Lowland League: Star steal it at the death in seven goal thriller

Posted on Saturday, October 1st, 2016

Seven goals, one red card and a hotly contested offside decision at the death saw Dalbeattie Star come back from 1-3 down to edge out Spartans in a humdinger at Islecroft Stadium.

Spartans started off the brighter of the two teams in the Dumfriesshire sunshine and David Greenhill was the first to test Vinny Parker inside the opening sixty seconds.

Both sides looked to play football on a sticky paddock, with the visitors dominating possession in an opening half that took 37 minutes to deliver its opening goal of the afternoon.  Craig Johnston continued where he left off last week by slotting home a well struck penalty after a Maxwell foul inside the box.

HT: Dalbeattie Star 0-1 Spartans

Spartans doubled their lead courtesy of the same player just two minutes after the interval.  A sublime cross by Scott Maxwell was powered home by the head of Johnston to put his side two goals ahead.

Star looked to rally and there were muted appeals for a penalty after Iain Anderson went to ground inside the 18 yard box on the hour mark.

With twenty minutes to go, Star halved the deficit courtesy of Anderson who slotted a low effort into the bottom corner beyond Blair Carswell.

The game entered the final ten minutes finely balanced on a knife edge.  Star pressing for an equaliser whilst Spartans looking to restore their two goal advantage.

That gap between the sides came to fruition with nine minutes left.  Substitute Andrew Mair’s back heel forcing a spill from Parker and David Greenhill was on hand to poke home from close range.

Two minutes later, it was back to a single goal advantage for the visitors.  Tommy Muir netting to give his side hope.  That hope turned into belief just three minutes after when Lewis Sloan’s free-kick cleared the wall and Carswell to land in the top corner to put Star on level terms for the first time in the match.

A moment of controversy inside injury time saw Spartans reduced to ten men.  Johnston was deemed offside by the standside linesman and in his frustration at seeing the flag, he kicked the ball away in anger.  Referee Grainger decreed it a second yellow of the afternoon for the on-loan striker and he was sent to the sheds for an early shower.

Then, deep into added on time, Connor Graham struck the winner to earn his side their first victory over Spartans.

FT: Dalbeattie Star 4-3 Spartans

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Jamie Dishington

Spartans: Carswell, Herd, Comrie (Watson 76), Thomson, Townsley, Tolmie, Greenhill (Ward 88), Stevenson, Johnston, Dishington, Maxwell (Mair 65).  Subs (Unused): Gabiola, Gilpin

Next Fixture

Date: Friday 17th May
Opponent: Dumbarton
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: Play-Off Final 2nd Leg
Kick off: 7.30pm

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