Lowland League | Drama in Dalbeattie as ten man Spartans dig deep to defeat Star

Posted on Saturday, August 14th, 2021

The Spartans made it five consecutive Lowland League victories with a hard fought 1-3 victory at Islecroft Stadium against Dalbeattie Star.

With a handful of changes to the side that fell to Linlithgow Rose in midweek, gaffer Dougie Samuel was keen to continue the positive start to the campaign against a Dalbeattie side who had taken the competition by storm with their impressive early series of results.

With the sides having a history for goals in games between them down in Dumfries, there was more than one net the hosts hoped wasn’t populated and that was the curtain in front of the stand used as a deterrent for prospective nesting sparrows who considered making Islecroft their home!

As kick-off beckoned, the net was drawn back and it was the one Darren Holt was guarding that was first to be bulging. With eighteen minutes on the clock, a comedy of errors saw the ball bounce of bodies who acted like arms in a pinball machine and it appeared to be Jamie Dishington who was the final Spartan to get a touch despite the desperate attempts to deny a goal by a Dalbeattie defender on the line.

The home man on the line may have got the final say, but which defender out there wishes to be credited with an OG…

Spartans dominated much of the play with Sam Jones causing concern with his neat play and turn of pace whilst Jamie Dishington came close following a run that forged open an opportunity but he could only send the shot wide.

HT: Dalbeattie Star 0-1 The Spartans

The second half kicked off in a similar fashion with Spartans taking the game to their hosts. An early corner saw Blair Henderson’s effort rebound and fall to Dishington who saw his acrobatic efforts go narrowly wide.

Lewis Todd came close with a rare Dalbeattie venture into the danger area as his glancing header went wide, much to the relief of the visiting back division.

Ten minutes into the half and Spartans doubled their lead. Keeper Holt perhaps confusing the ball with Dishington’s head in an aerial challenge inside the box and the attempted clearing punch landed on Dishington’s head, leaving Referee Wilson with his easiest decision of the afternoon.

Blair Henderson stepped up and despatched with aplomb to put light between the sides.

Star had yet another opportunity from a header, this time it was Dylan Cairnie’s header that went wide of the post. Another let-off for Spartans.

Midway through the half, Scott Maxwell replaced the industrious Ian McFarland.

Spartans continued to push forward and there were opportunities for Henderson who saw his netbound effort deflected over the bar by a last minute tackle and Sam Newman then perhaps too honestly remained on his feet despite attracting defenders like flies round the proverbial doggo doo.

With ten minutes on the clock, the visitors halved the deficit. Michael Bolochoweckyj was adjudged to have mis-timed his challenge in the box and the second penalty of the afternoon was awarded. It was certainly far from as clear cut as the one at the other end however up stepped Russell Currie to score.

A dramatic final seven minutes was set to unfold as the man in the middle reached for his pocket once more, this time to brandish Sam Jones a straight red in front of the stand for what appeared to be an innocuous coming together as the Spartans man looked to utilise his body to hold off his opponent. Not only an early exit, but with the current Scottish Government guidance, there wasn’t even the opportunity to head to the sheds for an early shower!

Dalbeattie could smell the scent of at least a point and wave after wave of play edged towards the Spartans red zone. However, it was resolute defending that was to win the day and when Bolochoweckyj launched the ball up the other end of the park to curtail another attack, it was collected by Scott Maxwell on the edge of his own half.

The substitute was initially caught in two minds on taking the ball for a run to the corner or go for broke. Thankfully it was the latter as he raced in on Holt and beat the keeper in a one-on-one to see his low drive pop in off the post, causing scenes on the travelling touchline.

FT: Dalbeattie Star 1-3 The Spartans

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Jamie Dishington

Next Fixture

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

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