Townsley is double trouble for Gretna in Spartans second half salvo

Posted on Saturday, September 10th, 2016

A frantic four goal fifteen minute second half spell saw Spartans race to three valuable Lowland League points in a 4-1 win over Gretna 2008 at Ainslie Park.

It was a frustrating opening period for Dougie Samuel’s Spartans in the North Edinburgh sunshine with neither goalkeeper being forced into action during the proverbial midfield war of attrition battle.

Referee Kirkland was busy in the middle with several robust challenges going in as both sides looked to gain an upperhand on proceedings early in the match.

Adam Telfer had the first opportunity for the visitors when he pounced on the ball inside the Spartans half.  His long range audacious bid to lob Blair Carswell more in hope than expectation.

The crossbar came to the aid of Gretna’s Jack Leighfield as Blair Tolmie rattled the woodwork with a thunderous drive from the edge of the box as Spartans looked to turn their dominance into goals.

Scott Maxwell was next to draw applause from the home support with some fine footwork on visitor’s eighteen yard line to set up Jamie Dishington to drive over the bar.

HT: Spartans 0-0 Gretna 2008

The deadlock was finally broken in the 63rd minute and it came from Man of the Match Jamie Dishington.  Patient play in midfield allowed the ball to finally make its way to the youngster who despatched accordingly.

Broque Watson was introduced at the expense of Keith Murray who worked hard throughout and seconds later, the ball breached the Gretna whitewash once again.

A free-kick from out on the corner flag by Herd was met powerfully by the head of Chris Townsley who bulleted home with gusto.

There was a further change in the 77th minute when Eddie Malone was replaced by Igor Gabiola and the Spaniard was instrumental in setting up Watson who managed to stay upright despite attempts to down the pacemaker to drill home.

Birthday boy Brad Raiker came on for his Trialist team mate and it was to be a happy 21st celebration for him as he watched Scott Maxwell’s corner once again nodded in by Townsley.

Gretna were awarded a late opportunity to grab a consolation and it was from the penalty spot after Herd was adjudged to have felled his opponent inside the box.  McCartney stepped up and sent Carswell the wrong way to score.

Watson was unlucky not to added further to the Spartans total in injury time.  First up was a delightful run and strike that clipped the corner of the bar and post, then, with the final play of the match, Gabiola’s perfectly weighted pass put the on loan lad in one-on-one with the keeper, only for Referee Kirkland to blow for full time.

FT: Spartans 4-1 Gretna 2008

Spartans: Carswell, Herd, Thomson, Tolmie, Townsley, Greenhill, Trialist (Raiker 80), Maxwell, Murray (Watson 65), Dishington, Malone (Gabiola 77). Subs (Not Used) Gilpin.

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Jamie Dishington

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 27th April
Opponent: Peterhead
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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