Partizan AFC kept alive their chance of league silverware as they held off Fountainbridge AFC to take all three points in their Sunday Morning League clash at Gyle Park, winning 3-2.
The victory put the boys in blue in the mix for the title as they lie fifth in the table but with four games in hand over leaders Broxburn AFC.
In what was an end-to-end affair in Corstorphine with rain pelting down, Fountainbridge were the first to create anything of substance in the game. William McLintock’s inswinging corner from the right almost led to a goal as the wind allowed the ball to come within inches of sneaking in at the far post.
It seemed to wake Partizan up and, by the tenth minute, they managed to find a foothold in the game. With their first effort on goal they took the lead as David Johnstone’s curling shot from the edge of the box skipped past Rafal Pirog in the Foutainbridge goal and into the bottom right corner.
It almost spurred Foutainbridge into an immediate reply as they came mighty close to making it 1-1. Bogumil Kaczmarek tried a thunderous shot from 30 yards which crashed against the crossbar.
Partizan showed some impressive finishing in the final third once again to go two up with 15 minutes played. Johnstone was in the thick of the action as he nonchalantly lifted the ball over Pirog from just outside the box.
But, with half-time approaching, Foutainbridge were gifted an avenue back into the game.
McLintock was taken out in the box by Partizan goalie Mark Peacock with the referee not hesitating to point to the spot. The striker dusted himself down to score the penalty.
As the half drew to a close, the momentum was now with Foutainbridge and they twice came close to pulling the scores level.
Kaczmarek once again hit the bar as he spun and volleyed in the box. Then, with 60 seconds of the half to go, Douglas Ashall created space for himself 12 yards from goal before forcing Peacock into a fine save down to his left.
It was an edgy second period from both sides up till about the 65th minute when Partizan showed some composure to reinstate their two-goal advantage.
Johnstone scored his hat-trick with a neat finish in the box for 3-1.
With the match beginning to draw to a close, Foutainbridge pulled another back to make it a nervous final ten minutes for the home side.
Alex Irmini sent a delightful chip over the head of Peacock to reduce the deficit once more.
Foutainbridge had one final chance of the game late on but Partizan keepern Peacock made a crucial save as he held Richard Robertson’s header from a corner. With that, the referee called time on the game and Partizan held off their opponents to take maximum points.
Fountainbridge AFC: Rafal Pirog, Douglas Ashall, David Craig, Marcin Fortak, Bogumil Kaczmarek, Brian McLintock, William McLintock, Richard Robertson, Ian Waugh, Gavin Dobson, Darren King, Alex Irmini, Ryan Martin.
Partizan AFC: Mark Peacock, David Anderson, Tyler Ellis, Cameron Frost, Stuart Innes, David Johnstone, Paul Kelly, Darren Lackie, Peter Liddell, Graeme Marjoribanks, Stephen Munro, Shawn Schofield, Patrick Shevlin, Sean Smith, Liam Watson.