Stagecoach West of Scotland League
Central District First Division
ON the run-in to the end of the season, all of the promotion contenders will inevitably have a few wobbles and this game was undoubtably one such for Rangers.
They may have expected a fairly smooth passage to taking another three points, but in the end they had to be reasonably happy to have secured one point and now only retain their table topping position on goal difference, although still having two games in hand over their rivals, Thorniewood.
Vale of Leven won the toss and elected to play with the advantage of the strong breeze. Despite this, it was Rangers who had the best of the early chances, twice Livingstone was on a good position but failed to get a decent shot in.
There really was not much to separate the teams though, Vale of Leven were also having their moments but neither keeper was really called upon to make a save worthy of the name in the entire first half. It was expected that once Rangers had the wind behind them things would change.
And so it did, immediately after the restart, but it was not as expected. Slack defending by Rangers let Filshie in to put Vale ahead within a minute.
The visitors were playing with much more confidence now and causing a few problems for the home defence. A change was made, with McAteer coming on for Kelly, but a foul by David Waters earned him a booking and Vale a freekick out on the left wing.
BOWIE sent a fine effort in which somehow sneaked in between Duke and the near post. Vale were now two up just on the hour mark and playing with some style.
Gradually though, Rangers regained their composure and began to hit back and make some real chances of their own. Several times Carr went on good runs and put over tempting crosses which should really have brought a better reward.
Rangers forced a few corners and from one of these McAteer rose above the defence to head the ball down and past Grindlay to give Rangers a lifeline.
It was all Kilsyth now and moments later Grindlay produced a brilliant double save from two point blank efforts in quick succession.
He had several more good saves to make in the next few minutes and, as the final whistle came closer, both teams made changes.
With about eight minutes left a ball into the Vale penalty area was knocked on by Joe Barclay and met by CARR, who made a great finish to draw the game level.
Rangers continued to press in the last few minutes but could not secure a winner.
It could be seen as two points dropped or a point gained, but either way, their fate remains in their own hands.
KILSYTH: Duke, Carr, Waters, Doyle, Hogg, McLellan, Livingstone, Mcpeake, J Barclay, Flannery, Kelly. Subs: Dolan, McAteer, Hamiltonb, Nimmo, Dempsey, Tait.
VALE OF LEVEN: Grindlay, Wardle, Casey, Wilson, Cannon, Filshie, Brown, Cavan, Berry, Bowie, McNaught. Subs: Ward, Crowhurst, McKenzie, Pousey, Gourlay.
Forthcoming fixtures, Wednesday, April 20, away to Perthshire, K.O. 6.45pm. Saturday, April 23, away to Johnstone Burgh, K.O. 2pm.
Last Wednesday night saw Rangers become outright leaders of the division following a 5-0 victory away at Dunipace.
The result might seem to say it all, but it was not a simple win until the closing stages of the match.
Played on a damp evening with a slippery surface underfoot, it was a tight game until Rangers made several late substitutions which transformed the game.
With St Anthony’s losing 3-0 at home to Cambuslang Rangers, Kilsyth became clear leaders at the top.