ALLAN Macmillan may have scored a crucial leveller for Point but ironically the biggest cheers to his second-half strike may have come from Broadbay rivals Back.
The Reds man steered home an excellent finish to deny Athletic another win in their quest for a first league championship win since 2006 and hand reigning champs Back, and leaders Lochs, a timely boost on their night of from league action. Aths remain undefeated but they are now trailing Lochs after being held to a third league draw of the campaign although there is still a long way to go and they will regain top spot should they win their two games in hand.
A scrappy opening 20-minutes produced no goal mouth action and a host of misplaced passes until the ever-dangerous Scott Maciver fashioned the first chance of the game with a trademark swivel and shot which was pushed round the post by Alex Wright.
Point hadn’t threatened Colin Macritchie’s goal but Sean Macleod had a half chance which he skied moments before Rab Maciver pounced on a parried cross to hook an effort into Macritchie’s grasp as the game began to open up.
Eight minutes before the interval Aths broke the deadlock when Maciver was afforded far too much time and space to latch onto a through ball to dispatch past an exposed Wright.
Aths have been on an impressive run of form and remain the league’s only undefeated side but early in the second-half they relinquished their lead as Point showed the kind of attacking intent which has promised a bright future for the young Reds.
Alasdair Gillies was the architect as he sprayed a perfectly weighted diagonal ball from right to left which dropped between the Aths defenders and Macritchie.
Macmillan still had plenty to do but despite leaning back and at full stretch he managed to get the tip of his foot on the ball and steer it into the bottom corner.
At the other end Scott Maciver had a header cleared off the line but Point could, and should, have edged in front after Sean Macleod stormed into the box and into a glorious position with support arriving in numbers.
Macleod chose to pull the ball across goal, taking Macritchie out of the game and leaving the goal gaping, but his pass was too far in front of the arriving Macmillan and the chance fizzled out.
Macmillan was causing all kinds of problems for Aths and another purposeful run took him through to the edge of the box where he cut inside Steven Clinton and Ali ‘Koch’ Morrison to fashion a shooting opportunity but he fired high over the bar from the penalty spot.
Aths cranked up the pressure in the closing minutes with Alex Wright making a pair of solid stops to help earn a point for the Reds.