Lowland League: Fringe benefits as Spartans put on Four Star goal show

Posted on Saturday, August 11th, 2018

A double from Steven MacDonald together with goals from Jack Smith and Jason Stevens saw Spartans defeat Dalbeattie Star 4-0 to climb to 3rd in the Lowland League table at Ainslie Park.

Edinburgh in August can often prove to be a bit of a hit or miss when it comes to choosing what to go and spend your hard earned cash on going to watch.  Performances can offer highs and lows.  Poor or great value for money.  Reviews can be hot – or not.  Alas, just three miles from the chaos of the City Centre, top quality affordable football for all was on show with four goals, Bain’s pies and a break in play for the visiting keeper to be smeared in Vaseline by one of his own substitutes.

It was the second week in succession Dougie Samuel’s side had scored a quartet of goals with Blair Carswell securing his 47th clean sheet in 124 1st XI appearances to keep the men from Dumfriesshire at bay.

The game got off at a frantic start with some heart in mouth defending from the visitors and a hint of over enthusiasm in trying to execute the chances those errors offered.  MacDonald’s 20 yard thunderous shot was so powerful, it may still be travelling as you read this report!

Spartans continued to look the mostly likely to break the deadlock.  William Bremner was the closest when he raced into the box, only to send his attempt into the side netting from a narrow angle.

The Dalbeattie defence held on like a beleaguered boxer on the ropes longing for the bell, or in their case, the whistle, as Spartans tried to land than sucker punch.  And that they did with a quick one-two ahead of the trip to the sheds.

A corner could only be half cleared by Greig Thorburn under pressure from Jack Smith, the rebound saw Willie Bremner and Lewis Todd collide and the ball fell back into Smith’s radar for him to poke him from close range through a clump of bodies.

Celebrations had barely simmered down to a frenzy before the home support were back on their feet, this time to put their collective hands together to cheer Jason Stevens in finding the net for the third game in a row.  He found himself in behind the Star back four and steadied himself before drilling past Parker to put light between the sides ahead of the break.

HT: Spartans 2-0 Dalbeattie Star

If the first half was frantic, then the start of the second was still as busy but with more control as Spartans continued to dominate and set out their stall to put further light between the sides.  That they did just shy of the hour mark.

Steven MacDonald, having opened his account at Vale of Leithen last weekend, exhibited his trademark goal celebration with his family watching on in the stand, as he put his laces through the ball offering Parker only one outcome – picking the ball out the back of the net.

The American almost offered a carbon copy effort shortly after.  Ian McFarland was instrumental in the build up and when the striker let fly with gusto, he could only look on as the ball bulged the Dalbeattie net to make it four.

Spartans utilised their trio of changes in the latter stages, with Blair Atkinson, Craig Stevenson and Harry Girdwood all coming off the bench for game time.

There was even the last minute luxury of a penalty miss for Jack Smith after last season’s top scorer in the league was unceremoniously clattered by Parker.  The Dalbeattie keeper atoned for his transgression though, diving correctly to save the spot-kick.

FT: Spartans 4-0 Dalbeattie Star



Next Fixture

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

cinch J-Teq EMS Solutions Ltd Spentwell JB Contracts (Scotland) Ltd
Mintbox Removals Johnstone Carmichael Consider IT Shepherd Chartered Surveyors
Sonsie Face Westwoods Health Club Mr Eion Coffee Hart Lifts
Soho IT CHAS Jim Martin