Dunfermline Press

Goalscorer Johnston’s frustratio­n after draw


CRAIG JOHNSTON admitted he would have traded his goal for three points after Kelty Hearts were held to a draw by Annan Athletic.

The 28- year- old netted his first league goal for his home town club to give Michael Tidser’s the lead against their newly- promoted opponents, but Aidan Smith’s equaliser gave the visitors a deserved point.

Despite a first half which, by both Johnston and assistant manager Kevin McDonald’s own admission, was flat by the home side, they spurned a golden chance to lead when Botti Biabi saw a penalty saved by fgoalkeepe­r Greg Fleming.

When they did go in front during a much- improved second half performanc­e, Kelty had opportunit­ies to put the game to bed, but their failure to take them left both Johnston and McDonald frustrated at time- up.

“We were miles off it in the first half. I’m not going to lie; they were the better team,” Johnston said.

“There was a few words at halftime but you stick together, we came out second half, turned it around a bit, but we end up coming away with one point instead of three.

“It was good for to get on the scoresheet, but it’s more frustratin­g. I’d rather have gone home with three points without a goal, than one point with a goal.”

McDonald noted: “A draw was probably a fair in the end, but when you go 1- 0 up you’re disappoint­ed to lose the three points.

“We had a few chances to go two up, so it’s a little bit disappoint­ing.”

Kelty had been looking to bounce back from their late defeat to Stirling Albion against an Annan team who picked up their first points since promotion to League One by beating Edinburgh City in their previous game.

History favoured Kelty pre- match – in six league and cup meetings, they had only been beaten once – but Peter Murphy’s side impressed in the opening period.

Josh Dixon and Benjamin Luissint both flashed efforts wide of target, whilst the home side lost Lewis Moore to a suspected hamstring problem in only the 17th minute, to be replaced by Tiwi Daramola.

On- loan Dundee United midfielder, Lewis O’Donnell, had Kelty’s first effort, with a shot that was comfortabl­y held by Fleming, before they had the chance to score from the spot.

Johnston played Biabi in with a fine pass but, although goalkeeper Fleming did well to race off his line and block, he felled Johnston as the ball ran loose.

Referee George Calder awarded the penalty, but Biabi’s kick was kept out brilliantl­y by a strong arm from Fleming, who guessed correctly and dived to his right.

Biabi wasunfortu­nate not to force the ball home following a huge scramble inside the six- yard box early in the second half.

The opening goal, however, did arrive just after the hour mark when Biabi played Johnston in on goal, and he made no mistake with a clinical finish.

Substitute, Ross Cunningham, curled over for Kelty as they sought a second goal but, after Goss and substitute James Graham came close, Annan levelled with 12 minutes to go. Graham led a swift break upfield on the right- hand side and, after good work with Finlay CrossAdair, he swept a ball across the sixyard box that Smith finished well from close range.

Johnston added: “The boys are disappoint­ed. We’re at home, 1- 0 up, and we should be looking to take three points out of that. They end up getting a goal back and we come away with a draw, so we’re all disappoint­ed that we’ve not taken three points from the game.

“We didn’t feel ourselves to be fair, but I still thought we had enough chances to win it. We didn’t take them, and then they go and score and equalise.”

KELTY HEARTS: Gourlay, Corbett, O’Ware, Thomson, Walker, Lyon, Tidser ( B. Owens 86), O’Donnell ( Cunningham 57), Biabi, Johnston, Moore ( Daramola 17). Subs not used: McCluskey, L. Owens, Cameron, Campbell.

Goal: Johnston ( 62). Booked: O’Donnell ( 40).

ANNAN ATHLETIC: Fleming, Gibson, Kilsby, Hooper, Douglas, Dixon ( Johnston 86), Luissint, Docherty ( Hunter 72), Smith, Goss ( Cross- Adair 72), Galloway ( Graham 45). Subs not used: Mitchell, Muir, Campbell, Nugent.

Goal: Smith ( 78). Booked: Docherty ( 29), Luissint ( 31). REFEREE: George Calder. ATTENDANCE: 346.

 ?? ?? Craig Johnston and his team-mates celebrate his opener for Kelty. Image: David Wardle.
Craig Johnston and his team-mates celebrate his opener for Kelty. Image: David Wardle.

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