Gretna 1 Cumbernauld 1: Late lapse costs Colts
An injury-time goal forced Cumbernauld Colts to settle for a point as they drew 1-1 in their Lowland League clash at Gretna on Saturday.
Having lost their unbeaten record to defending champions East Kilbride the previous week - after opening with three successive victories - Colts were keen to get back on the winning track in the Borders.
In an entertaining match Gretna had most of the possession in the first half but didn’t manage to create any clear cut chances to score.
This was to prove costly as, after several warnings at the other end of the pitch where Colts narrowly missed out, the Cumbernauld side got themselves in front though midway through the half as Sean Brown finished well.
The remainder of the half was battled out in the middle of the park with little action in front of goal Colts went in to the break a goal to the good.
As the second half got under way the home side were battling hard to equalise but still couldn’t find a way through the Colts defence.
But with 20 minutes still to play, Colts’ trialist goalkeeper gave away a free-kick after handling the ball just outside his box and - after consultation with his linesman - the referee showed the keeper a red card.
Colts, without a substitute keeper, were forced to put midfielder Jordan Marshall between the sticks.
The free-kick came to nothing and from the resulting clearance Gretna’s Michael McAnespie, a centre half, received a red card for dangerous play after raising his boot to head height and making contact with Brown’s head.
With the scores still level going into the closing stages Gretna threw everything at Colts in attempt to test stand-in keeper Marshall.
And they were rewarded two minutes into stoppage time when Stuart Gray levelled after a stramash in the box.
The draw leaves Colts in fourth place, three points behind East Kilbride and BSC Glasgow and two adrift of The Spartans whom they face at Broadwood on Friday.