GeoSonic Lowland League: Subo strikes back as Spartans rally to wrestle point at Whitehill

Posted on Sunday, January 6th, 2019

A late Ian McFarland strike saw Spartans grab a point at Rosewell as Dougie Samuel’s side battled out a 1-1 draw against Whitehill Welfare.

In one of the most familiar of fixtures in the Scottish non-league circles, Spartans were the first-footers at a bitterly cold and decidedly grey Ferguson Park for the first outing of 2019.

Back in the Spartans squad were Jack Smith & Adam Corbett returning from injury and Harry Girdwood who completed his loan spell at Craigroyston.  Also in the starting XI was Blair Tolmie.  The talismanic defender making his 100th appearance for the club.

Spartans took the game to their hosts from the start and the bulk of the early play was spent in the home half, first up with a 20 yard strike from Stephen MacDonald which was saved by Ross Jardine between the Welfare sticks.

Scott Maxwell then set up Blair Atkinson who broke the offside trap to race towards the penalty box.  The striker navigated his way round Jardine who had raced out from his line however the effects of the near collision put the Spartans man off balance and his final effort to guide the ball home saw it hit the side netting.

Despite his lanky Yankie legs, Stephen MacDonald needed another inch or two to extend them enough to get on the end of Michael Herd’s pass, with the keeper smothering the ball inside his six yard box.

Welfare’s Kevin Keane was to have an eventful first half beginning with a booking after he clotheslined Jamie Dishington after the Spartans playmaker knocked the ball past him to set up another attack.  It would have got 10 minutes in the sin-bin at Murrayfield however it did earn him a yellow card from the match official.   A few minutes later, the two collided once again inside the visitor’s half.  Keane this time with a blatant obstruction that winded Dishington but wasn’t deemed intentional to merit anything further than a free-kick.

Then, against the run of play, it was Keane who was more than able to slalom through the Spartans midfield before setting himself up to unleash and unstoppable strike that flew past Blair Carswell.

Spartans looked as if they’d levelled before the break after Atkinson rounded the keeper again but as the ball hit the back of the net the Assistant Referee raised his flag to call a halt to any celebrations before the begun.

HT: Whitehill Welfare 1-0 The Spartans

After the half time oranges and excellent trolling in the Welfare Committee Room with the Fox’s Biscuits, the second half was underway.  Darker and colder and the surface continuing to offer the ball as much bounce as a dead goldfish.

On the hour mark, Jack Smith made his long awaited return following injury when he replaced MacDonald to offer fresh legs up front.

Blair Carswell had to look lively to keep his side in the match as he pulled off a stunning save from James McPartlin and there was relief amongst the travelling support when Michael Hamilton skewed the rebound wide of the post.

Another returnee then came onto the park in the shape of Harry Girdwood who traded places with Jamie Dishington for the final quarter of the match as Spartans sought the equaliser.

With six minutes left on the clock, that equaliser came to fruition.  A corner came whizzing into the Welfare six yard area, Blair Tolmie rising to head goal-wards, it was parried by the keeper and fell to the feet of Ian McFarland who poked the ball home.

Spartans went for broke, they also sent on Murray Hand for Atkinson before play resumed.  Another aerial launch into the box landed at the feet of McFarland once again but he couldn’t get enough mileage as he got toe to ball to make himself a match winner.

FT: Whitewhill Welfare 1-1 The Spartans


Next Fixture

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

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