Bonnyrigg Rose manager David McGlynn felt his team were too ‘nice’ against ten-man Hill of Beath.
The Midlothian men lost their grip on third place in the Super League, despite taking the lead in the second half, as home striker Blair Henderson and visiting winger Calum Anderson each netted a double.
The draw ended Bonnyrigg’s run of three victories.
“When you go 2-1 up you should go on and win the game,” said McGlynn. “We did fine in the first half without penetrating them. We should’ve mixed it up a bit, we were just too stale – trying to make nice wee passes rather than going a wee bit longer and more direct.
“I asked them to do that at half-time and the boys never. Jock [Finlayson, Hill of Beath manager] changed it a wee bit and put a lot of pressure on us in the middle of the pitch, but we still continued to try and pass it rather than mixing it up
“I thought that a draw was a fair result.”
The visitors were the first to threaten on 17 minutes. Adamson, who was a constant danger for Beath, fired a low delivery across goal. Keeper David Hay reached out to grasp it but the ball slipped through his fingers. Luckily for him, defender Colin Wilson was there to knock the ball out for a corner. Bonnyrigg then gifted possession away inside their own half but Darren Wright blazed over from outside the box.
Bonnyrigg striker Steven Hislop should have given his side the lead on the half hour. Wilson surged forward and fed the experienced frontman in the box, but he dragged his shot wide of Stuart Hall’s right post.
The hosts were forced to make a change when midfielder Dean Whitson hobbled off to be replaced by Kevin McLeish and minutes later Beath went ahead. From a Bonnyrigg corner on 36 minutes, the visitors broke clear. Mike Gemmell fed the lively Adamson down the right and he strode clear of left -back Jamie Beaton, before finishing well past Hay.
Their lead was short-lived however, as Bonnyrigg secured parity from the penalty spot just two minutes later. Hislop was brought down by Kevin Connors and his 20-year-old strike partner, Henderson, converted.
Bonnyrigg came close to taking the lead towards the end of the opening period after two quick chances. First, Henderson saw his shot deflected wide for a corner, before Alex King – marking his return from injury with his first appearance since the end of November – saw his delicate effort from the edge of the area tipped over by Hall.
The home side didn’t have to wait too long for a second goal after the restart. Five minutes in, and they went ahead. Ross Archibald’s downward header from McLeish’s corner looked to have been saved by Hall, but he let the ball slip and Henderson was well positioned to convert from three yards out.
Gemmell picked up a needless first yellow-card for lunging through the back of Hislop on the touchline on 58 minutes, but ten minutes later he provided the assist for Beath’s equaliser. From just inside Bonnyrigg’s half, Gemmell took a quick free-kick to feed Adamson down the left, and, from a tight angle, the winger found the net.
The visitors came close to taking the lead for the second time on 72 minutes. Substitute Ben Anthony was put through on goal and he got a shot past Hay, but rian Murray was on the line to clear. McLeish was presented with a set piece opportunity minutes later and sent his free-kick from 20-yards over the wall, but also over the goal.
Then came Gemmell’s red-card. The midfielder lunged in needlessly on young striker Jonathon Court and referee Nicky Smith sent the former Rose player for an early bath.
This didn’t deter the visitors in search of a winner, however. Anthony should’ve netted after Wilson gifted possession midway inside his own half on 80 minutes, but Hay did brilliantly to come out and smother at his feet.
Hall produced an even better save to stop McLeish minutes later. The midfielder’s drive from around 30 yards looked set for the top corner, but the keeper flung out his left arm to tip wide.
Henderson had a chance for his hat-trick and the winner for the home side with minutes to go after King set him up on a plate from the left, but the big striker sent his header straight at Hall.
Bonnyrigg Rose: Hay, Archibald, Beaton (Murray), Hamill, Wilson, Horne, King, Stewart, Henderson, Hislop (Court), Whitson (McLeish).
Hill of Beath: Hall, Fleming, Leishman (Hay), Adamson, Dair, Connors, Wright, Gemmell, Bryce (Smith), Moffat, Adam (Anthony).