St Andrews United and Dundonald Bluebell served up a thrilling 1-1 draw for the crowd that attended The Parkk on Wednesday.
Manager Phil McGuire was forced to field a makeshift side due to illness, injury, holiday and absence.
The only recognised defender in the starting eleven for United was the manager himself and to add to his woes, injury forced him off.
United started brightly, taking the game to the visitors with Sam Buchan influential in most Saints attacks.
On five minutes a great looking cross from Buchan was cleared by Carstairs for a corner with Paddy Deane ready to rifle the ball home.
United continued to press and deservedly took the lead on nine minutes.
A Campbell throw was flicked on by Deane and Ricky Patrick bundled the ball home.
Dundonald weren’t behind long as a shot from Tommy Carr took a deflection past the stranded Hayles in the United goal.
Buchan continued to cause problems for Bluebell as he whipped in cross after cross but nobody managed to nod one home.
Hayles was forced in to a great save on 35 minutes from the impressive Elder, who a minute later fired high over the bar with only the ‘keeper to beat.
Both sides continued to press but the visitors started to gain a greater amount of pressure and put the inexperienced defence on the back foot,they coped manfully however, marshalled expertly by the manager.
However, as McGuire stretched to concede a corner on the hour mark it was obvious he wouldn’t be able to continue for long, eventually being replaced in the back four by Barry Sibanda.
Saints continued to battle manfully against the Bluebell onslaught.
United could have won it in the 90th minute when Holden poked a McInnes cross inches wide of the post.
A draw was a fair result and the point may prove vital in what promises to be a tight Premier League especially when you consider the back four that finished the game consisted of no defenders.
Saturday sees United travel to take on Kinnoull at Tulloch Park at 2.30p.m.
The Perth side went down 1-0 to Jeanfield on Wednesday night.
Monday evening Saints entertain a Dundee United XI in a friendly at 7.00pm.