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South Lochaber Thistle finally kicked off their league campaign as the season entered its fourth month.
Rock bottom of the table having not played, the Jags welcomed undefeated Eaglesham AFC to Kinlochleven, the Jags with 10 games in hand over the table-topping visitors.
Coming off the back of a comprehensive Scottish Cup win, the home line-up needed to be shuffled as spritely Dave Forbes and Logan Barker were missing due to other commitments. Another rejig was necessary as centre half Kieran Lopez revealed a hitherto unknown Aberdeen fandom rendering him unavailable at the last minute.
Marc Maclean was promoted from the bench to play at left back, with Lewis Campbell moving in alongside Stevie Neil at centre half.
The outstanding Scottish Cup win morale vaporised as the Jags were brought down with a bump after 35 seconds with a clearance landing at the feet of Eaglesham attacker Elliot Graham who gave the away side a very early lead.
It was beginning to look like one of those days with the away side appearing to get both the bounce of the ball and appearing to win the bulk of the second balls.
However, it was a great through ball from man in form, Keir Kennedy, which set skipper Martin Munro free. The pacey player rounded the keeper and grabbed the Jags an equaliser against the run of play.
The game was scrappy with little by way of quality. Late in the first half, the hard working away side took the lead once again when a floated free kick was met at the back post by Ryan Higgins who bundled it across the line to make it 2-1 at half time.
A change of system at the interval saw Thistle start the second half brightly with Kennedy and Munro both seeing half chances not come to fruition.
The main part of the second half was played in the middle of the park with neither team looking likely to score or concede.
It took until the dying embers of second half injury time for the Jags to rescue a draw. A trademark Munro free kick was expertly saved by the keeper high in the corner, but the helpless custodian could only watch as Allan MacLellan knocked in at the back post on the rebound. Final score 2-2.
Eaglesham will be disappointed not to win the game but if ever a game was deserving of a draw, this was it.
The draw takes the Jags off the bottom of the table on goal difference.
Manager Alan Gray said: ‘This was a tough watch for both managers and fans. It’s sad we couldn’t get the win, but it is worth remembering the last time we played Eaglesham we had to reshuffle the pack and got an 8-2 shellacking.
‘However, we ended up rescuing a draw which will do the confidence of the squad no end of good.
‘A special mention should also go to assistant manager Albie Robertson who acts as vital sounding board and tactical advisor.’
This weekend South Lochaber Thistle head away for a second league game, this time taking on Eastwood Parkmount.
Main pic (NO_F47_SLT v EAGLESHAM 04): Goalkeeper Ryan Boomer made a few dramatic saves. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.