Neilston Juniors 1 Lochee United 1
Match report by Jim Davie
It was a damp, dreich day that ended in disappointment for Lochee United as a game they looked to be in control of slipped away, resulting in a replay being required next Saturday at Thomson Park.
The visitors, despite playing up the slope and into the wind, dominated the first half and could have been more than a single goal up at half time.
That domination continued into the second half but Neilston, The Farmer’s Boys, gradually fought their way back into the tie and equalised with less than 10 minutes left.
Lochee created the first chance of the game after five minutes when Bryan Deasley fired a shot across the face of the home goal. Ten minutes later the same player worked his way into the Neilston box and shot narrowly over the bar.
The opening goal was only delayed by a further four minutes however. Kevin Milne found Ross GALLAGHER on the edge of the box and he sent a low drive past James Digney in the Neilston goal.
The home side tried to respond immediately and Ross McDonald had to make a timely interception to hook away Martin Curren’s dangerous cross into the Lochee box.
The Bluebells continued to press and Milne was unlucky to see his effort cleared by Digney’s legs.
At the other end Lochee keeper John Sinclair’s punch out was picked up by Curren who just failed to find the target.
As the half drew to a close Grant Lawson had two chances to add to the lead but neither troubled Digney in the home goal.
With the wind and slope in their favour after the break Lochee were soon on the attack and it took a brilliant fingertip save from Digney to deny Stephen McNally’s free kick.
The pressure was all on the home side now but they weathered it and began to creep into the game.
Sinclair failed to hold an inswinging corner kick and Greg Kirk’s attempted clearance only landed at the feet of Daryl Convery who somehow put his shot wide.
A double substitution just after the hour mark by Neilston changed the flow of the game and the home side began to show signs of belief in themselves.
Curren and Stephen Stirling both had efforts that were just off target, but nine minutes from the end Neilston equalised.
A corner was punched clear by Sinclair, but the ball found its way to CURREN who drove the ball into the net.
Lochee threw on Scott McComiskie for Dougie Cameron in an attempt to win the tie but it was the home side who had their tails up now and looked the more likely to win it.
Home substitute Cammy Haddow went on a mazy run through the Lochee midfield but overran the ball.
There was one last chance for Lochee when a long ball found Deasley bearing down on the Neilston goal but Digney was quickly off his line to smother the danger.
A draw was about right in the end and, though the Bluebells might fancy their chances at home, they know that an unbeaten in 12 Neilston will prove a tough obstacle.
Neilston: Digney, Halliday, MacKinnon, Doyle, Clark, Hay (Diack 51), Convery, Stirling, Fletcher, Archdeacon (Haddow 62), Curren.
Lochee United: Sinclair, McNally, Kirk, D Millar, McDonald, Ritchie, Cameron (McComiskie 82), Gallagher, Lawson, Milne, Deasley.
Written on 25 November 2019