St. Duthus 2 Bonar Bridge 2

Saints signed off for the Christmas break with a grim game of football at Grant Park, coming away with a point against visitors Bonar Bridge.

Saints started well and kept their opponents in their own half with a series of corners and set pieces. It was on the six minute mark when they looked most likely to open the scoring when a quick pass from Ben Bruce sent Jake Lockett clear of the last man, but he could only find the side netting.

After coming close moments earlier, Finn As-Chainey eventually gave Saints the lead on 15 minutes with a header from a corner. The forward man connected at the far post, getting on the end of good delivery from James Mackay. 

Lockett was unlucky not to make it 2-0 just a minute later after being played in on goal by Bruce, but being forced just wide of the target he once again hit the side net.

Stand-in Saints keeper Justin Rogers breathed a sigh of relief when Bonar's first real chance at goal flew just wide of his near post, Archie Ryder passing up a big chance for the visitors to level the scores.

The game became scrappy in the latter stages of the first half, with neither team offering anything in the way of a meaningful attack.

Despite creating a number of chances, St. Duthus could not add to their first half tally and ten minutes into the second half they were pegged back to 1-1. The goal came when Archie Ryder broke clear to place the ball under Rogers, scoring with what was the away side's first significant shot on target.

Chances went abegging from corners as the half continued and Jake Lockett came closest to restoring Saints' lead on 70 minutes when he came within inches of connecting fully with a Kyle Mackenzie cross floated just in front of goal.

Rogers had to be alert between the sticks on 87 minutes after substitute Aiden Stainke was played in on goal and he produced a good save from close range. But from the resultant corner, Jack Mitchell headed into an empty net after the defence failed to deal with a cross to the back post, prompting uproarious celebrations in the Bonar ranks.

But the visitors’ right back Fraser Macleod had the final say with a spectacular own goal a minute later. A long ball from Duncan Davidson was completely mistimed by the defender who hit the ball high over Valente and into the net to make it 2-2 - a stroke of fortune which came as a welcome reprieve for St. Duthus. 

There was a chance at the end to snatch a win, but resilient defending in the Bonar ranks blocked attempts from Mackay and Adrian Voigt before time ran out.

It wasn’t one for spectators and definitely was a case of “must do better” for Saints - but they put another point on the board nonetheless.

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