Forth Wanderers recovered from a nightmare start to earn a creditable Scottish Junior Cup third round replay against Lochore Welfare on Saturday.
Wanderers ace Jason Corbett received a straight red card for a last man foul when he mistimed a challenge after 22 minutes, with the hosts then going a goal down at their temporary home – Carluke’s John Cumming Stadium – just a minute later.
But Barry McGeechan headed home a Willie McLaren corner to level matters before half-time, with the Clydesdale side then going 2-1 up after the interval thanks to a Ryan Connelly strike.
However, the Fife outfit earned a replay with 25 minutes remaining when the ball was struck home from 18 yards out after keeper David Cherrie had punched out the initial corner.
Despite the fact that his team survived for a second crack at the whip this Saturday, Forth manager Jamie McKenzie was not overly satisfied with his players’ performance.
“I was pulling my hair out with the way we started the match,” Jamie said.
“We weren’t imposing ourselves on them at all.
“You think you have prepared properly and then all of a sudden you are up against it and chasing the game and it becomes very difficult.
“There was a lot of frustration involved in the chat I had with the players at half-time.
“I had put a game plan in place and it was up in the air after 22 minutes.”
But Forth – who also had a Connelly goal chopped off for offside just before they did score a legitimate second goal – showed their steel after the interval.
And boss Jamie is confident about their prospects in the replay this weekend.
“We probably should have won the first game on chances created in the second half,” he said.
“I said that to their manager and he agreed with me.
“I think that if we had kept 11 men on the park we’d have won on Saturday.
“I think we are a better side than them.
“But sometimes being a better side with better players doesn’t give you the right to win.
“Now we have to go to their territory, their own back yard, and win which will be difficult.
“But if we go there and play properly then I believe we are a better side than them and that we can beat them.
“Our players must believe they can do it.”