Lowland League | Late goal is cruel blow for Spartans

Posted on Monday, August 29th, 2022

There had been much said prior to Saturday’s Lowland League game of the day however in his programme notes, Spartans Gaffer Dougie Samuel emphasised that nothing would be decided in this proverbial six pointer against East Kilbride.

With Brad Whyte suspended and Blair Henderson attending his sister’s wedding, the hosts went into this crunch clash looking to take the game to the visitors and it didn’t take long before Cammy Russell started to torment the tourists.

A couple of Spartans free-kicks were awarded in quick succession, both after fouls on Russell.  The second of these was floated into the box and unfortunately for Jordan Tapping, he was adjudged to have used his physique to impede the goalkeeper who spilled the ball under pressure.

At the other end, Reece McGuire went down in the box under pressure from Michael Herd. Claims for a penalty were adventurous at best as Referee Sean Duff waved play on.

There were collective heads in hands as Sean Brown had his shot inside the box saved then Cammy Russell was closed down fast and his rebounded effort blocked as Spartans pressed for an opener.

Cammy Russell produced another energetic run into the box before unleashing a powerful drive that was well stopped by Kilby keeper Curtis Lyle.

Moments later, a tremendous clearance over the bar from Dylan MacDonald at his near post denied Spartans another opportunity.  He won’t get the credit though as the officials agreed on a goal kick.  

Then, in the 26th minute, the deadline was broken. Jamie Dishington working his way to send a low ball across the box to find Sean Brown who laid off into the path of Rhys Armstrong who put Spartans into a well deserved lead with an excellent finish inside the box.

Robust defending by Mikey Allan at the back ensured Spartans kept their lead until the interval.  First it was a track-back and shoulder to shoulder challenge that denied McGuire an opportunity to race in on goal, then a telling tackle on the stand-side touchline which drew warm applause from the home support but a subsequently foul that saw yet another yellow shown.

Half Time: The Spartans 1-0 East Kilbride

There was a squeekybum moment just after the break when a long kick from the opposition keeper called his glove-wearing counterpart into action as it was misjudged by the home defence and Blair Carswell had to look sharp to come off his line to Cameron Elliot.

Just nine minutes into the half and it was all square.  Against the run of play, the visitors finding the net with arguably their first shot on target. The ball headed off the crossbar and it was Cameron Elliott who was quickest to respond and found the net.

Cameron Russell was called upon to take a free-kick 20 yards out however this was to be well saved by Lyle.

Just after the hour mark, the pendulum swung in East Kilbride’s favour. The corner kick headed towards Blair Carswell however with a Kilby defender obstructing his view, he could only parry and it was returned into the net to give the visitors the lead.

Then, with a quarter of an hour to go, it was all square again.  Good link up play between Cammy Russell and Jamie Dishington saw the latter thread the ball towards Rhys Armstrong who composed himself before sending his shot into the top corner.

In the 80tn minute, Spartans made a hat-trick of changes, with Jamie Penker, Calum Burns & Alan Brown coming on for Sean Brown, Mikey Allan and Ian McFarland.

There was a half chance shortly after for the advancing Sam Jones but his shot from 20 yards, going got accuracy over power, just couldn’t beat the keeper.

As play entered its final stages, the ball hit off Dylan MacDonald’s head in midfield, quite how much he knew about it is a mystery however he then outjumped Kevin Waugh and his nod was then sent into the path of Ronan Hughes who let fly with an unstoppable drive to steal the points at the death.

Full Time: The Spartans 2-3 East Kilbride

Spartans: Carswell, Herd, Allan (Burns 80′), Waugh, Tapping, Dishington, Armstrong, McFarland (C) (A. Brown 80′), S. Brown (Penker 80′), Jones, Russell.  Unused subs: Maxwell, Woods, Ndlovu, Meek.

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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