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Cannon fires battling Blairgowrie to well-earned point in eight-goal thriller

Dundee United SC 4

McMulkin 18, 25, 57, McConnachie 43 (p)

Blairgowrie & Rattray CFC 4

Forrest 30, H. Watson 35, R. Watson 54, Cannon 70

Andrew Creegan

Andrew Creegan | YFS East Region Multimedia Journalist
Articles by Author | Contact Author

Ross Cannon’s injury time strike salvaged a point from Blairgowrie as they fought back to draw with Dundee United SC.

Kyle McMulkin looked to have done enough to seal the points for DUSC with his hattrick completing strike 13 minutes from time, only for Cannon to strike at the death to earn a point for Blairgowrie.

Both sides came into the match unbeaten in the Café Royale League knowing that a win would help both in their push for the title.

It was Blairgowrie that started on the front foot with their leading marksman Robbie Watson driving from the halfway line before seeing his strike tipped round the post by Stuart Woods.

Harry Watson tested Woods with an effort from distance before Kaisey Brown swept a shot over from the edge of the box after meeting a low cross from Ross Cannon.

DUSC had offered little in an attacking sense in the opening stages, but a series of long-range efforts from Kyle McMulkin showed the threat the hosts possessed in the final third. The forward brought a fine diving save out of Stewart Page with a fierce strike from the edge of the box.

McMulkin had made his intentions clear to Blairgowrie, so there was little surprise when he curled in the opener from 25 yards 18 minutes into the first half.

Things got better for DUSC as McMulkin produced another moment of magic seven minutes later to double their lead. Once again, he curled a strike out of the reach of Page from 20 yards into the net.

After a bright start Blairgowrie found themselves behind but pulled a goal back on the half hour mark through Reece Forrest, who managed to turn the ball in at the near post from a corner.

DUSC went straight on the offensive as Lee Lorimer weaved his way down the left wing before cutting the ball back for Charlie Loftus. It looked certain DUSC were about to re-establish their two-goal lead as Loftus sent the ball towards goal from six yards only for Page to keep the ball out at point-blank range.

The Blairgowrie stopper was rewarded for his efforts as his side equalised with the last meaningful touch of the first half.

Harry Watson released brother Robbie, whose shot was kept out by Woods, who then managed to keep out Archie Browning’s follow up. Robbie Watson was then denied by a recovering defender before Harry Watson clipped the ball into the net to draw Blairgowrie level.

After an end-to-end first 35 minutes both teams looked to seize the initiative early in the second half. Lorimer thought he had given DUSC the lead when he fired a free kick towards goal, only for the ball to come back off the crossbar before bouncing on the line and being cleared by Blairgowrie.

Page made a smart save to deny Jack Mullany from close range but could do nothing about DUSC’s third goal. Cavan MacGregor committed a foul in the box and Tomas McConnachie made no mistake with the resulting penalty as he rifled the ball into the top left corner.

DUSC’s two goal scorers nearly combined for a fourth goal as McMulkin got a free run an and header at a McConnachie corner, but the striker headed over the bar from a matter of yards out.

Lorimer saw another free kick from the left of the box pushed away by Page before Blairgowrie equalised for a second time.

Robbie Watson was released down the right wing and he powered his way into the DUSC box before calmly lifting the ball past Woods from close-range. It was an important goal for Blairgowrie as DUSC were looking to put the game beyond the visitors.

The hosts wasted no time in scoring their forth, and unsurprisingly, it was scored by McMulkin. The striker managed to work space for himself at the edge of the box and smack the ball past Page to complete his hattrick.

Blairgowrie went on the offensive to try and draw level for a third time in the match. Brown delivered a dangerous in swinging free kick that Forrest met yards from goal, but Woods managed to keep the ball out with a smart reaction save before his defenders cleared the danger.

The Watson brothers combined once again as Harry found Robbie, who was once again thwarted by Woods as the goalkeeper made a smart save with his feet.

In the last minute of normal time, Robbie Watson was sent through on goal but saw his strike tipped round the post by a diving Woods. The DUSC keeper was doing his best to see his side over the line.

As the game entered injury time, the resulting corner was cleared as far as Cannon at the edge of the box, who smashed a dipping volley over Woods to snatch Blairgowrie a well-earned point.

In truth, this was a game that neither side deserved to lose. Both goalkeepers put in top performances and stopped their sides falling out of the game when the other was on top.

DUSC will feel that this is two points dropped in their pursuit of the title but given that they are unbeaten in seven games and have taken points from their title rivals, they are still in a strong position going into their final seven games of the season.

As for Blairgowrie, they showed remarkable spirit to comeback three times against a strong DUSC side. They have played the fewest games in the Café Royale League but like DUSC are unbeaten. If today’s showing is anything to go by, they will have a big say in who lifts the title come May.

Lineups

Dundee United SC
Blairgowrie & Rattray CFC
1. Stuart Woods
3. Lee Henry
4. Finlay Smith
5. Rio Bradford
7. Mikey Taylor
8. Jack Mullany
9. Kyle McMulkin
10. Jayce Szpak
11. Brandon Welsh
12. Thomas McConnachie
14. Finn Noble
15. Chris Tennant
16. Lee Lorimer
17. Ryley Coutts
18. Charlie Loftus
20. Jamie Potter
1. Stewart Page
2. Ross Cannon
3. Cavan MacGregor
5. Peter Rutherford
6. Kaisey Brown
7. Reece Forrest
8. Archie Browning
9. Robbie Watson
10. Finlay Hogg
11. Harry Watson
14. Jamie Orr
15. Jakub Aleksander
16. Caleb Robertson
Star Player
Dundee United SC
Blairgowrie & Rattray CFC
Kyle McMulkin - DUSC's hattrick hero was in top form as he fired in three fine goals. On another day, he might have won his side three points.
Harry Watson - Battled well in the midfield and pulled the strings for Blairgowrie. Took his goal well at an important time in the match.
Magic Moment
Dundee United SC
Blairgowrie & Rattray CFC
McMulkin's First Goal - A fantastic finish that got DUSC up and running after a slow start.
Cannon's Goal - A superb strike in the final minute to seal Blairgowrie a point.

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