Ten-man Bonnyrigg came from behind twice to earn a share of the points after David Burrell had been red carded for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity in the tenth minute.
Bonnyrigg manager Max Christie was so incensed by the decision to send Burrell off that he remonstrated with referee Gavin Duncan, who promptly sent him to the stand where he joined Broxburn boss Steve Pittman, currently serving the remainder of his six game ban.
Pittman was disappointed to lose a lead twice in a game he thought they should have won. “We should have taken all three points against the title holders. They were down to ten men and we were playing well. It shows just how far this club has come in the past few seasons that we feel we can win games like this now.”
The game started with a bitingly cold wind blowing down the pitch. Things livened up in the tenth minute though when from a long kick out by Broxburn keeper Chas Clark, Steven Weir raced in on goal with Burrell alongside. Weir went tumbling just outside the box for a free kick with Burrell the last man.
Chances were scarce in that opening spell, but that changed in the 37th minute with a well taken goal from Broxburn’s Stewart Cairns. From a corner on the left the ball was played back out to Brian Fairbairn, who crossed to Cairns to slam home from six yards out.
Bonnyrigg had the wind at their backs for the second half and almost immediately had a chance for the equaliser, Stuart Roseburgh hitting the junction of the bar and post from a corner. They only had to wait another five minutes before drawing level though. Sean Polizcka raced down towards the right hand byeline before drilling a low shot across goal. Keeper Clark went down at his near post, but only succeeded in fumbling the ball over the line. Ten-man Bonnyrigg were now hunting down the winner, but came unstuck in the 78th minute with a super goal from the boss’ son Scott Pittman. The ball was played into his feet inside the box and he controlled it before driving home from 15 yards.
However, it only took a couple of minutes before Bonnyrigg were on level terms again. Not for the first time Kris Renton found himself one on one with the keeper, but this time curled the ball round him and into the net for a deserved equaliser.
There was no more scoring, but chances were still being created as both side’s searched for the winner. It was an entertaining game for those supporters who braved the elements. Both side tried to play good attacking football and a share of the points was just about right.
Bonnyrigg boss Christie was still scathing after the game though. “It looked like a very poor decision for the sending off. It looked to me like a coming together of players. It was a great game of football, the second we’ve had against them this season. Our spirit and intensity was super. We had to fight hard for the point we got. There were a lot of big performances from our players.”
Broxburn gaffer Pittman was equally pleased with his side’s performance. “We played well against the champions. It feels like a defeat though. I’ve got to be pleased though with our performances this season.”
Broxburn’s Scott Pittman, scorer of their second goal, thought he had the winner. “I thought we had done it when I scored, but we have to be happy with the result. The keeper clipped my heels when I was in on goal so when the referee booked me for diving, I was annoyed.”
Broxburn: Clark, Roycroft, Gibson, Cairns, Miller, Millar, Fairbairn, Pittman, Cowan, Weir, Young. Subs: Johnston, Keast, Locke, Morrison, Maley.
Bonnyrigg: Patarek, Burrell, Roseburgh, Woodburn, Gemmell, McLeish, Polizcka, Currie, Archibald, Grady, Renton. Subs: King, Hamilton, Gray, Burgess.