GeoSonic Lowland League | Spartans earn point with aid of Atkinson

Posted on Sunday, April 14th, 2019

A second half strike by Blair Atkinson saw Spartans maintain their unbeaten record against East Stirlingshire and earn a share of the spoils in a tense affair at the Falkirk Stadium on Saturday in the penultimate GeoSonic Lowland League match of the season.

Following his recovery from injury, Adam Corbett was restored to the heart of the defence whilst Ian McFarland returned to the side.  Meanwhile, Alan Brown made his 200th appearance in Spartans colours – a tremendous achievement.

The swirling wind and biting chill in the shade may have been more homely for penguins but for the fans in the stand,  it was a shivery start to a match that saw Spartans have the bulk of the early possession, with the opening chance falling for the visitors as Stephen MacDonald squared the ball to Scott Maxwell but the shot didn’t quite match the build up play.

A tremendous turn of pace by Gary Cennerazzo up the touchline saw him whip in a dangerous cross that was met by the flying head of Jamie Dishington however the defender made enough of a nuisance of himself to put the Spartans man off and the effort went narrowly wide.

It may have been an end of season clash however the energy on the pitch was far from subdued.  Indeed, on occasion it was perhaps guilty of overexhuberance and certainly Cennerazzo would have agreed when he was crudely chopped as he looked to make another telling run.

HT: East Stirlingshire 0-0 The Spartans

Despite the cold temperatures, there was more than enough hot air exuding from the mouth of one particular home fan who didn’t appear to be a fan of the Scottish capital and if we were a restaurant, I don’t fancy we’d get a rave review on Trip Advisor either…

Back to the game and acrobatic Alan Brown once again showed his worth at the back when he made an energetic two touch clearance that drew warm applause from the decent numbered travelling support.

Football and fine margins are perverse bedfellows at the best of times and Blair Atkinson would undoubtedly testify to that as Cennerazzo’s deflected cross potentially threw the striker by the narrowest of margins and he could only get limited contact on the ball and force it wide from close range.

Then, at the other end, contrary to the flow of the game, the hosts took the lead from the spot.  Adam Corbett adjudged to have handled the ball in the box and the home shouts were rewarded with a penalty that was duly despatched down the middle by Andy Rodgers.

Comebacks are certainly no stranger to the Spartans rollercoaster season and with eleven minutes left on the clock, a deep Alan Brown cross was well controlled inside the box by Blair Atkinson who didn’t need to wait on a written invitation to despatch into the back of the net.

Neither side were to find a winner in the closing stages, meaning Spartans need to avoid defeat against Cumbernauld Colts at Ainslie Park next weekend in the final game of the campaign to finish in fourth place.

FT: East Stirlingshire 1-1 The Spartans

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Gary Cennerazzo

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 16th December
Opponent: Elgin City
Venue:Borough Briggs
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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