A late goal, two minutes from time earned Giffnock SC Thistle a draw with Linwood Rangers in an enthralling league tie. Giffnock had originally taken the lead through striker Jeremiah Otonti. Linwood responded with two goals either side of the half through Max Bridgewater and Steven Wilson to take the lead. A second goal from Wilson looked to have given Linwood the win but late goals from Ryan Donnelly and Otonti earned Giffnock a share of the spoils.
It was Linwood who settled the quickest in the early exchanges. Euan King played through Ciaran McPherson but his shot from just inside the box went wide.
The opening goal came nine minutes into the game and there was more than air of good fortune about it. Jeremiah Otonti’s presence in the box caused havoc for Linwood and when the defence desperately tried to clear the danger the ball smashed off the strikers knee and off the post, into the goal. Goalkeeper Gary Russel had no chance as Otonti was rewarded for his harrying of the defence.
Despite the goal Linwood still remained the team in the ascendency. Euan King collected the ball in the Giffnock box and took out three defenders, but was denied a goal by Liam Gray who dived at King’s feet to deny him the chance.
Steven Wilson then ran through the Giffnock defence to the byline before cutting back an enticing ball across the goal. However, the ball was just out of reach of the oncoming attackers and Giffnock cleared.
It was then the turn of Tony Gallacher to run to the byline, this time looking for Wilson on the cutback. Again for Linwood though the ball was agonisingly just out of reach.
A couple of corners from Bill McIntosh were met well in the air by Max Bridgewater and Steven Wilson. On both occasions they watched their attempts go wide.
It was a corner that led to the equaliser. McIntosh this time choosing to play it low and hard to the front post and Max Bridgewater was there to put it in. More than a slight suspicion of an own goal but Bridgewater was happy enough to claim it.
Linwood almost took the lead through another corner this time taken by Cieran McKenna. The inswinging delivery took the ‘keeper out of the equation and just when it looked like Max Bridgewater was about to head home his second, Owen Murphy raised highest to make an excellent clearance.
Giffnock played their best football in the later stages of the half as they looked to retake the lead. Matthew Forbes play for the wing was causing problems and as he cut the ball back to Ryan Donnelly he looked to have possibly been upended in the box. However, his appeal for a penalty fell on death ears.
Jeremiah Otonti got on the end of a long ball to go through 1 on 1 with Gary Russel. It was the ‘keeper who won this dual saving Otonti’s low and hard shot. Russel was on top form again to deny Ryan Donnelly who saw his long shot tipped onto the underside of the bar and out. Russel getting the slightest finger tips to the ball to keep his side level at the break.