By Leona Stewart

An astounding last-minute winner from Dean McColm lifted Bonnyton Thistle up from the bottom of the table after a high-scoring clash with Glenafton at Synergy Arena. 

McColm’s crucial strike came in the dying seconds of the match after Alan Robertson’s men had playing for the majority of the tie with ten men following the sending off of goalkeeper Jamie Leitch.

A goal from Ryan Walker in the second minute of the game got Thistle off to a flying start before Ollie Rowe scored a double to put the Glens in front on the stroke of half-time.

Bonnyton’s three other goals came in the second half from Logan Smith, Kyle Gilroy and then McColm’s last-gasp strike to seal the three points. 

Walker’s opener came from a Sandy Robertson pass, controlling the diagonal ball and turning on the edge of the box before firing low into the net.

He then had a chance to double the lead on four minutes but his left-footed volley at the back post was well saved.

When Bonnyton keeper Jamie Leitch was sent off for handling outside his box after 12 minutes, it looked as though the tide of the first half would turn the way of the Glens. The away side were unable to immediately capitalise from the free-kick but would have the numerical advantage for the remaining 78 minutes.

In a nightmare end to the first half, Glenafton grabbed two goals in the space of four minutes to take the lead going into the interval. Rowe scored his first, running onto a ball in behind the defence and finishing past the keeper.

A minute before the visitors would take the lead, Gilroy had a chance to put Thistle ahead. He danced past two Glenafton players but had his shot saved by the keeper and within moments Rowe had made the hosts pay, scoring on a counter attack.

Three minutes into the second half saw the first chance for Glenafton, but Rowe shot wide and missed.

But Thistle showed spirit for the fight and a Chris Kelly free kick in the 54th minute found Smith who headed in the equaliser with aplomb.

Into the final half hour of the game came an absolute wonder goal goal from Gilroy. He slipped by two players and cut inside from the left, lobbing the keeper from the edge of the box to make it 3-2.

The lead only lasted five minutes however as Rowe completed his hat-trick to level once again.

As Glenafton pushed for a winner of their own they had two goals ruled out for offside in four minutes.

With the tie seemingly headed for a draw, Thistle went on the break and McColm scored a dramatic winner in the 90th minute. The striker finished low from a Kelly cross on the right and jubilant celebrations followed on the touchline.

February 28, 2022