Rovers earn draw with late fight back

Leith Athletic 2 Peebles Rovers 2

Leith started the match brightly and it took a good block from Ross Forrest in the heart of the Rovers defence to prevent their first effort after just 3 minutes from hitting the target. The warning wasn’t headed though and two minutes later the home side took the lead. A lapse in concentration allowed Leith to break down the left wing and the low cross was side footed home from close range by Daniel Garvey.

It took almost 20 minutes before Rovers had their only  meaningful chance of the half, Gregor Lamb finding space 10 yards out but his shot lacked power and was comfortably saved by former Peebles ‘keeper Ben McGinley.

What became something of a pattern for the game saw Leith reduced to trying their luck from range despite good build up play, but nothing troubled Bob Hall in the Rovers goal. Just before the break, Forrest was on hand again with a timely challenge to snuff out another Leith attack down the right side.

Leith started the second half as they had the first but it was Rovers with the first effort on goal when Jon Davidson picked up a clearance and from fully 40 yards tried his luck with McGinley off his line but the effort was just too high.

Leith probably had their best spell following this warning and doubled their lead after 54 minutes with Garvey again giving Hall no chance with a tidy finish following a quick interchange of passes on the left side of the box. Rovers were on the back foot for the next 10 minutes as the home side tried to extend their advantage but the defence held firm.

A controversial moment followed after 65 minutes when a long clearance deceived McGinlay and he handled the ball outside his area. Without the intervention, the ball looked to be headed for the goal but the referee only produced a yellow card and Grant Wilson’s subsequent free kick was deflected wide.

However, the setback seemed to galvanise Rovers and a tweak in formation which saw Alan McMath push forward changed the course of the game.

With just 7 minutes remaining, Gregor Lamb cut inside from the left wing and his pass to brother Ross on the right side saw him completely deceive his marker with a sharp turn and his cross from the by-line was bundled over the line by Wilson.

Rovers had their tails up now and pressed hard for the equaliser but it was Leith who nearly put the match out of sight with a flashing header from a corner but the effort sailed past the far post.

As the clock ticked on to 90 minutes, McMath showed his worth again as he powered a shot goalwards from the edge of the box. The effort deflected off substitute Cammy Sclater leaving McGinlay with no chance and earned Rovers a very creditable away draw.

Peebles Rovers; Hall, MacKenzie, Gettel, McMath, Forrest, Davidson, Dodds, G Lamb, Wilson, R Lamb, Lindsay. Subs; Sclater, Zavaroni, Summers

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