Kilsyth Rangers came within seven minutes of knocking out Bonnyrigg Rose in a pulsating Scottish Junior Cup fourth round tie at Duncansfield on Saturday.
Keith Hogg’s men were 2-0 up at the break but the East Superleague champions hit back in the second period to earn a 2-2 draw and a replay this Saturday.
Bonnyrigg were looking to respond to their crushing defeat by Hibernian in the senior Scottish Cup the previous week and make amends to their fans who had travelled through in good numbers.
They applied pressure on a weakened Rangers side right from the start, coming forward in numbers and raining shots in, although not with any great accuracy in most cases.
Home keeper Andy Carlin did have a few saves to make but looked to be well in control. In contrast young Bonnyrigg keeper Kelby Masonb, signed from Hearts in midweek, looked rather nervous.
While Rangers were pinned back for much of the time, they looked the more dangerous when they did attack and took the lead when Franny Kelly cut in towards the visitors’ penalty area and was fouled.
It looked a marginal decision as to whether the offence was actually inside the box, but it was given and Gary Kelly beat Mason from the spot to put Rangers ahead.
Bonnyrigg redoubled their efforts, but to little effect and 10 minutes later another fine piece of play by Rangers gave Paul McBride the opportunity to make it 2-0.
Bonnyrigg were clearly rattled and Rangers enjoyed probably their best period of the game until normal service was resumed with sterling work by the Rangers defence, and Carlin in particular, keeping Bonnyrigg at bay until the interval.
The visitors were even more in control after the interval with Rangers rarely seen in attack and it semed only a matter of time before something had to give - and in 65 minutes, after some particularly severe pressure, MOYES finally netted to reduce the deficit.
Kilsyth had a golden opportunity to hit back came when Franny Kelly broke away and got past the keeper but put the ball over instead of going for goal and there were no takers for his cross.
The home support were unhappy at a number of refereeing decisions and when they were reduced to 10 men after Corey Pearson received a second card it really was
backs to the wall.
The Rangers defence stood up well to the unrelenting pressure, but with seven minutes to go Bonnyrigg defender Dean Hoskins, who had been a threat all game, got the equaliser to the immense relief of the visiting fans.