Lowland League: Spartans go top after going down to the wire with Shire

Posted on Saturday, March 31st, 2018

Jamie Dishington and Craig Stevenson were on target as Spartans went top of the Ferrari Packaging Lowland League following their 2-2 draw with East Stirlingshire at Ochilview.

Despite the clocks going forward last weekend to signal British Summer Time, there was a wintery feel in the Larbert air as the teams made their way out onto the field.  Leading the hosts out was Derek Ure who was making his 400th appearance for The Shire – a top achievement for any player at any level.  Turns out it was to be a profitable one for him too…

On with the game and there was an early chance for Kristopher Faulds who couldn’t connect with a header inside the box.  Unfortunately he did connect shortly after however it was an innocuous challenge with Willie Bremner that saw the home player offering some concern as he landed in considerable discomfort before being taken from the field ahead of a hospital visit with his ankle.  We wish him a speedy recovery.

It was Michael Herd’s time to be in the wars next.  Running repairs following a spillage of Spartans claret saw the Skipper sport a Terry Butcher-esque bandage as he returned to the fray.

David Greenhill thought he’d done enough to send Spartans into the lead shortly before half time when his powerful header was met by Barclay who done very well between the sticks to push the effort over the bar.  The respite was temporary as the corner could only be cleared to Jamie Dishington who delivered a pin-point precision drive low into the bottom corner to separate the sides.

HT: East Stirlingshire 0-1 Spartans

Your scribe apologises for the brevity of the post pie and bovril break resume as there was a flurry at the start then not much going down until a crazy final five minutes or so!

The second half was only seven minutes old when the scores were levelled.  A long ball down the throat of the Spartans defence was nodded on into the path of Paul Sludden and the former Ainslie Park man kept his composure enough to beat Blair Carswell in a one-on-one.

Shots on target or items of noteworthy cause were as rare as chocolate sponges at a slimming class gathering, with the Referee keeping himself busy with a plethora of bookings for persistent or just daft infringements from players on both sides.

As both teams looked likely to share the spoils, Willie Bremner succumbed to foul number [insert number here] of the afternoon, earning his side a free kick from twenty yards out.  Up stepped Craig Stevenson who saw Barclay needing too much time to shuffle across goal and sweetly struck the ball into the bottom corner out of the keeper’s reach.

Spartans have quite the knack of scoring late strikes.  However, Shire have had a similar penchant for not losing league fixtures.  With the match deep into injury time, Barclay progressed with ball towards the half way line before launching it deep into Spartans danger zone territory.  It finally found its way to Ure who accepted the invitation to guide the ball past Carswell to secure the draw for the hosts and send Spartans to the top of table by one point with three games left to play.

FT: East Stirlingshire 2-2 Spartans

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Mikey Herd

Spartans: Carswell, Brown, Stevenson, Tolmie, Corbett, Herd, Dishington, Greenhill (Malin), Stevens (Atkinson), Bremner (Thomson), Maxwell.  Subs – Unused: Lamarca, Allum, Cennerazzo, GK. Stobie




Next Fixture

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

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