MATCH REPORT: JOHNSTONE BURGH 1-1 ARTHURLIE
By Ross Lafferty
It was honours even in the Renfrewshire derby at Keanie Park as Arthurlie clinched a late point against a fired-up and determined Johnstone Burgh.
Straight from kick off Burgh caused panic in the Arthurlie goalmouth when a ball across goal was crying out for a touch into the net only for it to be scrambled behind for a corner.
That blistering start from the home side was a sign of things to come as they generally dictated the pace the game, even if both teams had good spells of possession without really creating much in front of goal.
Young Aaron Healy was making his debut for the visitors and he was involved in their first chance om 25 minutes. A great move was started when Tam McGaughey broke into space on the left and realeased Healy inside the box, but the teenager’s low cross was cut out by Ryan Wallace with Gary Carroll lurking at the back post.
Arthurlie then had James Scott to thank for keeping them in the game when he denied Brian Connor with a brilliant one-on-one save after the Burgh number 9 had raced clear of the visiting defence.
Healy had the best chance of the first half for ‘Lie on 40 minutes waltzing past two defenders but sending his effort from the edge of the box high over the bar.
Arthurlie had their best spell of the game as the half drew to a close and Gary Smith and Lee Roulston both had efforts in the final minutes that went narrowly wide.
Burgh had one final effort go high over the bar from a corner in injury time as the scores remained level at the break.
The second half started with more of the same, the Keanie Park side generally controlling the tempo, and both teams having periods of possession but not creating a great deal.
On 58 minutes Gary Smith did see a glimpse of goal but his volley from Carroll’s cross sailed high and wide from close range.
Ten minutes later Burgh created a nice opening for Connor but Jordan Leyden made an excellent late challenge to deflect the ball past for a corner.
From the corner kick the home side took the lead, Danny McBeth rising above the Arthurlie defence to head goalwards and see his effort slip through the hands of Scott.
With five minutes to go, Burgh almost doubled their lead, but Ricky McArthur’s header slipped just past Scott’s far post.
And from the restart Arthurlie went straight up the park and equalised. Roulston found space on the left and his pass back to Dave Mackay was crossed first time to the six-yard line where substitute Kris Amponsah headed home.
As the clock edged to the end of 90 minutes, Healy nearly clinched the points for the league leaders only to see his effort from 15 yards skim the corner of the goal frame.
Despite the late pressure on their goal, Burgh held on for the point that was the least they deserved, while Arthurlie will be relieved to extend their lead at the top after Shotts were defeated away to Maybole.
Arthurlie team: Scott, Zeb, Mackay, Leyden, Nolan, Roulston, Carroll (O’Hare 78), Ramsay, Smith, Healy, McGaughey (Amponsah 70)
Subs not used: Dunsmore, Chalmers, Bradley, Pearce, Black (GK)