Battling point is worthless
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CROWDED OUT: Another Burgh attack is snuffed out during a frustrating afternoon for the team at Keanie Park
JOHNSTONE Burgh were denied promotion after a defeat on Monday night against Wishaw, meaning a hard-fought point earned against Forth was all in vein.
After Saturday's draw, the Keanie Park side were left with a slim chance of clinching promotion.
The result meant Burgh's fate lay in the hands of SJFA officials as Forth Wanderers were awaiting news of a potential point's deduction for fielding an ineligible player.
If the Wanderers are given the expected punishment of a three point deduction, it would mean, if Burgh won all their remaining games, they would clinch third place, as long as they could improve their goal difference to better Forth's.
However, a 5-3 defeat against mid-table Wishaw put an end to this season's dream on Monday night.
Saturday's match was a cagey affair, one which the visitors only required a point from and that showed in the opening stages with both sides battling for control of the tie.
The home side spurned the first major chance when a Chris Loughlin corner found Martin McIntyre, however the midfielder's effort was saved well by Charles Clark.
Clark was called into action moments later when Neil Dinnen found Ross Perrie in the area, however the number sevens shot was tipped wide as it sailed towards the top right corner.
Burgh continued to dominate the first-half and almost had the breakthrough just before the interval when Loughlin's pass sent Steven Fitzpatrick down the left wing, and after cutting in the striker fired an effort off the post when one-on-one with the keeper.
After the restart, it was Burgh who nearly found the back of the net again, this time a Dinnen cross was headed wide by Fitzpatrick. There was then a sustained period of pressure from the visitors that kept the Burgh back-line and keeper Fraser Wilson busy. Wilson's first save came when a fizzing Gordon Murphy shot was fired towards goal, but it was held onto comfortably by the Burgh number one.
Moments later, referee David Dickinson pointed to the spot when a cross struck the arm of Colin Smith.
However, Chris Jarvey stepped-up and dragged the ball wide of the left post as Burgh remained in the tie.
Barry Cannon and Brian Fulves both came close for the visitors before the end, with the latter hitting the bar after connecting with a David Grant cross.
However, despite the sustained pressure, the home side spurned two chances at the death when Curtis Rose's cross was met by Loughlin, but the midfielder's header went wide.
Perrie was the next culprit when he could only fire wide from seven yards when the ball broke to him in the area with the keeper beaten.