Lowland League: Well, I wish it could be Dish-mas every day…

Posted on Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

Jamie Dishington set Spartans on their way to three Christmas Eve’s Eve points against Gala Fairydean Rovers in what was a tough old slog in the eye of a hoolie at Ainslie Park.

In the final home game of 2017, Spartans Gaffer Dougie Samuel commented in his match programme notes that the visitors were ‘a side who are set up to play on the front, to be positive’ and defied their current 10th spot in the table.

Craig Stevenson earned the honour of pulling on the iconic white and red Spartans kit for the 150th occasion.  Indeed, it was the same player who was the difference between the sides last time out, scoring the only goal in the Borders.

A mere 20 seconds had elapsed and it was almost an early Christmas gift for Guff as Ross Guthrie pounced deep in the Gala half and it was the legs of Lewis Muir than prevented one of the quickest goals of the season.

The visitors were up next to try their luck and it was a long ranger effort from Darren Smith that saw the ball float in mid air like a 99p flyaway those of a certain vintage will recall being offered in your sack from Santa.  It took decisive action from Blair Carswell to push the shot over the bar.

It was the cat-like reflexes of Carswell once again that came to Spartans rescue, the second of a possible nine lives utilised within the opening twenty five minutes.  Fairydean’s Grant Rose must have thought he’d found his way past the home keeper only for Carswell to the be thorn in Rose’s side to get down low to deny.  Michael Herd was on sweepy-up duties and tidied up the rebound.

A blustery afternoon inside the Pilton San Siro not only transfixed a freezing faced smile on every fan in the stand due to the wind-chill factor, but the windy times offered some additional challenges to the players looking to set up a free-kick.  First up was Darren Smith who, facing towards the blustery conditions, was almost like a magnet to the ball as it just kept blowing back towards him as he stepped back to line up the delivery!  Funny the first time for the fans, but frustrating for the handful of players affected throughout the game.

One final chance of the opening half came to Adam Corbett following a Scott Maxwell corner kick.  The ball whizzing into the box but the Academy Graduate couldn’t quite direct his header home.

Half Time: Spartans 0-o Gala Fairydean Rovers

Akin to the opening exchanges, Spartans came flying out the traps first and within four minutes of the restart, they found themselves ahead.

Hugging the standside touchline, Jamie Dishington edged his way back inside and let fly with a speculative cross.  Cue – wind.  A flummoxed Muir between the Rovers sticks could only watch on in bemusement as the effort cleared his outstretched arm to fly into the net.  Cue – celebrations!

Looking to put some light between the sides was Jason Stevens.  The new recruit was keen to add to his debut goal and it was the width of the post that denied him from making it two.

Jamie Dishington was unlucky not to turn some trickery into an eleventh for the season when his nifty feet set up an opportunity that narrowly flashed past the post with Muir well beaten.

When David Greenhill became the second Spartan to rattle the woodwork, it looked like a solitary strike would be all that was on offer however the same player was to wrap it up with a bow on top for the Gaffer’s Christmas when he pounced on a rebound after Muir had done well to save his original shot.

Full Time: Spartans 2-0 Gala Fairydean Rovers

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Michael Herd

Spartans: Carswell, Herd, Stevenson (Atkinson 79), Nixon, Corbett, Greenhill (Brown 88), Dishington, McFarland, Guthrie (Allum 71), Stevens, Maxwell.  Subs: (Unused) Bremner, Thomson, Stobie.



Next Fixture

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

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