We almost scored a remarkably early goal, Richie Foran threw himself at a cross which capped a flowing move from the kick off but he couldn’t direct it on target. In the first half there were several chances at either end but both goals survived. Aberdeen were lucky to survive when a McBride missed everyone and drifted inches past the post. Foran also did well to get on the end of a corner but he blazed the shot over a full stretch.
Aberdeen were not out of it though and despite us having the bulk of the possession they were possibly the more dangerous side when they broke away. Stevie Hammell had a very shaky first 75 minutes and the visitors were a constant threat down our left side. Barry John Corr made (at least) two excellent one on one saves and he performed more heroics, aided by the defence, when the Dons forced an almighty stramash in our box.
Half time came and went with no subbies but that was to change soon. David Partridge clearly picked up a knock and departed minutes into the second period. He was replaced by Kinniburgh who was second switch – Fitzpatrick going on for the injured Stepover in the first half.
We looked a lot more composed in the second half but sadly so were the Aberdeen defence. We struggled to create clear cut chances although Fitz could have done better on two occasions. Once he was forced wide before shooting weakly at Esson and he was also denied by an outstanding block from a defender.
The game was brightened considerably in the last few minutes with a fifteen man brawl sparked by a bad tackle and there was also the highly amusing sight of a real ‘drop ball’. Given that we clearly had possession when the referee stopped play and both teams had someone injured, it was very unusual for Aberdeen not to give the ball back. Despite seeming to have two players involved in the drop, we contrived to lose it after they kicked each other! Terry also had words to say to Orange Jimmy about the incident although no doubt they’ll laugh about it later.
The last few minutes were very exciting as either team could have taken all three points. McDonald turned his man in the box but could only snap his shot straight at the ‘keeper. Then, Aberdeen had some pressure and Corr had to look sharp again to deny Chris Clark. With nearly the final kick of the ball, McBride might have had a blast from eighteen yards but he hesitated and missed the opportunity. There were some mutterings about a penalty but from my view (at the wrong end) the tackle looked like a clean saver.
Are we pleased with a point? Yes, the match ebbed and flowed and the players certainly gave everything. We were a bit unlucky in front of goal but at the same time we owe a huge debt to BJ Corr who must have had his best game as a professional this afternoon. Let’s hope we find the shooting boots for the cup tie at Killie next Saturday. Remember, you can still take advantage of subsidized travel there by booking a bus seat at Fir Park.