SPFL: Point on the road as Spartans end level against the Loons

Posted on Sunday, September 17th, 2023

The Spartans gained a point on the road in a pulsating encounter at Station Park that saw a sensational scissors kick strike by Mikey Allan and demand outstretching supply in the search for half time Forfar bridies.

It was a frantic start in pleasant conditions with a plethora of peep peeps coming from the match official’s whistle as the foul count tally marks were added with some frequency in the opening stages.

A cracking challenge by Mikey Allan in the middle of the Forfar half saw the ball break to Jamie Dishington who let fly from distance and it narrowly whizzed past the post.

Rhys Armstrong’s corner into the box caused chaos in the home six yard box.  Mikey Allan almost bundling the ball over from close range only for Mark McCallum to claw the ball away on his own line.

A long ball over the top of the Spartans defence saw Blair Carswell race off his line to clear to safety.  Unfortunately for The Cat, it was to be his final involvement in the game and he was replaced by Jacques Heraghty due to injury.

Spartans thought they’d taken the lead when Bradley Whyte slotted the ball home however he was denied the opener as the ricochet from McCallum’s save hit Whyte’s arm before he found the net.

It was the hosts who took the lead against the run of play in the 25th minute.  A fine tackle on the edge of the box by Ayrton Sonkur on Josh Skelly denied the home striker only for the ball to break to Seb Ross who found the top corner with his effort leaving Jacques Heraghty with little chance.

It was a home lead that lasted just three minutes.  Roberto Nditi’s header back to Marc McCallum saw the keeper get his hands on the ball then, as Blair Henderson closed him down, the Forfar goalie picked the ball up.  The Spartans striker noted this likely transgression and after a few seconds delay, Referee Andy Gamble offered the tourists and in-direct free-kick inside the box.  

McCallum clearly unimpressed earned himself a yellow card.  Henderson’s shot from the subsequent free-kick was well blocked only for hit to fall into the path of Mikey Allan on the edge of the box who unleashed a contender for goal of the season – a sublime scissors kick strike that flew into the back of the net.

Another enforced change for the visitors came when Sam Jones replaced James Craigen.

With half time on the horizon, it was Spartans who were to head into the sheds with their noses in front.

Jamie Dishington collecting the ball in midfield before sending a long pass beyond the Forfar defence for Blair Henderson to lob McCallum from inside the box to launch it into the empty net.

HT: Forfar Athletic 1-2 The Spartans

Spartans started lively after the break and Mikey Allan’s cross to the back post found Cammy Russell who just about grazed the top of the bar with his effort.

Just seven minutes after the interval however the score was all square once again.

Josh Skelly sending in a low delivery across the face of the goal where it found Mikey Allan and former Spartans favourite Mark Whately and in the clash to get to the ball for differing reasons, it invariably hit the net.  Whately credited by the hosts with the goal.

Forfar, looking for their first win of the campaign, almost found themselves in front only for a tremendous stop by Jacques Heraghty who denied Kieran Inglis with a flying stop.

The replacement goalie was then on hand to deny Rory MacLeod with another telling save.

Blair Henderson then had the ball in the net again, this time with the head, however the far side Assistant Referee adjudged him to be marginally offside.

Bradley Whyte forced McCallum into a fine save of his own when the Spartans playmaker cut inside before unleashed a tremendous shot that looked destined for the postage stamp, only for a set of Forfar fingers to top the ball over the bar.

There was further fine margins shortly after when Ryan Paterson was upended by Kevin Waugh.  The home support incandescent with rage that no spot kick was awarded however the foul was clearly on the right side of the whitewash for the Spartans skipper and a free-kick was the correct call.

With ten left on the clock, a double Spartans swap saw Sean Brown and Danny Denholm change places with Cammy Russell and Rhys Armstrong.

Neither side could find a winner in the final stages of a compelling contest and a point earned by both sides, on reflection, perhaps a fair outcome all round.

FT: Forfar Athletic 2-2 The Spartans

Next Fixture

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

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