Football: Stow 1-1 Jed Legion

Jed Legion manager Derek McLachlan
Jed Legion manager Derek McLachlan
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Jed Legion’s unlikely Division A title push has earned comparisons with Leicester City’s Premiership challenge.

Like City, Jed have gone from just avoiding relegation to topping the league in the closing stages of the season.

And Legion also have a favourable final run of games, according to manager Derek McLachlan, who saw his side claim a hard-earned point at Stow which all but ends his opponents’ title hopes.

McLachlan said: “It is great to be challenging for the league. We have three home games left and two away, which I am more than pleased with.

“I think our draw with Stow was the right result.

“I see it very much as a point gained as Stow are a good team.

“I think they will take points off other teams. Gordon still have to come to Stow and our point could prove to be vital.”

For two sides battling for the Division A title, this was a drab encounter with few goalscoring opportunities.

Neither side was aided by missing personnel from their starting line ups, as well as injuries during the game.

Terry Marshall and Nathan Gillie were both substituted due to injuries for Jed, while Stow’s Ben McGregor suffered a knee problem which forced him off the field.

Jed certainly started the better team, and Craig Wood had to make two superb clearances to deny Sean Clarke.

But the striker, signed from Hawick Legion Rovers, did find the net on 16 minutes with a superb header from a Stuart Spence cross for his ninth goal of the season.

There were no other chances in the half, with only a spat between Gillie and Scott Hunter, who were both booked by referee Raymond Hume, livening up proceedings.

Hunter was involved in the first action of the second period with a deflected shot with Jed stopper Sean Jack smothered well, but Stow carried very little goal threat as they looked to be heading for their fifth league defeat of the season.

However, the introduction of Johnny Crawford from the bench made an impact for Stow.

After he won a corner which Jed claimed should not have been given due to a foul on Jack, Crawford’s inswinging cross was met perfectly by Runciman’s head for the equaliser with 18 minutes to go.

Stow threw everything at Jed chasing a vital winner, and Crawford again delivered a superb cross only for defender-turned-striker Pritchard to volley over, before Runciman’s sweet strike was held by Jack.

Stow manager Fraser Riddell said: “I think this result has put an end to our challenge.

“We never got going and the first 25 minutes was the poorest yet this season by us.

“We were much better in the second half and I thought we were the only team that was going to win the game.”

Stow: T. Kerr, C. Riddell (J. Crawford 55), C. Wood, P. Marszalek, J. Kerr, B. McGregor (G. Cleghorn 30), G. Grant, G. Gass, J. Runciman, S. Hunter (R. Pritchard 86), C. Gass.

Jed Legion: S. Jack, J. Lowe, B. Irvine, G. Kelly, K. Finlayson, D. Chandler, G. Hunter, T. Marshall (J. Gillingham 27 (R. Barskanmay 85)), S. Clarke, N. Gillie (D. Wallace 70), S. Spence.