COLTS frustrations continued on Friday evening at Broadwood as champions East Kilbride scored a late equaliser to deny the Cumbernauld men victory.
First half strikes from Craig Murray and Stephen O’Neill either side of David Brownlie’s header put Colts in command in this entertaining Lowland League encounter.
And the Broadwood men looked likely to hang on for an important win, but Sean Winter snatched a point for East Kilbride at the death, soon after Colts were reduced to ten men when Arnault Bembo saw red.
The win would have moved the Cumbernauld men back into the top six, but instead Colts need to settle for ninth place ahead of a two week break from Lowland League action.
Colts had a great chance to open the scoring in 13 minutes after Fraser Team and Marty Wright linked superbly on the right before Wright crossed for O’Neill who should have scored, but the talisman sliced his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Two minutes later East Kilbride created a wonderful chance of their own which ended with a powerful low drive from Bernard Coll which produced a wonderful stop from Colts keeper Jonathan Grier.
The visitors were enjoying long spells of possession and were knocking the ball around well, but they struggled to create any clear-cut chances, and against the run of play Colts took the lead on the half hour mark.
Ritchie Kirwan did well on the right breaking forward and switching the play, the ball found its way to Murray on the edge of the box and the midfielder turned superbly before sending a stunning right foot shot into the net off the inside of Alan Martin’s far post.
But only 10 minutes later the visitors hit back with an equaliser when they forced a corner on the right and from Daniel Carmichael’s corner their towering defender Brownlie bulleted a header high into the net leaving Grier helpless.
However, the first half scoring wasn’t finished and on the stroke of half time Colts restored their advantage when a long defensive clearance found its way to O’Neill in the inside right position, and O’Neil coolly lifted the ball over the head of the advancing Martin and into the net to ensure the half time pies would taste that bit better.
As the second half progressed the visitors again enjoyed the lion share of possession but all too often, they lacked a real cutting edge in front of the Colts goal.
But it was Colts who created the next scoring opportunity in 69 minutes when Kirwan again strode down the right and delivered a dangerous cross into the box where Team was unmarked, but the striker agonisingly headed wide with the goal gaping.
As the game entered the final 15 minutes the visitors began to pile on the pressure and Grier had to be at his very best on two occasions making tremendous saves with his feet from East Kilbride subs Ruari Paton and Kieran McGrath.
And the East Kilbride pressure was beginning to tell when Colts midfield anchor Brembo was shown a red card with only 7 minutes remaining for his second booking, leaving Colts with ten men going into the closing stages.
And agonisingly for Colts the visitor’s dominance in the latter stages paid off when sub Paton out thought the Colts defence on the left before cutting the ball back into the middle of the penalty box where Winter was on hand to drill the ball low past Grier to earn a late draw for the league champions.
Colts will now turn their attention to South of Scotland Challenge Cup action this coming Friday at Broadwood when they entertain Dalbeattie Star.
East Kilbride; Martin, Sinnamon, Coll, Cairns, Brownlie, Holmes, Winter, Brady, Malcolm, Carmichael, Woods. Subs; Stevenson, Fisher, Donaldson, Paton, Kavanagh, McGrath, McGinley.