The joy of six for Spartans as Horribine hat-trick floors Fairydean

Posted on Sunday, February 28th, 2016

A Dean Horribine hat-trick was the difference as Spartans extended their unbeaten run to six games with a 2-6 win against Gala Fairydean Rovers in the Ferrari Packaging Lowland League.

The supporters inside the iconic Netherdale stand were treated to seven second half goals in a pulsating encounter that saw Dougie Samuel’s side race past a half century of league strikes and maintain second place in the table.

It could have been 1-1 after just five minutes as George Hunter of Spartans and Jamie Gibson of Gala both uncharacteristically fluffed chances in front of goal where they may have been easier to score.

Horribine had a free-kick effort from the ‘22’ rugby markings on the 3G arena and in keeping with the oval ball game, his attempt cleared the bar.  The striker, who scored the winner against the hosts in cup action just 10 days previously, made amends moments later when keeper Mark Wilson could only look on as a low drive hit off both posts before nestling in the net.

Rovers thought they’d equalised in the 27th minute when Billy Miller’s thunderous drive made the bar wobble like a jelly and as the ball fell to the ground, there were loud appeals to the far-side linesman that the whitewash was breached before Blair Carswell could scramble a save.

Half Time: Gala Fairydean Rovers 0-1 Spartans

The hosts drew level just four minutes after the break when Jack Hay secured possession in the middle of the Spartans half and his audacious long range lob found Carswell in no man’s land and the empty net behind him.

Normal service was resumed five minutes later when Keith Murray’s bye-line cut back could only be parried by Wilson and Horribine was first to react to poke home and restore the lead.

Samuel made the first of his substitutions in the 64th minute, with George Hunter replaced by A Trialist and the replacement took just 36 seconds to make the most instant of impacts as he headed home a Horribine cross.

Rovers were on the ropes as a rampant Spartans threatened to score with each break.  In the 69th minute David Greenhill’s trickery in the box saw his feign a shot before settling himself to ease the home number four.

Three minutes later, Horribine completed his Man of the Match winning hat-trick after elegantly sliding a shot low into the back of the net.  It was to be his last contribution of the afternoon as he was roundly applauded by the travelling Spartan Army – many of which making the journey on the Borders Railway link – making way for the introduction of Jack Beesley.

The hosts were offered an opportunity to reduce the deficit when Alan Brown brought down Stuart Noble in the box and Captain Gibson perfectly executed the spot kick.

Spartans however were to have the last say as Jack Beesley benefitted from tenacious work in the middle of the park by the industrious Craig Stevenson to race into the Gala penalty box before despatching home – much to the delight of his Mum watching in the stand.

Full Time: Gala Fairydean Rovers 2-6 Spartans

Spartans: Carswell, Stevenson, Herd, Malone (Saunderson 74), McNab, Greenhill, Brown, Dishington, Murray, Hunter (Trialist 66), Horribine (Beesley 73).  Subs Unused:Thompson, Rae (GK).

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Hat-trick hero Dean Horribine picked up the prize with youngster Jamie Dishington earning plaudits for his performance too.

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 30th September
Opponent: Bonnyrigg Rose
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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