Bo’ness United twice came from behind to grab a credible 3-3 draw against title contenders Penicuik Athletic thanks to a last-gasp Fraser Keast leveller, writes Kevin McAlpine.
The home side thought they had done enough to secure the points as they held a two-goal advantage with ten minutes remaining.
But Bo’ness showed their characteristic grit and determination to hit back and maintain their unbeaten start to the league campaign.
Michael Gemmell led United out as captain in the absence of suspended pair Chris Donnelly and Stuart Hunter and inspired a high tempo and aggressive start to the game.
But Penicuik took the lead in the 35th minute.
Andy Forbes ran onto a Callum Connolly diagonal and sent a cross in which deceived everyone and crossed the line after coming off the post, despite the best efforts of Andy Murphy and Ross Campbell to clear.
Bo’ness were rattled and let in another goal five minutes later.
Craig Stevenson swung a harmless looking free-kick into the area which the Bo’ness defence stood watching thinking it was going out of play. Arron Ponton however was alert to the error and cut back the ball from the touchline to Connolly who had the simple task of tapping in from close range.
Right on half-time Bo’ness thought they had pulled a goal back, but Campbell’s acrobatic effort was ruled off thanks to an offside flag.
There was a furious handball shout in the build-up to the effort and as the teams went off at the interval, several players were fruitlessly pleading their case to the officials.
Max Christie had seen enough and swapped Hewitt for Ryan Stevenson at the break as he switched to a back three in an attempt to get on the front foot in the second half.
Pretty quickly the visitors did pull a goal back when Brian Morgan headed a Tom Grant corner home.
Penicuik’s Scott McRory-Irving was then inches over with a drive from 25 yards and Sam Jones also threatened from distance without troubling Murphy.
On the hour United spurned a glorious chance for an equaliser after a swift counter-attack when Morgan couldn’t direct his header on target.
Penicuik increased their lead from the penalty spot after a trip on Sean Stewart in the area.
Craig Stevenson sent Murphy the wrong way and the two goal advantage was restored.
With 10 minutes left Bo’ness made it 3-2 with Craig Comrie’s deflected strike.
With a minute remaining Penicuik forward Aaron Somerville inexplicably shanked a shot wide with the goal gaping and how the home side would rue that miss.
Bo’ness restarted quickly and fed the ball wide to Keast on the right wing who found the net with a driven cross-cum-shot which flew over Robert Watt and into the top corner.
Bo’ness: Murphy, Jacobs, Syme, Campbell, Hewitt (Stevenson), Nimmo, Comrie, Gemmell, Grant (Snowdon), Morgan and Keast.