Bellshill Athletic earned a lifeline in their battle against relegation from McBookie.com Central Division 1 with a crucial 2-1 win at local rivals Thorniewood United on Saturday.
Kyle Robertson shot just wide for Bellshill early on before a decent looking ’Wood claim for a penalty was waved aside as an Athletic hand seemed to make clear contact with the ball.
Lee Nichol’s 13th minute free-kick then went inches past as the visitors hit back.
But Thorniewood gradually gained a stranglehold and scored the opener in the 22nd minute when a 30 yard Damon Welsh free-kick zipped off the surface and into the net.
Pettigrew then curled an effort wide before a 30th minute Welsh header came off the crossbar with Meikle’s follow up just failing to find the net.
Bowie then fired a 14 yard effort wide before at the other end Robertson lost concentration as the ball broke to him with the midfielder looking the other way.
In the 42nd minute Thorniewood missed a gilt edged opportunity when Law was put through by Meikle but after showing great control he blazed his effort well over the bar when looking likely to score. In 50 minutes ’Wood’s reluctance to clear the danger almost resulted in a goal with Nichol lashing over the bar from 12 yards.
A misunderstanding between Chris Jackson and Ali Morgan then ended in a cheap effort having to be saved by Barnes.
At the other end a stramash in the Bellshill box ended with a Ryan Smith shot being blocked before a second great chance in the 58th minute for Thorniewood was again missed by the hard working Law who failed to find the target with just McGraw to beat.
Bellshill were then given a lifeline in the 71st minute when awarded a penalty after Morgan had handled and up stepped substitute Darren Simpson to slot home.
Minutes later United’s Smith crossed from the byeline only to see Welsh completely miskick from inside the six yard box.
Bellshill scored a controversial 75th minute second when Richie Kane broke clear to slot low into the far corner despite huge home claims for offside.
This clearly knocked the stuffing out of ’Wood and with only one fit man available on the bench they appeared to run out of ideas.
In the closing seconds United’s Smith and Bellshill’s Kane were both shown red as the visitors ran out narrow winners.