Bonnyrigg Rose boss Robbie Horn frustrated by refereeing decision but proud of his players – gallery
Substitute striker Kieran McGachie poked home fellow sub Lee Currie’s free kick at the back post in the 87th minute to earn a 1-1 draw after Ben Armour had put the visitors in front 15 minutes earlier from the penalty spot.
Horn admitted Forfar’s penalty, given when Robbie McGale impeded Mark Docherty as he charged into the box, was the correct decision. But he was furious, and received a yellow card for his protest, that his own team were denied a spot kick at the other end when Ross Gray looked like he was tripped the 81st minute.
“It was another decision that went against us,” said Horn. “Theirs was a penalty. The players said it was and Robbie was honest enough to admit he thought it was a penalty. The player is clever and knows it is coming, but it is a penalty.
“But ours was a stonewaller, and I’ve been to speaking to their players who said that as well. The linesman looked like he wanted to give it and referee has seen something different and doesn’t give it. We talk about decision over the course of the season evening themselves out. We are still waiting for one. That’s really frustrating.
“But, again, I am really proud of the players. They could easily have chucked in the towel but they never did. When you go 1-0 down you think here we go again. But they battled away right to the end and deserve massive credit.”
The point ends a run of four consecutive defeats at home and cuts the gap at the bottom between between Bonnyrigg and second-bottom Albion Rovers to three points, with ten games left to play.
“I keep saying it, but if we keep showing the same togetherness and fighting spirit we’re going to get a victory and start climbing the table,” added Horn. “Things have just not been breaking for us. but I’m pleased we have come away with a point. It could have been nothing. We have closed the gap to three points. We’ll keep picking away at it.”
Horn made three changes to his team, with the suspended Dean Brett and ill Neil Martyniuk replaced by Scott Gray and Connor Doan in the wing-back roles and Zander Murray preferred to Kieran Mitchell in attack. New signing Andy Rodden, the left-back brought in on a deadline-day loan from Clyde until the end of the season, was an unused sub.
Forfar had the best chances, but there was little between the teams in terms of territory and possession, both playing direct in tricky conditions. Bonnyrigg finished strongly and could have snatched it at the end.
Armour and Docherty both spurned first-half opportunities for Forfar, while Kerr Young went closest for Bonnyrigg with a header and shot in quick succession.
Bonnyrigg keeper Paddy Martin saved well from Armour in the second half and McGachie, who came off the bench, stopped a Munro header on the line with his chest. Horn made a triple sub after his team fell behind and his team roared back to finish the game in the ascendency, Forfar dropping deeper as the clock ticked down.
After equalising the Midlothian side pressed for a winner, backed by another impressive crowd of 744. Doan’s fierce right-foot shot was well saved and McGachie thought he had grabbed the winner in injury time only to be flagged offside.