ROSELEA travelled to Dundee to face East Craigie in their 15th league match buoyed by their narrow win over local rivals Arbroath Vics the previous weekend.
Although Roselea had beaten East Craigie 5-0 in the corresponding fixture, the Dundee side had improved and a notable 4-1 victory over league leaders Downfield in February was one to take notice of.
Roselea’s injury problems are receding and Paul Whyte made a welcome return to the squad. Lee Hood passed a late fitness test after suffering from a hamstring problem, while David Craig missed out for the same problem. As Matt Miller was unavailable this left Ewan Graham and Colin Page as the only absentees.
Roselea kicked off on a soft but rather bumpy Craigie Park which was being cooled by a very chilly cross wind.
The visitors had the first shot on goal with Hood’s 25-yard effort barely troubling the ‘keeper.
In five minutes Rae lost the ball in the middle of the park but again the shot from the Craigie player hardly tested McLeod.
East Craigie were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position when Colquhoun dived in but the ball was driven high over the bar.
Roselea were getting more involved in the game and forced a couple of corners. Then Rae played a ball into Collier who tried to chest it into the path of Fotheringham and just failed.
The pitch was taking some very bad bobbles and led to a mistake by Doug Craig for the opening goal in 12 minutes. He was caught in possession and when Welsh’s cross was not properly cleared by Colquhoun, CHALMERS pounced at the far post to give the homesters the lead.
Two minutes later Collier had a chance to equalise and his shot went just over the bar.
Hood then cut along the by-line and his chipped cross was cut out for a corner with Collier looking for a driven ball.
Roselea forced the equaliser from the corner in 16 minutes. Malone the home ‘keeper came for the ball and dropped it at the feet of Lee HOOD who made no mistake from six yards out.
In 20 minutes Roselea almost made it two after Urquhart headed another dangerous Craig corner wide when he had the entire goal to aim at.
Roselea created the next chance on the half-hour mark when Rae put Colquhoun down the line and his great cross was cut out by Malone.
Roselea were dominating the game now and were forcing a number of corners without really threatening.
A Reid cross was punched out but the ball did not break kindly for a Roselea player. Reid then had a great chance to put Roselea in front but his placed shot was saved by Malone’s legs.
Right on half-time Roselea took the lead in rather fortuitous circumstances. Colquhoun took a clever quick free kick to Lee HOOD and his cross from near the corner flag went in off the back post with Malone stranded.
There was still time for Doug Craig to send a dangerous corner kick off the Craigie cross bar and over.
The second half started quietly with both teams bogged down in midfield. McLeod had to come and take a dangerous cross in 50 minutes.
Colquhoun then picked up a booking for handball.
The first chance of the half fell to Gavin Reid in 65 minutes when Rae played him in but he could not get enough of the ball when at full stretch.
Roselea made their first change in 70 minutes with Aitken replacing Urquhart.
East Craigie had a spell of pressure and McLeod had to react quickly to a break in the box and a minute later there was another scramble in the Lea box following a corner.
In 73 minutes, as play flowed from end to end, East Craigie had a chance at one end before Colquhoun had a shot blocked by a Craigie defender. A Rae corner was somehow cleared off the line as the home side held on for a lifeline in the game. Fotheringham was in the book after getting involved in some “afters” following a very late off the ball challenge on his team-mate Rae.
Roselea finally got the break they needed to secure the three points in 75 minutes. Collier broke free and went down easily after rounding Malone and referee Bowman pointed to the spot. COLLIER made it two penalties in two weeks when he safely converted from 12 yards.
Forsyth added to East Craigie’s woe’s when he picked up a second yellow for voicing his opinions on Colliers run up too strongly and left the field for an early bath.
The scorer was subbed five minutes later with Craig Watson replacing him. In 85 minutes Strachan replaced Craig.
Watson had a chance near the end when he cut in from the by-line and struck the ball against ‘keeper Malone with Aitken perhaps better placed had he cut it back.
Roselea: McLeod, Colquhoun, Doug Craig, Mustard, Reoch, Reid, Rae, Fotheringham, Urquhart, Collier. Subs: Aitken, Riach, Whyte, Brand, Watson, Strachan and Craig.
Although not a flamboyant performance ,it was a controlled win and a valuable three points with Downfield losing at home to Kirrie Thistle in the League.
That now leaves Roselea one point behind leaders Downfield with a game in hand and North End a point behind with the same 15 games played.
A host of clubs sit just behind making the coming weeks very important.
Roselea now travel to play the much postponed game at Coupar Angus on Saturday, March 26 with a 2pm kick-off.