Lowland League: Spartans leave it late to snatch win against Selkirk

Posted on Saturday, December 9th, 2017

Spartans left it late to snatch victory against Selkirk in a game that was decided in a jam-packed final ten minutes at a bitterly cold Ainslie Park.

With seasoned campaigners Alan Brown, Mikey Herd and Willie Bremner all unavailable, Spartans gaffer Dougie Samuel shuffled his cards seeing the return of Blair Carswell between the sticks and four Under 2os current or graduate players on the bench along with seasoned campaigner A. Trialist who was to have the ultimate impact on his introduction to the game.

Fans were offered the opportunity to watch this Ferrari Packaging Lowland League encounter for free in support of the Academy’s Foodbank donation campaign and their overwhelming generosity saw staff wheel away the bins of shopping backs with some regularity.

There wasn’t as much Christmas spirit on display on the pitch as both sides set out their stall early on.  Spartans had the bulk of possession in the opening period.  New recruit Jason Stevens thought he’d notched up his debut Spartans goal only to see his effort flagged for offside then Ross Allum was perhaps unlucky to have been penalised for a foul on Selkirk keeper Gregor Amos as the players collided in an aerial challenge.

Malt and Hops sponsored Man of the Match Craig Stevenson was next up to try his luck with a free-kick from 25 yards.  His dead ball effort clearing the wall but only to find the gloves of Amos.  The same player almost turned provider for an opener as his cross from out wide found Ross Allum in the 18 yard box but he couldn’t get over the ball enough to direct his header below the bar.

As the aroma of the half time pies started luring the frozen fans to the Café, Selkirk almost snatched the unlikeliest of leads based on the balance of play.  A counter attack saw the home side on the back foot and when the ball was flashed across the home box, former Spartans starlet George Hunter (thankfully) contrived to shoot over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

HT: Spartans 0-0 Selkirk

Both sides failed to make inroads after the break, with lots of huff and puff in the middle of the paddock but a lack of penetration all round.

Spartans made a double substitution in the 72nd minute with Adam Corbett and Trialist striker replacing Scott Maxwell and Jason Stevens as Samuel looked to bring fresh legs into the game.

The game finally sparked into life in the final ten minutes and it was hold on to your hat stuff.

Spartans took the lead from the spot after Ross Allum was sent crashing as he made a run into the penalty area.  He dusted himself down and sent Gregor Amos the wrong way however just two minutes later, things were back on level terms once again.  George Hunter popping up at the back post to divert home to mark his return to Ainslie Park with a goal.

With scorelines elsewhere in the league unfolding in Spartans’ favour, there was to be a further twist in this late dramatic conclusion in the cold.

A final replacement was made, with teenager Mikey Allan becoming the sixth product of the Spartans Academy pathway to make a First Team appearance this season.

Moments later, a sea of white jerseys went on a cavalry style charge in search of that elusive winner.   Ian McFarland pulling the trigger but only to see his strike saved by Amos, but the keeper could only parry into the path of the hovering Trialist who slotted the rebound home.  Cue scenes.

Selkirk picked up the pace as they sought out their second equaliser of the afternoon but it wasn’t to be and when Referee Scott Millar put his whistle to mouth one last time, a mix of relief and joy rung around the ground from the home support and bench in equal measure.

FT: Spartans 2-1 Selkirk

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Craig Stevenson

Spartans: Carswell, Nixon, Stevenson, Tolmie, Thomson, Greenhill, Dishington, McFarland, Allum (Allan), Stevens (Trialist), Maxwell (Corbett).  Subs (Not Used) Atkinson, Dawson, Stobie.







Next Fixture

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

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