Football: Brandanes earn point away to Stirling students

STUART McKECHNIE and Sean Lawrence found the net for Rothesay Brandane on Saturday in a 2-2 Caledonian League draw away to Stirling University.

McKechnie gave the Rothesay men the lead in the first half, and though Stirling recovered from that setback to equalise and then open up a 2-1 lead, Lawrence came off the bench to earn the islanders a share of the spoils from an entertaining game between two good footballing sides.

A strong Brandanes squad of 17 players made the trip on Saturday, suggesting that the team’s misfortunes on their last away day - against Bearsden on February 18, when a squad comprising the bare 11 players fell to an 8-0 defeat at Bearsden - were merely a blip.

The result keeps the Brandanes in touch with the fight for promotion at the top of the Caledonian League first division, though the island side have now dropped from second place in the table to third as a result of Bearsden’s 4-3 home win over Viewfield Rovers.

However, the Danes’ prospects for the rest of the season have been hit by the news that top scorer Wes Pattison has been given an eight-week ban by the Caledonian League authorities after being sent off for apparently stamping on an opponent - despite vociferous protests to the contrary - right at the end of the 3-2 home win over Balmore on February 25.

The suspension - which takes effect on March 16 - means Pattison will not be available for the Danes’ last five league fixtures this season, and will also miss the first three games of the 2012-13 campaign.

* For a full report from Saturday’s match, see the new issue of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, March 8.

* Saturday’s other Caledonian League first division results were as follows: Balmore 0 Rhu 1; Bearsden 4 Viewfield Rovers 3; Gartcosh United 4 Symington Tinto 1; Weir Recreation 3 Hamilton FP 7.

Meanwhile, first division leaders Doune Castle qualified for the last eight of the Scottish Amateur Cup on Saturday thanks to a 2-1 win away to Camelon Thistle.