Coldstream 1 Craigroyston 1
DESPITE losing a late equaliser, Coldstream manager Andrew Gibson was delighted with the character shown by his threadbare squad.
Gibson was without no fewer than ten players due to a combination of injuries and unavailability, and his problems were compounded just 15 minutes into the game when captain for the day Lee Lambert was sent off.
However, Coldstream’s ten men took the lead with a Martyn Tait penalty and nearly held on for all three points until the visitors from Edinburgh equalised just a few minutes from the end.
It was perhaps the least Craigroyston deserved, given the amount of possession and the number of chances they created. But this Coldstream team have plenty of resilience.
The makeshift back four were outstanding, repelling whatever Craigroyston could throw at them and when they were penetrated Coldtream goalkeeper Mark Walters was there to pull off a number of first-class saves.
Coldstream’s 100 per cent record may have gone, but they remain top of the table. In the circumstances, against opponents who were also unbeaten in the league and have taken Premier Division scalps in the cup, Gibson was delighted with the point.
“The players showed great character,” he said. “We had ten men for at least 70 minutes against a very good team, and we were without a lot key players, but the lads dug deep. The attitude and application they showed was fantastic.”
Midfielder Sean Simpson could perhaps find himself fortunate to be shown a yellow card rather than a red after lunging at his opponent with studs raised, but just minutes later the home team were reduced to ten men.
Lambert could have no arguments about the decision after throwing an elbow at Paul Greenhill. The Craigroyston man was also off the pitch for ten minutes to receive treatment to his head injury and replace a contact lens, and before he returned to give the visitors a one-man advantage Coldstream took the lead.
Mitchell Simpson was fouled in the penalty area, and midfielder Tait, who was outstanding all day, showed composure to net the resultant penalty.
The home side then had to withstand Craigroyston pressure, but they defended well with Walters in good form – the pick of saves coming from a Craig Dickson header. The pattern of the match continued in the second half with Craigroyston making and missing a number of chances, and Coldstream attempted to hit on the break.
Craigroyston equalised when substitute Stevie Moncur headed in a Dickson cross, and they almost won it in injury time but fellow sub Chris Inglis header hit the bar, and Dickson’s follow up was cleared off the line.
Coldstream: M Walters, J Ainslie, D Cornish, J McLeod, M Cornish, S Simpson, J Hebdon, M Tait (P Johnson 71), M Simpson (A Punton 55), L Lambert, G Wales. Subs not used: R Baxendale, A Gibson.