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  • kennyholt



Having been spoiled in recent months by the summer sunshine, supporters braved a wet and blustery Whitestone Park for the visit of Edinburgh South.

Rovers welcomed back captain Liam Andrew and Matty Kinross into the heart of the defence with Grant Doyle taking the place of the injured Mark Shiels in midfield.

The opening 10 minutes was a scrappy affair as both sides struggled with the conditions, with the first chance of the game falling to the visitors. William Scott won the ball wide on the left and played inside to Sean Jamieson, the Edinburgh No9 had time to steady himself, but his shot was straight into the arms of Cameron Hanratty in the Rovers goal.

In their first meaningful attack on 11 minutes, Rovers opened the scoring. Callum Mitchell played a ball to release Brandon Blair on the left, he got to the goal line where he played a cross that was picked up by Harry McGill who was coming in from the far right. McGill controlled the ball before firing it back across and picking out Luke MacLean on the six-yard line. The striker made no mistake in firing home for his seventh of the season.

Rovers 1 v 0 Edinburgh South

A minute later, good play by Edinburgh South set up Ian Ballantine whose shot from 30 yards was certainly ambitious but it didn’t miss the top right-hand corner of the Rovers goal by much.

On 20, a challenge by Davie Lindsay on the left edge of the box gave a free kick to south. Ian Ballantine’s curled effort was aimed at the far corner of the goal, but it was rising and went harmlessly over.

On 29 minutes, a McGill cross found MacLean at the back post who did well to control, he turned his man and played the ball in to Lindsay whose first-time shot was well saved by keeper Antol Tompos, turning the goal bound effort onto his right-hand post, and out for a corner.

On 35, a Harry McGill cross was won in the air by Luke MacLean and his knock down was picked up 12 yards out by Brandon Blair, with more time than he thought, the winger snatched at his effort, and it was picked up by keeper Tompos.

Two minutes later, a pass by Jordan Cropley found Sean Jamieson at the edge of the box, his shot was low and well struck but it went wide of Hanratty’s right hand post.

In the 41st minute, a driving run by South’s Jamieson got him into the Rovers box and he unleashed a left foot shot which was parried by Hanratty. The loose ball was pounced upon by Ballantine who fired a shot towards the Rovers goal that Liam Andrew threw himself in front of. A let off for the home side.

The final chance of the first half fell to the visitors with a snap shot by Scott from the edge of the box, which was well saved by Hanratty.

HT Rovers 1 v 0 Edinburgh South

Early in the second period, the visitors had a chance to level. A Ballantine cross was chested by Jamieson into the path of Scott on the right corner of the six yard box, instead of hitting it first time, he chose to try and pull it onto his left foot which allowed Gary Tickle just enough time to slide in and get the ball away for a corner.

Five minutes into the second half, good work by Blair played in Lindsay on the edge of the box. Grant Doyle took a pass on the run and made space for himself, but he just couldn’t get the shot on target.

Just after, the visitors went close through Scott, he made space on his left-hand side but his shot from the edge of the box went just wide of the Rovers right hand post.

Ross Lamb nearly got on the score sheet on 51, he picked up a pass from Lindsay and drove towards the South goal before unleashing a wicked shot that whistled just over the bar.

In the 51st minute, Davie Lindsay found Harry McGill in behind the Edinburgh defence wide on the right. He drove towards goal and shot across the keeper from 20 yards, but his effort went just wide.

On 57, South won a free kick 20 yards out. Dale O’Hara managed to bend his shot round the wall but at full stretch, Matty Kinross got a foot to it to turn it away for a corner. From the resulting set piece, Jordan Cropley got some power behind a header that forced Cameron Hanratty into a great reflex save, to tip the effort over the bar.

Two minutes later, Rovers almost went further ahead. The ball was worked across the midfield until it reached Brandon Blair on the left. His shot brought out a save from the feet of Tompos, with the ricochet being goal bound until it was cleared behind the goal by a defender. The corner was whipped in by Grant Doyle, and it was centre half Kinross that rose highest to head past the keeper, only to see the ball come off the underside of the bar.

On 66, Harry McGill had an audacious effort when he got on the end of a Ross Lamb pass that spun into the air off an opposing defender. Going away from goal he flicked the ball over the head of the keeper, but it just fell wide of the right-hand post.

Minutes later, a long through ball found William Scott clear, he tried to scoop his shot over the advancing Hanratty but couldn’t find a way past the Rovers No 1, as he held the shot.

On 81, Edinburgh South equalised. A ball played in from the left found the feet of Jamieson, who was able to square the ball to Scott, his strike partner made no mistake from 6 yards out.

Rovers 1 v 1 Edinburgh South

With three minutes remaining, Rovers looked to have sealed the victory. A long clearance from Hanratty found Luke MacLean clear, as he made his way into the box he fell as a result of a challenge from a defender. As the defender hesitated, MacLean managed to poke the ball into the path of the oncoming Davie Lindsay who dispatched the shot from 15 yards.

Rovers 2 v 1 Edinburgh South

The Rovers lead was to last all of a minute with the equaliser coming in bizarre circumstances. An Edinburgh corner was cleared by the defence to the edge of the box, where a further clearance upfield by a Rovers midfielder cannoned off the bottom of Jordan Cropley’s foot back towards goal. On its path, the ball appeared to be played by a South striker standing 2 yards from the goal line, with all of the Rovers defenders outside the six-yard box. Referee Allan decided that the player by the goal line had neither played the ball, nor had he impeded Hanratty who was right by his side.

FT Rovers 2 v 2 Edinburgh South

Man of the Match – Sponsored by #Andysmanclub

This was a performance that wasn’t up to the Rovers standard of late but a shining light in the storm was Callum Mitchell. The full back showed great desire, was strong in the tackle and linked up well with his team mates on the left hand side.

Rovers: Hanratty, Tickle, Mitchell, Andrew, Kinross (Weighand 87), Lamb, Lindsay, Doyle (Dodds 60), McGill, Blair (Latto 69), MacLean. Unused sub: Reid

Edinburgh South: Tompos, Day, O’Hara, Kerr, Aitchison, Ballantine, Hunter, Scott, Jamieson, Sharkey, Cropley.

Referee: Boise Allan

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