SPFL 2: Spartans second half double sinks Sons

Posted on Saturday, October 21st, 2023

The Spartans notched up their second clean sheet of the SPFL season when as they defeated Dumbarton 2-0 at Ainslie Park in this top four clash.

Michael Allan was the only change from the starting XI that defeated Stranraer in a seven goal thriller two weeks previously, swapping the defensive slot with Kieran Watson as Douglas Samuel looked to extend an unbeaten run that had reached five Cinch League 2 games.

North Edinburgh was gratefully left relatively unscathed from Storm Babet and Ainslie Park was treated to prolonged and strong low level sunshine that left fans in the stand shielding their eyes throughout.

Ahead of kick-off, the players, officials and mascots showed their support for the Show Racism the Red Card campaign whilst players wore black armbands as a mark of respect for those who had lost their lives in the Israel / Gaza conflict.

Kick-off saw Spartans shoot towards the café in their customary style. A couple of early corners were won however Brett Long was on hand to ensure the Dumbarton last line of defence wasn’t breached.

Blair Henderson done well to control a ball that troubled the seagulls such was the height it gained as it made its way into the box.  He nudged it to Cammy Russell who forced Long into a save at his near post.

Dumbarton looked to fight back and it took a Danny Denholm overhead clearance to keep the Sons at bay.

There was a shout at the other end for a spot-kick when Blair Henderson looked to be manhandled in the box as he was shoved over however the outcome of a corner was scant consolation for the Spartans striker.

With the interval on the horizon, Jacques Heraghty was called upon and he done just about enough to thwart Shiels at the back post and get enough of a glove on the ball to turn behind for a corner.

HT: The Spartans 0-0 Dumbarton

Spartans started the second half in positive fashion with Danny Denholm desperately unlucky for the second game in a row, this time his neat turn and effort narrowly flashed past the post.

Cammy Russell was next up to have a pop, darting across the edge of the box to forge open an opportunity before his shot was inches away from breaking the deadlock.

On the hour mark there was a welcome return to action for Jamie Dishington who replaced the industrious Danny Denholm.

Just four minutes later, that opening goal came and it was courtesy of Cammy Russell.

The playmaker latching onto the ball inside the box before composing himself then releasing the sucker punch as the ball flew into the back of the net.

The same player shortly after was a crossbar width away from doubling the lead after Jamie Dishington earned a free-kick after a number of fouls that saw counting continue on one’s second hand. 

A further change saw Gavin Morrison change places with Rhys Armstrong with just over ten minutes left on the clock.

Then, with the sands of time trickling down through the hour (and a half) glass of play, a swift counter attack out of the Spartans half saw the home side double their lead and secure the three points.

Cammy Russell, the recipient of the Malt and Hops Man of the Match award, picking up the ball deep inside his own half.  His vision and perfectly weighted through ball found Jamie Dishington who sent it across the box to Bradley Whyte who delivered it home with aplomb.

Paul Watson was introduced to make a long awaited appearance in a Spartans jersey when he replaced Blair Henderson.

FT: The Spartans 2-0 Dumbarton

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 20th April
Opponent: Bonnyrigg Rose
Venue:New Dundas Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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