Sludden earns Spartans share of spoils against Star

Posted on Sunday, March 1st, 2015

A Paul Jon Sludden first half strike earned Spartans a share of the spoils at a dreich Ainslie Park against Dalbeattie Star.

There was a starting berth for new signing Dean Horribine in Dougie Samuel’s side.  Horribine is no stranger to Spartans, having been a former participant in the Community Football Academy’s Street Football project.

Gloomy conditions saw the Ainslie Park floodlights on from kick off however the illumination was to be no guiding light for Star’s Dunglinson who saw his 15th minute effort hit the back of the net – of the practice goals at the side of the pitch.

A fine exchange between Stevenson and Henretty deep inside the Star half set up an opportunity for the former however his shot may have been more useful to Scotland at Murrayfield as it cleared the bar with some gusto.

A stramash in the Spartans box shortly after ended with Steele poking the ball past Carswell’s post as Star came close to taking the lead.

Newcomer Horribine almost turned provider for Sludden in the 30th minute however the strikers shot was well saved by Drysdale who pushed the ball round his left hand post for a corner.

Sludden won the battle moments later when he collected the ball outside Drysdale’s box before unleashing an unstoppable drive into the bottom corner of the net, leaving the keeper with no chance.

Star almost replied with the first half drawing to a close.  A Sloan free-kick on the edge of the box forced Carswell to have two bites at the cherry to recover the ball, the keeper unable to do so and there was a sigh of relief as Steele blasted over the bar.

Half Time: Spartans 1-0 Dalbeattie Star

The second half was only four minutes old when Star struck back.  Sloan capitalised on a poor clearance by Carswell before steadying himself to shoot home off the inside of the post.

It was almost a dream debut for Horribine as he watched his fiercely delivered 25 yard strike clear the outstretched fingers of the Star keeper only to land on top of the net.

With the rain lashing down, both sets of players were making every effort to continue to play football in front of a crowd grateful for the shelter in the stand.

Samuel introduced Douglas and McLeod with 15 minutes left at the expense of Beesley and Henretty as Spartans looked to regain the lead.

Unfortunately that wasn’t to materialise and with almost the last attack of the afternoon, it was the visitors who almost conducted a late smash and grab when Dunglinson saw his attempt hit the outside of Carswell’s post and away to safety.

Full Time: Spartans 1-1 Dalbeattie Star

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Paul Jon Sludden

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 27th April
Opponent: Peterhead
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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