DAVID PRESTWELL’S 72nd-minute winner was enough to secure all three points for Gartcosh on Saturday after a disappointing Brandanes performance which saw an abundance of great chances missed, writes Nino Robertson.
The Rothesay side, keen to bounce back after their 5-1 thumping at home to Dalziel seven days previously, stared the brighter of the two sides, and the first real chance of the game fell to Stuart McKechnie from a free kick; he curved it in from the left hand side, but the ball came crashing back off of the bar and the danger was then cleared.
The home side pushed on in search of the opener, and their growing confidence showed in their build-up play – but they again failed to find the net after McKechnie, who was an influential player throughout for the islanders, slipped a great pass through to Neil Whitelaw.
And though he was quickly closed down by defenders, the ball then broke kindly for a poised Wes Pattison for what looked an easy chance – but he blazed the ball high and wide of goal.
The last clear-cut chance of the half fell to Matt Morran, and McKechnie was involved in the build-up again as he delivered a pin-point cross from a corner kick; the centre-half jumped highest, but could only divert the ball over the bar, causing no problems to Stuart Wilson in the visiting goal.
The first half ended a few minutes later with the scores still tied but the home side looking good after creating the lion’s share of the chances in the opening 45 minutes.
After the restart, the home side hit the ground running and made it clear that nothing but three points would fit the bill – and just minutes into the second period Pattison showed great trickery to leave two defenders in his wake and with only the keeper standing between him and the opening goal; maybe the striker was put off by the goalkeeper’s haircut, but in any event his shot flashed horribly wide of the right-hand post.
Captain Whitelaw then drove forward into space, but yet again the final shot rose over the bar.
Darren Harper put in another tireless shift in midfield, and his hard work was very nearly rewarded when he picked up the ball on the edge of the area and rounded the Gartcosh keeper - but just as the number 10 was about to pull the trigger, he was denied by a great last ditch tackle to clear the danger.
And the Danes’ bubble was burst in spectacular fashion 18 minutes from the end after Mark Adamson delivered a good cross from the left, and Prestwell connected with a looping shot which clipped the underside of the crossbar on its way past keeper Ben Hatton and into the net.
The Rothesay men, however, responded positively to the loss of the opening goal, and McKechnie was again at the heart of the Danes’ next chance when he seized on the loose ball after Wilson had to come rushing from his area to clear the danger; McKechnie’s dangerous ball found Brady unmarked in the centre, but his header was all wrong and Wilson’s blushes were spared.
With ten minutes left Andrew Scanlon thought he had doubled Gartcosh’s lead, and wrapped up the points in the process, when he was put clean through on goal and saw his shot come off the underside of the bar; the striker claimed his shot had crossed the line, but all the visitors’ protests were waved away by the referee.
The Danes made their only substitution of the afternoon five minutes from the end when James Sprowl was replaced by Jordan Selkirk, but it was too late for the new man to have any influence on what was left of the game, and the final whistle blew all too soon to signal a second successive home defeat for the local side.
* The Brandanes have no game this Saturday, April 23, due to the Easter holiday weekend.