Lowland League | Dawson guns down Gretna with late winner

Posted on Saturday, October 10th, 2020

Super Sub Cameron Dawson’s late strike saw Spartans get their 2020-21 Lowland League campaign off to a winning start with a 1-2 victory over Gretna 2008 at Raydale Park.

With a plethora of new faces in the visiting side, it took the early part of the opening exchanges for Spartans to get into the swing of things however it didn’t take long for them to make progress down either flank with Blair Atkinson and Scott McCrory-Irving causing problems for the youthful home defence.

Sam Jones came close midway through the half, with his shot going narrowly wide after fine play by Atkinson and Maxwell.

Both keepers would have been pleased with their opening contributions with neither being forced into action however it was the home keeper who was faced with getting his hands on the ball in the 26th minute, but only to pick Blair Atkinson’s 20 yard drive out of the net.

Half Time: Gretna 2008 0-1 The Spartans

Just four minutes after the interval, the hosts were level. A defensive lapse forced the keeper off his line and as he went to ground, the home forward did likewise and the Referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Jordan Irving who netted the equaliser.

Atkinson was unlucky not to get his second of the afternoon when his header rattled the crossbar from a corner as Spartans looked to regain their lead.

A double Spartans substitution on the hour saw Cameron Dawson & Archie Meekison replace Murrell and McCrory-Irving. It was to prove a telling tactical change from the Gaffer as the game entered its final stages.

Spartans were awarded a free-kick just outside the penalty area. The dead ball effort from Meekison cleared the wall but the on-loan playmaker couldn’t guide it between the sticks.

Moments later the Spartans stand-in shot stopper redeemed himself with a stunning save as the ball looked destined for the bottom corner yet somehow he pushed it behind to safety.

John Grant, who scored in the first Lowland League visit to Raydale Park, then replaced Ian McFarland in the middle of the paddock.

With the game heading into its final stages and finely balanced, it needed a touch of magic to get the visitors over the line.

Beautiful play by Meekison on the touch line saw him beat his marker before passing the ball to Sam Jones who delivered a telling ball across the face of the box and Cameron Dawson was on hand to ram home.

Caddow was clattered in front of the deserted stand which almost lead to a second equaliser as the hosts played on, only for their man at the back post to miss a golden opportunity from a yard.

With some squeekybumtime added on at the death, there was rejoice and relief when the whistler blew on final time.

Full Time: Gretna 2008 1-2 The Spartans

Spartans Line-up | 1. Trialist, 2. Corbett (c), 3. Maxwell (Allan 84), 4. Baur, 6. Brown, 7. Jones, 8. McFarland (Grant 76), 9. Murrell (Dawson 61), 10. McCrory-Irving (Meekison 61), 11. Atkinson (Caddow 84), 14. Woods. Unused Sub: Tait.

Match Gallery | https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=TheSpartansFootballClub&set=a.3306054556109147

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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