A Jamie Broadfoot goal three minutes from time earned Cumbernauld Colts a draw from their opening match of 2016 at East Kilbride on Saturday.
With the teams separated by a single point in the Lowland League table and the previous encounter at Broadwood finishing in a 1-1 draw, the match at the K Park always looked like it would be a tight affair.
Despite injuries forcing changes to their line-up Colts started brightly, enjoying the better of the opening 15 minutes of the game and creating a couple of decent opportunities.
Jonathan Black forced a wonderful save from the home ’keeper with a header from eight yards after Stephen O’Neill had delivered from the left, the stopper getting over to turn the ball around the post for a corner.
O’Neill nearly scored a lofted effort from just inside the area but the official adjudged the attacker had committed a foul before Daniel McDonald saw an effort from just inside the area blocked away for another Colts corner.
The home side struggled to break down a stubborn Colts rearguard, their increasing percentage of possession not yielding much in the way of threatening efforts for Sam George in the away goal to deal with.
The chance of the half though did fall to home striker Jack Smith who fired narrowly wide from 12 yards.
After the break East Kilbride came out strong and a Kris Gebbie cross crashed off a post with George beaten.
George made a superb save at full stretch to keep the score level but the home side broke the deadlock with seven minutes remaining when Drew Ramsay was harshly penalised for a foul on the edge of the box and Ross McKinnon found the bottom corner of the net from the free-kick.
To their credit Colts rallied and grabbed an equaliser with three minute sramianing, albeit with a huge slice of luck.
Under-20s star Jordan Pirrie, on as a substitute, went past two opponents before pulling back into the danger area and a defendder’s clearance only found the face of Broadfoot and rebounded straight into the top corner from eight yards with the keeper helpless.
Pirrie then almost won it in stoppage time but fired just wide as the final whistle blew.