So near and yet so far for Roselea

ROSELEA faced the first of two final games with the only target a win to keep the McBookie.com North Division race going.

A draw would mean that Violet would be three points ahead. With two games in hand and a far superior goal difference they would be certainties for the crown.

Injury victims Calum Rae and Ross Colquhoun were missing. Ross Mcleod was unavailable and was deputised by Ronnie Massie.

Roselea almost scored in a minute. Fletcher was cruelly chopped down and Webster’s great low ball was just missed by Collier.

In five minutes Collier picked the ball up midway inside the Craigie half but was brutally brought down as he played a one-two with Fletcher. Anderson escaped a booking and Webster’s free kick went just over. Ryan Taylor was caught late by McDonald just in front of the home dugout and this again went unpunished.

Kevin Webster had a great turn inside in 19 minutes from a Taylor throw and sent in a dipping cross which Collier almost connected with, forcing a corner. Ryan Taylor collected the short corner and had a shot from the corner of the 18-yard box which Logie had to tip over.

Mustard picked up a harsh booking for a trip on the edge of his own area. The free kick was well saved by Massie again.

Near the interval Ronnie Massie was booked for dissent after being incensed that play was allowed to continue after a Craigie player had headed the ball on the byeline in an offside position before Whyte cleared a certain goal for a corner. The ball broke to McFARLANE at the edge of the box; his shot took a cruel deflection to beat Massie.

Half-time: Montrose Roselea 0, East Craigie 1.

Roselea were awarded a penalty in 66 minutes. Mustard was felled by two Craigie players as he went for a header. Chalmers was spoken to for contesting the decision but was not shown yellow. Webster had his strike saved by Logie.

In 70 minutes Kennedy replaced Ryan Taylor and an equaliser came a minute later. A long throw by Anderson was flicked on by Collier and when Fletcher’s left foot shot appeared to have been held by Logie WEBSTER pounced on the loose ball from close range.

A minute later Roselea had a great chance to go ahead when Fletcher broke well and played the ball across to Collier who had his near post turned behind by Logie.

In 82 minutes Charlie Adams’ brother Connor was shown a red card as he retaliated to a shirt pull by Reoch. Things were getting out of hand as the referee struggled to get a hold of the game.

Ten-man Craigie took the lead in 87 minutes, courtesy of a penalty. Whyte obstructed Chalmers when it looked like Reoch had intercepted the danger and awarded a free kick which struck the hand of Mustard. Substitute NORRIE made Roselea sorry when he converted.

Roselea got a deserved equaliser three minutes into stoppage time when FLETCHER netted his 17th of the season from close range.

This was a frustrating draw and even the most optimistic would still see Violet winning the title. The referee failed to control the game, allowing bad tackles to go unpunished, before Mustard and Massie were booked for far less. Roselea are three points behind Violet who have two games in hand and a superior goal difference of 23.

Roselea: Massie, P. Taylor, R. Taylor, Whyte, Reoch, Urquhart, Anderson, Mustard, Webster, Collier, Fletcher. Subs: Aitken, Strachan, Kennedy, Brand and Craig.

Saturday’s match against Violet will kick off at 2.30pm at Broomfield Park.