Lochee United 2 Forfar West End 2

Lochee’s long winning league record came to an end against Angus rivals Forfar West End but at least the Bluebells stayed unbeaten despite going down to 10 men for the last 17 minutes.

Lochee dominated on possession and chances but good goalkeeping and dogged defending denied the home team.

Forfar keeper Gary Thain must take most of the credit for the visitors leaving Thomson Park with a hard won point after a string of fine saves.

The closest thing to a goal came when Grant Lawson got his head to a James Thomson cross in the 13th minute, but the midfielder headed wide.

Three minutes later the Bluebells should have gone in front. Scott Webster and Connor Birse combined to set up Scott McComiskie but his shot came back off the post.

Lochee’s Lenny Ewing had a moment to forget when the ball bounced over his head and the keeper had to race back to grab it.

Andy Walls flashed a header over Ewing’s bar and the keeper redeemed himself with a fine diving save from Craig Batchelor.

On 24 minutes West End went in front and left back Craig BELL was the hero. First he cleared a Garry Kenneth header off the line before racing upfield to get on the end of a corner kick to send a shot past Ewing.

Dougie Cameron found himself in the ref’s book for dissent and that was to come back to haunt his side later in the game.

Kenneth had another header, this time from a Thomson throw-in, but Thain was on hand to grab the ball on the line.

Webster was doing his bit to get the home side moving up the left wing but it was from the other side that Lochee’s equaliser came on 38 minutes. Stephen McNally played the ball to Lawson who found McCOMISKIE. The striker brushed off a challenge before sending a shot low and hard into the bottom corner.

Jamie Reid was next to find himself in the ref’s book for bringing down former Bluebell Jamie Montgomery, who was having a fine game against his old side.

And Montgomery should have put the visitors in front right on the half time whistle. Taking advantage of confusion in the home defence, Montgomery looked certain to score but skied his shot well over the bar.

It didn’t take long for him to make amends, however. One minute into the second half MONTGOMERY helped to set up his own chance with a clever backheel to Andy Walls who returned the pass to the midfielder on the edge of the box. His low drive beat Ewing into the corner of the net.

Lawson then became Lochee’s third booking of the day for a foul on Callum Walls.

Greg Kirk showed some fine skill down the left before squaring to McComiskie, but the striker shot straight at Thain.

The keeper came to Forfar’s rescue again with a double save. First, he saved from Reid who had been set up by McNally, then McComiskie crossed for Webster to power in a header, only to be denied by Thain.

He needed the help of Jordan Timmons though, to keep out a netbound Kenneth header.

With 17 minutes left Lochee picked up another booking and this time it was Cameron’s second which meant the influential midfielder was sent packing. Kirk, Kenneth and McComiskie all followed him into the book, meaning six Lochee players were carded against none of the visitors.

Down to 10 men and realising their unbeaten record was on the line, the Bluebells responded. McComiskie and Reid both had chances to score but again Thain brought off superb saves to keep his side ahead.

Just when it looked as if it wasn’t to be their day, the home side levelled with six minutes to go. WEBSTER raced in from the right and sent his shot past Thain and into the net for the equaliser.

West End fans were looking nervously at their watches now and were relieved when the final whistle blew to earn them a hard fought point.

Lochee United: Ewing, Thomson, Kenneth, Kirk, Webster, Lawson, Cameron, Reid, McNally, Birse, McComiskie.

Forfar WE: Thain, C Walls (Clark 72), Bell, George, McKenzie, Allan, Timmons, Wilson, Batchelor (Fullerton 89), Montgomery, A Walls (Reynolds 80).

Written on 20 October 2018