Lowland League | Sides deliver drama infused draw in downpour

Posted on Monday, January 16th, 2023

Man of the Match Blair Carswell’s last gasp penalty spot kick save saw Spartans earn a share of the spoils in an insane end to a pulsating clash against Open Goal Broomhill in the Lowland League match of the day.

Josh Laing returned to the heart of the home defence alongside Jordan Tapping who sported a face mask to protect a broken nose suffered in an aerial challenge at K-Park seven days previous.

It was a blustery start to the game with the wind offering neither side an advantage, instead it gave chills to the hardy 323 souls sheltering in the stand.

The early exchanges offered nothing much by way of excitement nor noteworthy attempts on goal at either end.  A brief mix-up in the away box saw the Keeper under pressure, only for the Ref to spare his blushes by calling out an infringement on the stopper as he sought to reclaim the ball.

Cammy Russell started as he left off against East Kilbride, largely on the ground after being upended as the playmaker continued to trouble opposition as he has done throughout the term.

At the other end, a Broomhill corner almost brought the opener, however the flash header went wide of Blair Carswell’s goal.

Jamie Dishington’s turn of pace and direction saw him cut inside before unleashing a healthy drive that was turned round the post for a corner.

With the half time whistle imminent, another Spartans corner was swept into the box.  It found Blair Henderson lurking around the spot and after his header hit the bar, Josh Laing was on hand at the back post to nod home from close range to break the deadlock and also score his first senior goal.

HT: The Spartans 1-0 Open Goal Broomhill

With the wind picking up and the treat of rain imminent, what could have been a showcase for fast flowing football was flipped on its axis to becoming the survival of the fittest in proper Scottish winter weather.

Chances came and went at both ends with neither keeper necessarily troubled however it was the final quarter of the match that delivered full value for money for the punters.

With 72 minutes on the click, it was all square.  Spartans were making good progress into the Broomhill half when Rhys Armstrong looked to be fouled as he sought to get on the end of a lovely 1-2 with Bradley Whyte.  Nothing given by the man in the middle and from the subsequent clearance from the keeper, the ball finally made it’s way into the opposite net after Carswell was rounded and a cross was nodded home at the back post.

Moments later, one of the contentious talking points of the game that will have supporters debating long and hard over a pint.  The Broomhill keeper was on walkabout half way towards the centre circle and when the ball was passed back in his direct, it zipped up from the slippery surface, forcing him to control it with his arm.

As he walked sheepishly back towards his own box, the man in the middle was followed in hot pursuit by the wolves in Spartans clothing seeking the most severest of punishments for the handball incident in no-man’s land.  A yellow card was to be the ultimate fate.  The resultant free-kick by Cammy Russell saved.

The rain by now was falling in biblical proportions.  A corner into the Broomhill box was half cleared and picked up by Cammy Russell out wide.  He fought off his marker as he worked his way in-field before unleashing the most spectacular of strikes that tested the stitching of the net as it flew past the goalie in quick fashion.  Spartans once again ahead with ten minutes left on the clock. 

Broomhill went on a late salvo operation.  A break in the middle of park saw a tasty shot tipped round the post by Blair Carswell for a corner as Spartans looked to hold out and on to their lead.

The corner came in and was remarkably poked home via the inside of the near post to make it 2-2.

As if the game hadn’t had enough drama by the 89th minute, more was still to follow.

Heading into injury time, Broomhill had possession deep in the home half.  Despite a valiant attempt to get the ball hoofed up the field, unfortunately the last effort saw contact made with a visiting player instead of leather and transgression inside the box saw the ref point to the spot.

The Cat was poised.  Eyeing up his man akin to a Lion sizing up a Zebra on the Serengeti.  Alan Cook stepped up.  He stroked the ball down low to his left from twelve yards.  Blair Carswell went the same way and pushed the ball to safety.

A counter-attack developed.  Spartans raced up the park in the rain.  Cammy Russell looked to be fouled on the edge of the box as he looked to square to Blair Henderson but nothing given.  Then, after winning the ball back again, Bradley Whyte went on one final lung-bursting run, but could only look on as his shot swung agonisingly away from the far post at the last moment.

The final whistle blew. The fans went home wet and ponderous. A draw most likely, conditions included, a fair result.

FT: The Spartans 2-2 Open Goal Broomhill

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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