Spurs Juniors coach Michael Bissett hailed his sides determination as they hung on to beat Kennoway United in a fiercely contested match at the Recreation Ground in St Monans on Sunday.
A goal from Marc Gray, sandwiched in between an own goal from Aaron Ramsay and a Craig Dewar penalty sealed the deal for the hosts, while goals from Craig Lumsden and Liam Mann were not enough for the visitors who played for much of the second half with ten men after Daniel Murray was sent off for a push on Dewar.
The numbers were evened up late on as the hosts had Ryan Low dismissed for a high boot, but it did not stop the home side taking all three points to move within a point of first place in the Domestic Supplies League, while still holding a game in hand on all three sides above them.
A look at the league table before the game showed just what was at stake in this match, with both teams sitting towards the top of the league, and separated by only 6 points having played the same number of games.
What was produced was an enthralling, entertaining game of football that was end to end for almost the whole match, with no shortage of drama.
It was the home side that created the first chance, with Dewar beating his man following a quick break from a corner, and his cut back found Ryan Allan unmarked, but his right footed shot was saved by Craig Henderson in the Kennoway goal.
Dewar looked lively up front for Spurs, and he came close with an effort of his own soon after, cutting inside from the right to hook a left footed shot towards the far corner, but the ball sailed harmlessly wide.
Kennoway soon found their feet in the match, and Mann was unlucky not to score with a peach of a volley that dipped just over the bar after a free kick into the box was only half cleared.
The game was being played at a frantic pace, and Stuart Fowler was almost set free behind the Spurs defence with a good through ball, but he didn’t quite have the legs to catch it, and the danger was snuffed out by Dion Gear in the Spurs Juniors goal.
Dewar was then played in again on the left hand side, but his first time effort was comfortable for the ‘keeper.
With the game being played at such a frenzied pace it was perhaps inevitable that the first goal would come from a mistake, and so it proved to be when the home side took the lead on twenty minutes. A ball over the top had Ramsay running back towards his own goal, and with eyes fixed firmly on the ball but under pressure from an attacker he tried to head back for his goalkeeper to collect, but instead found an empty net as he unwittingly nodded the ball past the onrushing Henderson.
It was a moment of madness and a little harsh on the visitors, who up until that point were firmly in the game.
With the boost of the goal still running through their veins, Spurs soon went two goals up to double the trouble for the visitors.
A mazy run into the box from Allan ended with a low shot which was well saved, but Henderson could only parry the ball and Gray was on hand to nod the ball into the net.
Having conceded two quick goals it would have been easy for Kennoway to let their heads drop, and it is to their credit that they fought back into the game.
A quick free kick from midfield to the left wing was followed by a cross back to the edge of the box, but the forward side footed a volley over the bar.
It was a signal of intent from the visitors, and they were soon rewarded as the arrears were halved before the break. A penalty area scramble ended with a toe poke towards goal from Lumsden, the ball was smashed clear by the Spurs defence, but crucially not before it had crossed the line; and despite protests from the home side the goal was awarded.
Kennoway then had their goalkeeper to thank for keeping the score 2-1 for longer than thirty seconds, as Dewar raced clear of a sleeping Kennoway back line, but his shot was saved fantastically by the feet of Henderson.
Dewar had another chance to reinstate his sides two goal advantage just before the interval. Jack MacKenzie fired in a cross which Dewar met with a glancing touch, however the ball flashed just past the wrong side of the post.
It was Henderson who was again at the centre of the action with the last chance of the half, with Gray taking aim from all of twenty yards, but the shot was fantastically tipped away to keep the score at 2-1.