Murrell at the double as Spartans see off Welfare in five-goal thriller

Posted on Saturday, August 15th, 2015

A David Greenhill opener and an Aaron Murrell double gave Spartans all three points in a pulsating encounter against Whitehill Welfare at Ainslie Park, a result that sees Dougie Samuel’s side move up to 5th place in the Ferrari Packaging Lowland League table.

Spartans took a 7th minute lead after fine play between Aaron Murrell & Craig Stevenson saw the latter feed the ball into the box.  David Greenhill chased down what should have been a Row Z clearance by Connor Easton in the Welfare goal however the Spartans man capitalised after a nervous looking Easton dilly-dallied with ball at his feet and knocked the ball into the empty net.

Whitehill looked for an immediate response. Kevin Keane picked up the ball outside box but his tame effort failed to trouble Ross Gilpin who watched the tame effort go wide.

A timely intervention by Paul Thomson then saved Spartans as the defender got enough of his body in the way of Craig Anderson’s 20 yard strike to deflect it for a corner.

Spartans almost doubled their lead after a defence splitting pass by Aaron Murrell sent David Greenhill into the box, but with a posse of Welfare defenders breathing down his neck, the midfielder’s shot was dragged just inches wide.

It was a route one effort that pulled Whitehill back on level terms. John Williams collected the ball from keeper Easton before launching it up the park. Jamie Devlin’s touch took him past the advancing Ross Gilpin before slotting the ball home.

HT: Spartans 1-1 Whitehill Welfare

Alan Brown continued to cause Welfare danger down the stand-side flank. On the hour he outpaced Kevin Keane before delivering a low cross along the face of the six yard box which evaded the shoelaces of the outstretched Aaron Murrell & was deflected wide.

60 seconds later, the teenage striker showed tremendous skill on the edge of the box, holding off the close attentions of a Welfare defender before turning and thumping the ball home to restore his side’s lead.

Six minutes later, the same player extended Spartans lead when he was first to react after a deflected shot fell to him inside the box. He composed himself before sliding the ball low into the bottom corner.

It was the double scorers’ final involvement as he was replaced by fellow former Under 20s colleague Jamie Dishington to a rapturous round of applause from the Spartans faithful.

Welfare were then offered an unlikely way back into the game in the 74th minute after the far-side linesman spotted a Danny Main infringement on Sean Martin after the defender had cleared his lines.  After a lengthy debate, Referee Munro pointed to the spot and booked Main for his troubles. John Williams stepped up and his penalty had too much power for Ross Gilpin to set up a frantic finale.

With 5 minutes left, Ross Gilpin pulled off a fine save, this time denying Steven Mason who forged a shot from inside the box.

A nervous closing spell ensued as Welfare looked for a late equaliser but it was Spartans who held out for a welcome win.

Full Time: Spartans 3-2 Whitehill Welfare

Spartans v Whitehill: Gilpin, Brown, Main, Malone, Thomson, Greenhill, Horribine (Howat), Ward, Murrell (Dishington 69), Stevenson & Herd.  Subs (Unused): Raiker, Carmichael, Atkinson

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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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