BRAVE Thorn Athletic battled back from two down to earn a draw in their Caledonian Premier League opener against St Mungos.
The Bishopbriggs outfit – who finished third last year – stunned their newly-promoted rivals in the first half as the visitors struggled to get going.
But the Johnstone side roared back after the break and could even have sneaked the win.
Manager James Donnelly welcomed Joe Rae, Jack Doak and Jamie White back from holiday and after training on Monday they returned to the squad.
They all went into the starting line-up for the season opener, where there was more than a hint of a kit clash with both sides wearing royal shorts and socks.
As has been the case of late, sloppy goals have been the only kind conceded by Thorn and we’ve yet to be beaten by a really fine strike.
And it was to be the case again as an attempted volley from Donny Morrison back to keeper Liam McWilliams was intercepted and lobbed over the goalie to hand St Mungos the lead.
Further chances followed for them as Thorn really struggled to pose any sort of an attacking threat.
Soon after, Thorn slipped two behind when a ball into the box reached an unmarked attacker and it was the simplest of tasks to head home.
There looked to be no way back at this point with the visitors looking blunt going forward and not creating much in the way of passing football.
Boss Donnelly was less than pleased with the first half showing and changed the shape for the second half.
Ross Horne and Stuart McCann made way for Liam Allen and Tony Galbraith to enter the fray as Thorn looked to exert more of an attacking threat.
Soon after Paul Young replaced Jamie White as it become more evident the visitors had to shake things up.
Time wasting from the home side was going unpunished and eventually it became futile as Thorn stormed back into the match.
Tom Smith’s powerful shot had the keeper scrambling.
And the goal came when a ball from the left played pinball in the box and ended up in the net off what looked to be a home defender.
Joe Rae had a couple of chances at the back post from Young crosses into the box but he just failed to connect and when he did it was straight at the keeper.
But eventually the big man was rewarded when a nice lay off at the edge of the box was despatched low and powerfully into the corner of the net.
St Mungos were all over the place at this point and Thorn posed a threat with every attack and ball into the box.
The time wasting from the home side had turned into panic and they were clinging on. Not only that but they’s delayed proceedings for so long darkness was fast engulfing proceedings.
They still looked a threat on the break and it was becoming end to end stuff with both teams looking to nick a winner.
That looked to be on the cards when Rae broke away heading directly towards the box when he was cynically scythed down by a St Mungos defender.
On obvious yellow for the experienced home defender, who along with their keeper, had been at the heart of the time wasting cleaning balls off their shirts and labouring to retrieve balls out of play. It was painful to watch.
Nothing came of the resultant free-kick and in the end the game petered out with a share of the spoils from what was a proverbial game of two halves.