Lowland League | Henderson hat-trick guides Spartans to win at Gretna

Posted on Sunday, October 3rd, 2021

Blair Henderson took his season tally to twelve goals as his hat-trick helped guide Spartans to a 1-4 win on the road against Gretna in a game that provided one of Scottish football’s biggest talking points of the weekend.

Spartans arrived at the new look Raydale Park following it’s surface refurbishment in the summer, with a new carpet in place which was welcomed as the rain continued to persist in the wedding capital of the world (maybe).

There was to be little love lost in the 26th minute however when Spartans took the lead in what proved to be controversial circumstances.

A cross into the box found Blair Henderson who leaped to head towards the Gretna goal. As he landed, the ball was rebounding back into his path and with no whistle to halt him, he reacted with true striker instinct and put the ball into the net.

The home side were clearly aggrieved as they surrounding Referee Lloyd Wilson claiming the rebound had occurred by hitting the rubber wheel at the side of the frame. However, after some deliberation with his Assistant Niamh Lundy, the goal stood.

As play raged on, the Spartans management team were keen to establish what had actually happened in the incident and a few minutes later, after discussion with the home dug out, the visitors drew level from an uncontested corner kick.

It was a remarkable moment of sportsmanship that quickly drew warm applause from inside the stadium and online too.

Spartans looked to regain the lead and were close in doing so when a Jamie Dishington header went narrowly over the bar.

Half Time: Gretna 1-1 The Spartans

There was to be no doubt over the goal that did see Spartans on their way to victory as Gretna defender Daniel Martins hauled down Blair Henderson on the six yard box line to give the Referee his easiest decision of the afternoon.

Henderson stepped up and cooler than a Polar Bear’s toes, he despatched from 12 yards to make it 1-2.

Just three minutes later, there was light between the sides when a determined piece of play by Cammy Russell saw his race past his marker to whip in a telling cross for Jamie Dishington to run onto and blast home under a challenge that saw the Spartans man and the ball find the back of the net from close range.

Spartans fourth of the afternoon, and third within just ten manic second half minutes, saw another Cammy Russell delivery, this time from a free-kick, land on the head of Blair Henderson who claimed his first hat-trick for the club.

It was another first moments later when Finn Robson, signed on loan from Dundee United during the week, made his debut, replacing Ian McFarland. Sam Newman then entered the fray, with Russell withdrawn.

Dan Baur was the final change as the big defender replaced Kevin Waugh. Baur offering two successive lung-bursting runs from the back, the second of which saw him unceremoniously clattered. It’s a long way down to the surface that high up too as he was left sprawling and the transgressor booked for his troubles.

Jack Newman had little to do and he’ll be sure to claim a technical clean-sheet from the afternoon, but he was called into action to make a fine stop to prevent the hosts from narrowing the gap.

His namesake Sam was keen to make his mark from the bench, offering some penetrating runs and a couple of efforts on goal.

The final whistle blew and an eventful day that is sure to keep people talking for some time to come.

FT: Gretna 2008 1-4 The Spartans

You can watch the goals here:

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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