Controversial late penalty prevents United win

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Ellon United returned with a point thanks to their 2–2 draw with Inverness City in the Highland capital on Saturday.

It took a controversial late equaliser from the penalty spot to draw Inverness level but the home side might well have made more of several wasted first half openings and the controversy from the penalty arose more from the manner in which the decision was reached, rather than the incident itself.

United were left puzzled by a free kick award to Inverness in the sixth minute. To make matters worse the resulting cross was missed by everyone before reaching McLeod near the far post who put the home side in front.

The response from the visitors was immediate and United drew level within a minute when Lenny Johnson broke down the right and his cross was turned in by Paul Leahy.

Three minutes later a shot from Chris Craib flew just wide then Fuller shot wide for the home side.

United lost their momentum for a spell and were fortunate that Inverness had forgotten to take their shooting boots with a Jones header off a cross from Miller the closest they came to adding a second while at the other end, keeper Beattie had to dive full length to keep out a header from Paul Leahy.

United`s Andy Anderson injured himself making a desperate challenge late in the first half and was replaced by Dev Kennedy-Colbert for the second half.

The striker`s pace troubled the Inverness defence but United were guilty of failing to take advantage.

The home side won a corner in the 75th minute which was comfortably cleared by Ellon. The visitors broke forward with Shaun Robertson creating the space on the left to swing in a cross which was deftly headed home by Leahy.

United made a second change in the 71st minute with Aiden Greig replacing Scott McLeod then five minutes later Neil Erskine came on for the tiring Leahy.

Inverness threw their experienced central defender Macleod up front to try and make life as uncomfortable as possible for the Ellon defence and the home side managed to force a series of late corners which were successfully dealt with but United`s luck deserted them in the 87th minute when the ball was only half cleared and knocked back into the box.

An Inverness player went down under a challenge but the referee, who appeared to be well positioned, saw nothing amiss and waived play on, only to change his mind after consultation with his assistant, who had been further away from the incident.

A penalty was finally awarded which was clinically dispatched by full back Murdoch to square the match again.

Teams:

Ellon United: Steer, Annand, Mathieson, Tait, Millsom, Robertson, Johnson, Anderson (Kennedy-Colbert), Leahy (Erskine), McLeod (Greig), Tremaine.

Inverness City: Beattie, K Mason, Murdoch, MacDonald, Macleod, Thomson, Urquhart, C Mason, Jones, Fuller, Miller, M Mackenzie, K Mackenzie, Kerr, Fraser, Duncan.

United will be on completely new ground on Saturday when they travel to Glenesk Park to face Dundee Violet of the East Region Premier League in the third round of The GA Engineering Inter Regional Cup.