Dynamic Dawson nets hat-trick as Under 20s hit Preston for six

Posted on Saturday, October 8th, 2016

Cameron Dawson’s hat-trick and a pivotal penalty save from Cameron Rae guided Spartans Under 20s to victory on Friday night under the lights at Pennypitt where they defeated Preston Athletic 2-6 in the Under 20s League.

With Head Coach Les Atkinson on a cultural liaison in Liverpool, it was Calum Jeffrey who took charge of a Spartans side looking to build on a four match unbeaten run and bumped their way up the table with a win.

For the opening 10 minutes, the Spartans side embarked upon an unfamiliar Kamikaze style of play, as the hosts pressed to take an early advantage in the first game between the sides since the Challenge Cup Final at the end of last season.

And it was the Panners who broke the deadlock after 17 minutes.  A free-kick was conceded on the outskirts of the box and Marc Reid’s deadball effort took a wicked deflection to leave Cameron Rae rooted to the spot as the ball flew into the net.

Five minutes later, Rae had the chance to outfox Reid when Referee Rennie pointed to the spot after Johnny Grotlin was adjudged to have handled in the box.  The Preston No.4 stepped up but the Canadian keeper guessed right to pull off a fine save.

Spurred on by the stop, Grotlin almost redeemed himself on the half hour mark when he unleashed a strike that rattled the crossbar.  The rebound dropped into the path of Cameron Dawson who side-stepped round the keeper to slot home the equaliser.

Preston were having none of it and with ten to go til the break, it was that man Reid who caused chaos with another free-kick that was pushed away by Rae however it was a home player who reacted quickest to drill home to regain the lead.

It was to be a first half tale of two penalties however and with the break inevitable, a push in the box offered Grotlin the opportunity to square things up from 12 yards.  The striker wouldn’t have been the toast of his home town when he duly despatched the penalty with some style.

HT: Preston Athletic 2-2 Spartans

Two goals in sixty seconds after the break steered the game to its eventual outcome – and they came from the Ainslie Park men.

Brandon Archibald’s corner kick straight off the training ground was deftly knocked home by the incoming Harry Girdwood who sidefooted in front of an unsuspecting Preston defence.  Then, as the merry band of traveling supporters were chewing the fat over the set piece strike, Cameron Dawson’s left foot finish put further light between the sides.

Jeffrey made a couple of changes on the hour with Mikey Allan and Lewis Hall replacing Liam Currie and Calum O’Neil as Spartans looked to capitalise on a now tired looking home side.

Midway through the half, that lead was to extend and it was a delightful pass by Hall clinically executed by the in-form Dawson to complete his hat-trick and make it a scoring showing in five consecutive games.

Dawson was withdrawn with 20 to go and replaced by Lewis Temple.  The substitute was unlucky not to get in on the goals himself when his wizardry saw him flick the ball over a dazzled Preston defender into the box but it was the man from Prestonpans Grotlin who nipped in to deliver a hammer blow to the hosts by rounding off the scoring.

FT: Preston Athletic 2-6 Spartans

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Next Fixture

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Date: Friday 18th January
Opponent: Tranent Juniors
Venue: Ainslie Park
Competition: Football Nation Cup Quarter Final
Kick off: 7.30pm

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