of form, having beaten Superleague Lochee United and Forfar West End in their previous two matches.
Kirrie Thistle were themselves in form, having also beaten West End 4-0 the previous week and sitting nicely in the McBookie.com North Division table, six points ahead of Roselea with two games in hand.
Roselea travelled minus flu’ victims Paul Taylor and Calum Rae, with Graeme Allan unavailable. Danny Ross was moved into the right back slot.
Kirrie kicked off on a damp but firm pitch which had seen two postponements in recent weeks. They had the first exchange in four minutes with a snap shot at the edge of the box. The ball dipped dangerously over McLeod’s crossbar for a corner. It was played to the edge of the box. Farquharson was not picked up and he smacked a great low shot which was blocked on the line by a Roselea player.
Kirrie were livelier up front and had a valid appeal for a penalty in 18 minutes when McLeod and Sievewright collided in the box.
Referee Banks paused and then awarded a corner for the home side.
Roselea’ Ross drove from the box before releasing Anderson down the right. His cross was just missed by the despairing Watson who slid in at the back post.
In 32 minutes Roselea had a great opportunity when Taylor accepted a quick throw-in and picked out Reid in the box but the young striker headed over.
Watson was next to try for Roselea when he curled a shot just wide of the upright and the ball took a deflection for a corner.
As the half drew to a close Beedie sent a shot from the edge of the box just wide, having been harried by the Kirrie defence as he shot.
Half-time: Kirrie 0 Roselea 0.
Roselea opened strongly in the second period but Kirrie Thistle took the lead in 55 minutes with an excellent strike from the edge of the box following a corner. John FARQUHARSON hit the ball down the middle but the sheer power beat McLeod from 22 yards out.
But it was all square in 60 minutes. A Cruickshank corner was flicked on by Collier and Paul WHYTE was well placed to poke the ball home at the far post through a ruck of bodies.
Roselea made a change in 63 minutes when Marcus Watt replaced David Beedie.
The match was littered with yellow cards and in a two-minute spell Smith and Cooney of Kirrie and Watson of Roselea were recipients.
Roselea looked more up for the match after their goal and Reid almost connected with a low Ross shot but was well off target.
Roselea forced a corner when Watson broke on the right and crossed, forcing Scott to head behind when under pressure. Collier flicked the ball to Reoch and he laid it back to Cruickshank who shot over.
Kirrie went back in front courtesy of a penalty in 70 minutes. Sievewright was giving Roselea problems down the right side and he forced McLeod to foul him in the box. Surprisingly he only received a yellow for the incident, however SIEVEWRIGHT made sure from the spot.
Roselea took only three minutes to get back on level terms when WATSON lashed home a loose ball from 16 yards.
The visitors made another change with 15 minutes to play, Riach replacing Cruickshank.
Watt had a great first time side-footed shot from a Kirrie clearance go just wide in 78 minutes.
Roselea took the lead for the first time in 83 minutes. Anderson crossed for COLLIER to lob over the ‘keeper with Reid following up to make sure.
Kirrie upped their game and Whyte had to head behind for a corner after McLeod missed the ball.
A long ball caught out Taylor, and Sievewright shot low to the near post with only a slight touch from McLeod preventing a goal.
Just when Roselea thought they had done enough to secure the three points, Kirrie scored a deserved equaliser at the death. Again a long diagonal ball found SIEVEWRIGHT and he cut in from the right before drilling a low shot across McLeod and into the net for a dramatic equaliser with only three minutes left.
Roselea: McLeod, Ross, Ryan Taylor, Reoch, Whyte, Anderson, Collier, Beedie, Cruickshank, Reid, Watson. Substitutes: Watt, Riach, Brand and Craig
This was one of these games where a draw felt like a defeat and will suit the home team more than the visitors.
Roselea did well to fight back from being behind twice and showed a lot of character to take the lead.
There were some great displays with Whyte and Reoch commanding at the back and Marcus Watt did well when he came on. The draw leaves Kirrie Thistle six points ahead of Roselea with two games in hand.
With nine games left for Roselea this was one of the last tough away games; however they will need to pick up maximum points from most of their remaining fixtures.
League leaders North End won 4-1 at Lochee Harp and are nine points ahead of Roselea who have two games in hand.
This week Roselea make the long trip to Portgordon in the third round of the GA Cup and will also travel on March 16 to Brechin Vics in a crucial league derby match at Victoria Park.