Spartans secure runners-up spot despite Borders defeat

Posted on Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Spartans secured second place in the 2015-16 Ferrari Packaging Lowland League despite losing to a late Kenny O’Brien strike against Vale of Leithen on Tuesday evening.

The midweek trip to the Borders saw the curtain come down on Dougie Samuel’s side’s league campaign and with a host of players not at the gaffer’s disposal, there were places in the squad for a handful of players from the East of Scotland side, including a return to 1st Team action for Danny O’Donnell.

Spartans started off the livelier and with just five minutes on the clock, a speculative strike from 25 yards went over the Vale bar from Craig Stevenson.

Ten minutes later, Malt and Hops Man of the Match Ross Gray outfoxed his marker before releasing George Hunter however before the striker could pull the metaphorical trigger, a timely challenge denied a clean shot at goal.

With the game entering into the final minute of a half played on a challenging surface for fast flowing football, David Greehill was inches away from putting his side in front ahead of the team-talk when he looked to capitalise on a mis-timed manoeuvre from the home keeper from a Gray cross.

HT: Vale of Leithen 0-0 Spartans

Spartans made a double substitution in the 62nd minute when David Greenhill & Jack Beesley made way for Blair Atkinson & Brad Raiker.

George Hunter took a knock midway through the half and after assessment from the Physio, he was unable to continue. With both available replacements already on the pitch, sub keeper Ross Gilpin ditched the gloves to come on to a round of applause from the travelling support.

Vale snatched all three points with three minutes to go. O’Brien collected the ball inside the Spartans half before unleashing a strike that deceived Carswell and found its way into the corner of the net to give the hosts the unlikeliest of victories.

FT: Vale of Leithen 1-0 Spartans

Spartans XI: Carswell, Brown, Stevenson, Dishington, Dickson, Greenhill (Atkinson), Beesley (Raiker), O’Donnell, Hunter (Gilpin), Gray, Maxwell

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Ross Gray

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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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