Vale suffer Motion sickness as late penalty earns Spartans a draw

Posted on Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

A Kevin Motion penalty with thirteen minutes to go saw Spartans salvage a point that Manager Dougie Samuel claimed “no-one would have begrudged” against Vale of Leithen at Ainslie Park.

After both sides picking up maximum points on the opening day of the season, an early midweek fixture at Ainslie Park saw a share of the spoils in this Lowland League clash.

Vale’s Moffat forced Bennett into tipping the ball over the crossbar with a speculative cross-come-shot as the visitors took the game to Spartans early on.

Spartans responded in fine attacking form with Henretty putting Brown into the box, but the mid-fielder was thwarted by O’Brian who pushed his effort round the post.

Early frustration started to creep into play and Referee Clark had to use her whistle with some regularity as the game descended into a midfield war of attrition.

A big shout from the Vale bench for a penalty kick was turned down when Moffat went down dramatically in the box under a MacKinnon challenge.

A Motion free-kick from 25 yards offered Spartans an opportunity to test the Vale keeper in the 25th minute however the deadball effort went sailing over the crossbar.

It was the visitors who took the lead shortly after. Gormley curled a cross into the box and it was an unmarked Moffat who headed the ball past the stranded Bennett on the Spartans goal with the defence making as plea in vain to the stand-side linesman for offside. 0-1.

Yellow cards were dished out to Grant and Gormley as the two clashed off the ball beside the technical areas.

Half-Time: Spartans 0-1 Vale of Leithen

An early response was needed and it almost came in the shape of Main.  The defender’s header shaved the post as he beat Young from a Motion free-kick.

There were loud appeals for a penalty again, this time from the Spartans camp as an old-fashioned goalmouth stramash saw Henretty brought to the ground and claims of handball thrown into the bargain!

A Motion strike at goal saw the unfortunate McKenzie hit the deck in some discomfort as Spartans threw everything into grabbing an equaliser.

Henretty was booked for a trip as the game opened up with the threat of a goal at either end.

A double substitution from Spartans saw Anderson and Grant withdrawn and they were replaced by Muhsin and Ross.

With the game heading into the final stages, a bad piece of decision making from the Vale keeper saw him hand Spartans a lifeline. With Henretty taking the ball away from goal across the six-yard box, the keeper quite inexplicably slid in and took the striker out.

It was the easiest decision of the night for Ms Clark to make as she pointed to the spot, despite the ‘innocent face’ gesture of the arms being thrown out wide by O’Brian.

Motion stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way, much to the delight – and relief – of the home support and bench alike.

Vale with a chance though right away as they are awarded a freekick about 20 yards out, which saw Sivewright the latest to incur the wrath of the Ref. The wall however stood its ground and the ball was unceremoniously hoofed up the park away from the danger area.

Spartans looked most likely to go on and grab the winner and the crowd will still be unsure as to how Brown’s thunderous strike failed to go in off the upright.

One final chance of glory came in the final seconds when Henretty robbed Vale’s Rennie outside his own box.  His pass sent Brown up the line and after he hurdled Young’s challenge on the edge of the penalty area, he cut it back for Whatley who could only manage to put it over the bar.

Full Time: Spartans 1-1 Vale of Leithen

After the game, Manager Dougie Samuel was delighted to get a point in the end. “It looked like it wasn’t going to be our night, but fair play to the players who fought til the end and a point was the least they deserved.

“If we look back over the number of chances that were created in the second half by us then I think no-one would begrudge us a point on the night.”

With his side going in at half-time a goal down, Samuel commented that he had a chance at the break to go over a few things ahead of the second half.

“We changed our shape after the break and when we went to 4-2-4, there was only one team really who was pushing for the win, and that was us.”

Spartans line-up: Bennett, MacKinnon, Cennerazzo, Sivewright, Main, Motion, Brown, Grant, Anderson, Whatley, Henretty.  Subs: Ross, Blaikie, Muhsin, Carswell.

Crime count: Yellow Cards > Henretty, Sivewright

Malt & Hops Man of the Match: Alan Brown


Next Fixture

                     
Date: Saturday 13th April
Opponent: Stranraer FC
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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