Maryhill 2-2 Bellshill Athletic

Maryhill twice came from behind on the opening day of the West of Scotland Football League Conference A to earn a point against visitors Bellshill Athletic at Lochburn Park.

Bellshill led twice through Mate Laczi and Jordan Moore but first Craig Stevenson and then Luke Martin struck back for the Hill to secure a 2-2 draw.

As was often the case in pre-season, Maryhill had a lot of the ball early on, but it was the away side who opened the scoring on 16 minutes, with Laczi getting onto the break of the ball before drilling a fantastic half volley beyond the reach of Glen Cameron.

The hosts replied well though and went close with Stevenson’s shot and Craig Patterson’s header, but neither could find a way past former Hill keeper KP McAllister.

Moore and Laczi were both involved as Bellshill went in search of a second but the first scorer was penalised for a foul on Paul O’Donnell after Moore had lobbed the ball over Cameron, while at the other end, Darren Kennedy sent two efforts over the bar.

New signing Haydn Long went close when the ball fell his way in the box just before the hour, but he couldn’t find the target.

The Hill didn’t have to wait long to equalise though and it was a very well worked team goal that got them level. Cammy O’Neill played a pass in behind for Patterson and he was able to fire an inviting ball across goal which was met by the onrushing Stevenson and diverted into the back of the net.

Bellshill were back in front three minutes later however, with Moore being adjudged to have beaten the offside trap and he showed good composure to roll the ball under Cameron.

Despite the hot temperatures, the action was end to end at this point and Maryhill would level again on 77 minutes, also in controversial fashion. Substitute Martin looked to have controlled the ball with his arm, but the referee allowed play to continue and the wide man was able to angle a volley into the far corner of the net.

Both sides tried to press for a winner, but it wasn’t to be as the full-time whistle signalled the end of what was an entertaining return to Lochburn for the fans.

Next up for the Hill is a trip to Johnstone Burgh on Wednesday night, with Lugar Boswell Thistle at home next weekend.

Maryhill: Cameron; O’Donell, Love, Etherson, Meechan; Kennedy, O’Neill (Dobbs, 66), Stevenson; Easdon, Patterson (Clark, 80), Long (Martin, 69)

Bellshill Athletic: McAllister; Duncan, Lindsay (Cherrie, 72), McConnell, Gray; Clarke (Van Nuill, 63), Laczi, Grierson; McGuigan, Moore, MacNeil (Bradford, 83)

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