THIS was Danny Smith’s first defeat as Camelon boss but even he must be wondering how his side’s late collapse allowed Lochee to secure a victory they certainly didn’t deserve.
In the end it was a three goal broadside in the dying minutes that sunk the Mariners but Camelon should have had things wrapped up long before this.
As early as the fifth minute Scott Murphy fired a free kick just inches wide and shortly afterwards Steve Desmond wasted a chance by passing when he really should have shot.
But midway through the first half it was Lochee who took the lead against the run of play. Camelon defender Bryan Bell can give most players a run for their money but he was outpaced by fleet-footed Phil Hagan whose low cross was slammed home by Jon Voight.
Seven minutes later Camelon had a great chance to level after the referee awarded them a penalty for hand ball. Murphy looked confident as he stepped up to the spot but his hopes were dashed when he was denied by a great save from keeper Ian Ross.
Disappointed Camelon still held the upper hand and eight minutes before the break Ross again came to Lochee’s rescue with a terrific stop from Desmond’s powerful drive.
The second half saw Camelon begin on the attack and Mark Gillespie came close to levelling with a fine shot that went just over.
Following this Colin Allison was denied when Graham Hay somehow managed to backheel the ball clear.
In the 75th minute, however, Camelon at last got the breakthrough their play deserved when they were awarded their second penalty of the game when Allison was barged off the ball by Joe Pepper. This time round substitute Andy Dick elected to take the kick and he gave the gallant Ross no chance with a well struck effort.
At this point Camelon looked sure to go on and win until they shipped three goals in a disastrous last six minute spell.
The first of these saw subsitute Grant Lawson pick up Bell’s poor throw-in and when his cross picked out Voigt he needed no second invitation to head home his second goal of the game.
Four minutes later bad went to worse when another Lawson cross saw Chris Robertson add a third for the home team who went on to complete the scoring when Hagan netted from the penalty spot in the dying seconds.
n THIS Saturday Camelon Juniors take a break from their league programme when they travel to take on Oakley United at Blairwood Park in the second round of the Fife & Lothian Cup .
Chris Myles is doubtful but Jamie Shirra who came on as a substitute last week should be all right while Blair Batchelor returns from suspension. Kick off 2.15 p.m.