Arniston Rangers 2-2 Bathgate Thistle

Arniston Rangers players celebrate earlier on this season
Arniston Rangers players celebrate earlier on this season

Arniston Rangers had to settle for a share of the spoils after squandering a two-goal lead against Bathgate Thistle in the East Premier League.

Arnie lead 2-0 inside 20 minutes through goals from Michael Deland and Scott Wright.

But they were pegged back when Stuart McLeod halved the deficit from the penalty spot and JJ Henderson levelled things up before the break.

Arniston were reduced to ten men in the second half when Stephen Woods was dismissed for a second bookable offence with seven minutes remaining.

Arniston were looking to gain a measure of revenge against Thistle after their 1-0 defeat at Creamery Park back in November and they made a bright start following their defeat to Glenrothes the week before.

Wright looked in the mood and fired an early warning in the third minute when his effort flashed just past the post before Deland shot too near Thistle shot-stopper Ross Harkness.

There were only 15 minutes on the clock when Arniston opened the scoring.

Liam McIntosh’s shot was initially blocked by Harkness but Deland showed great instinct to follow up and finish off from close range.

Arniston fans were celebrating again only three minutes later. Cornet’s thumping goal kick caught out a hesitant Bathgate backline and Wright took advantage and scored with a stunning finish.

Arniston went in search of a killer third but it was Bathgate who battled their way into the action. They gave themselves a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty after Aidan McKee fell under the challenge from Ross Aitchison.

Stuart McLeod made no mistake from the resultant spot kick on 37 minutes.

It was 2-2 only five minutes later as Cornet could not handle a rasping drive and Henderson slotted home the rebound.

Bathgate had their tails up and almost scored immediately after the restart through McLeod but he blazed over as Arnie lived dangerously.

They were reduced to ten when Woods picked up his second yellow and they could have snatched a late winner when a McIntosh free kick found Dunn at the far post, but his header hit the post and landed in the side-netting leaving the points shared.

Arniston Rangers: Cornet, Aitchison, Deland, Callaghan, Woods, McTernan, Somerville, Jeffrey, Wright, Weldon, McIntosh. Subs: Dunn, Watson, Miller (trialist) McFadden.