Last minute loss for Spartans as O’Connor is Selkirk’s saving grace

Posted on Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

Garry O’Connor was Selkirk’s saving grace as the former Scotland man scored a last minute winner as the Borders side inflicted Spartans first defeat of the season at Yarrow Park.

In what was a first half that saw Spartans goalkeeper Blair Carswell almost an interested spectator, his front men found it almost impossible to beat his opposite number Jamie Newman in forty minute minutes of domination in a one-sided affair.

Spartans first opportunity fell to Aaron Murrell who rounded Jamie Newman however the keeper just done enough to force the striker wide to deny a shot at goal.

Two chances in quick succession still failed to break the deadlock, with Craig Stevenson watching his close range effort bounce off the bar then Dean Horribine could only look on agonisingly as his shot across the face of the six yard box shaved the base of the post.

Dan Ward’s header was unconvincingly flapped away by Jamie Newman, then moments later, an audacious lob by the same man went inches wide.

It took 32 minutes before the home side troubled Blair Carswell and the former Under 20s keeper had to look lively to  save Garry O’Connor’s attempt with his legs.

As a frustrating first half drew to a close, David Greenhill had a final opportunity but he couldn’t direct his header either side of a welcoming Selkirk keeper.

HT: Selkirk 0-0 Spartans

The woodwork then came to Selkirk’s rescue with the opening play of the second half as Craig Stevenson’s free-kick beat the wall and the keeper, but couldn’t squeeze it under the bar.

Five minutes after the break, Spartans finally turned their domination into a goal. A through pass by Michael Herd allowed Dean Horribine to run onto the ball inside the box before sliding it under Jamie Newman to give Spartans the lead.

Selkirk equalised in the 57th minute after an in-swinging corner kick found the feet of Phil Addison who stroked the ball home from close range.

The home side took the lead for the first time in the game just after the hour mark when Phil Addison notched up his & his team’s second when the Selkirk striker collected a loose ball inside the Spartans half before lobbing Blair Carswell from some 30 yards.

Jamie Newman once again kept his side in the game when he pulled off a double save, first denying Keith Murray before flinging himself at Anderson’s rebound effort.

The respite was temporary. Spartans set up a thrilling finale with five minutes to go after Keith Murray hammered home from deep inside the box.

As the sides looked to be sharing the points, up stepped the former Hibs player to steal an unlikely victory for the home side.

Phil Addison broke free behind the Spartans defence before drawing an exposed Blair Carswell and sliding the ball to the grateful Garry O’Connor who nudged home.

It looked like Dougie Samuel’s side may have pulled level once again deep into injury time when Jamie Dishington headed the ball home from the edge of the box, only for the Referee to whistle for a free-kick after Eddie Malone and Jamie Newman collided as the keeper attempted to punch the danger clear.

FT: Selkirk 3-2 Spartans

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Dean Horribine

Spartans: Carswell, Brown, Malone, Dishington, Thomson (Anderson 69), Greenhill, Stevenson, Ward, Murrell (Murray 59), Herd & Horribine. Subs: Carmichael, Blaikie, Gilpin (GK)

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Next Fixture

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Date: Saturday 15th December
Opponent: Dalbeattie Star
Venue: Islecroft Stadium
Competition: GeoSonic Lowland League
Kick off: 3.00pm

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