Under 20s: Six goal thriller sees Spartans secure second half comeback against Kilby

Posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2016

A second half comeback earned Spartans a 3-3 draw in a midweek six-goal thriller at against East Kilbride.

As the premature fireworks sounded around the vicinity of the K-Park ground, it was a seventh minute damp squib for the Ainslie Park side when the hosts took the lead from a counter-attack.

East Kilbride looked the hungrier of the two teams and pressed to add to their early goal. Debutant Lewis Grant was the hero of the moment during a three minute spell, making as many last gasp goal line clearances to keep the scoreline, somewhat remarkably, at a single goal deficit.

Boosted by this, Spartans squared proceedings. A break through the middle saw the ball played into Cameron Dawson who delivered a cheeky back-heel pass into the path of the en-rushing Harry Girdwood who blasted the ball into the bottom corner, leaving the Kilby keeper no chance.

It didn’t take long before the hosts embarked upon a mission to regain the lead. Cameron Rae pulled off a fine save and it was Grant’s face to the rescue as he put his body on the line to save a net-bound rebound.

With ten minutes of the half remaining, the hosts edged ahead in controversial circumstances. The ball finally breaching the Spartans whitewash for the second time despite loud appeals for an offside decision that was waved away by the match official.

The half-time team-talks took a slightly different take when the pacey Kilby attack punished Spartans with another break from their own half to extended the lead to 3-1 at the interval.

HT: East Kilbride 3-1 Spartans

Not for the first time this season, Spartans returned from the changing rooms looking to play catch up football. The response was almost imminent when they pegged it back just two minutes after the restart.

Girdwood’s drive deep into the home dangerzone saw him thread the ball to Dawson who had almost wheeled away for his goal celebration, only to see Johnny Grotlin make sure from a yard out.

Then, just six minutes later, a pin-point corner kick from Murray Hand was bulleted home by the head of Dawson, who left his marker for dead at the front post to make it all square once again.

Spartans were left feeling aggrieved when Dawson looked to have been felled by the arms of the East Kilbride keeper as he raced into the box, but it wasn’t to be.

Another set-piece from Hand was then sent crashing off the underside of the crossbar, the ball landing on the wrong side of the line to deny the Edinburgh side from taking the lead for the first time in the match.

Les Atkinson introduced Lewis Temple and his namesake Hall at the expense of Girdwood and Shaw as the game entered it’s latter stages.

With five minutes left on the clock, Spartans were reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Grant for a second bookable offence. Moments later, Liam Currie replaced Dawson.

As both sides pressed to look for an injury time winner, the personnel numbers were levelled out when the match official give the marching orders to one of the hosts for his second yellow of the night.

FT: East Kilbride 3-3 Spartans

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Next Fixture

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

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