Halliburton travelled south to Gourdon to face Bervie Caley in what was, in real terms, a relegation battle. Halli have seen themselves slip right into the mire owing to a complete lack of activity with only the endurance test at Ellon counting as a league game over the last three months.
The match started at a frantic pace with both sides battling for supremacy.
After just six minutes, Laing collected and made his way into the home area where he was pushed and the referee awarded a spot kick. Skipper Mutch strode forward but saw his placed kick well saved by home keeper S.Anderson. However, Halliburton received a let off when the referee decided a home defender had infringed into the box and a retake was ordered. This time Mutch slammed it high into the net 0-1.
Halli broke at pace from deep in their own half. Webster burned his man up the left wing before delivering a sweet pass inside to K. Jaques who expertly controlled, went past his man then rolled a low shot beyond S.Anderson 0-2.
The visitors had a half chance when Mutch swung over a free kick. Webster appeared to duck out of it and the ball drifted through to the ‘keeper. Moments later, however, Webster came close when Brown drilled in a low cross which he met first time, only to see his effort blocked away by good defending.
Bervie Caley had a chance when Haggart latched onto a very slack back heel by K. Jaques. The homeside’s midfielder rifling his shot wide.
This gave Bervie a lift and they began to come more into things. Only a magnificent tackle by N. Duncan halted what looked to be a dangerous attack.
In the 39th minute, the home side’s pressure paid off when N. Duncan squared a very loose ball to Brown and in stepped Mennie to nick it and fire home 1-2.
It was a wake up call for Halli, who responded well.
Brown did well to win the ball on the half way line and then found Mutch. He curled a great ball forward and Laing got there in front of ‘keeper S. Anderson and took the ball round him. With defenders racing back Laing held it up, waited then slammed it low into the net for 1-3 at half time.
After the re-start, Mutch won wide to Webster, raced up the line and swung in a great ball which the keeper did well to claim. Moments later, Haggart of Bervie had a snap shot saved by Sct Marlow.
Smith, the home side’s number 11, showed feet capable of dancing on the ceiling when he bewildered S. Jaques on the line, his curved ball into the area seeing Mutch struggle to reach it and L. Anderson blasting past the post.
Halliburton then woke up and there followed an intense period of pressure from the visitors.
C. McDonald replaced N. McDonald and Wilson came on for Brown.
Sub C. McDonald did well by making a good blind side run in behind the defence, his parting shot rising just over the bar. The sub was then involved at the other end when stonewall penalty number two was awarded, the Halli man bringing down the Bervie winger. Sct Marlow made a great save from the spot kick but Halli stood up as Bervie attacked the loose ball. It was sent back into the box and F. Cerretti scored 2-3.
Bervie were now really pressing - their number eight, L. Anderson, was dictating play in midfield - and Webster was pushed back to man mark him.
There was a huge let off for Halli after Mutch certainly looked to have pulled his man down in the box, the referee awarding a corner kick.
Disaster struck for Halliburton keeper Sct Marlow. Halli were awarded a free kick between the centre circle and his box. He came out to send it deep but took more mud than ball which rolled straight to a Bervie player. The keeper slammed onto the rebound but again topped it straight to another Bervie man who, with the keeper beached in the midfield, took a chance and fire goalwards. It appeared that Simpson had got back to sweep it away but could only turn it into the net for 3-3.
Bervie then pushed for a winner with Young clearing off the Halli line in the 90th minute.
With Bervie piling forward at pace, Halli looked like they were running through porridge. Simpson made it into a challenge but the ref deemed it reckless and he received a straight red card. From the foul, taken in the 92nd minute, play was blown to a halt for full time by the referee, much to the annoyance of a Bervie attacker who vented his feelings and received a double red card for his trouble.
Halli had started very very well and in patches played some excellent stuff.
Fair play to Bervie, though, who refused to accept defeat and they thoroughly deserved a point.