Lowland League: Murrell magic sees hat-trick hero down Dalbeattie

Posted on Sunday, December 15th, 2019

Hat-trick hero Aaron Murrell was the toast of Ainslie Park on Saturday with a Man of the Match performance in an emphatic 4-0 victory over Dalbeattie Star in the Lowland League.

Blair Atkinson returned from a virus to take up one of the striker berths whilst suspended duo Dean Hoskins and Alan Brown took up their place in the stand. Ian McFarland made his hundredth appearance for Spartans whilst Murrell notched up his half century.

The last time the two sides met was at a dreich Dalbeattie and certainly the conditions were on a parallel at kick-off with Spartans in familiar pose, attacking the café end.

Early exchanges saw the hosts have the bulk of possession however it was at the other end that the first glimmer of goalmouth action took place as Blair Carswell showed some nifty feet to deal with not only a tricky passback, but to shimmy shammy round the pressing attacker before launching up the field.

The opening goal came in the 16th minute. Aaron Murrell dragged his marker to the edge of the box before swinging in a corner to the back post where it was met by the lurking Blair Atkinson who nodded back into the path of Jack Smith who headed into the empty net from a yard.

It took just five minutes to extend the lead when Referee Bushell awarded the hosts an indirect free-kick deep inside the box following a pass-back transgression. With every Dalbeattie player on (or at least within the vicinity) of the goal line, the ball was tapped to Aaron Murrell who thrashed it through the plethora of players to score.

Spartans were in fine form and for the bulk of the first half, Blair Carswell found himself as a mere spectator at the embankment end. He looked on too in the 39th minute when Murrell netted his second of the afternoon to put further light between the sides.

A long ball up the field by Michael Bolochoweckyj was met by Murrell who, with his back to goal, swung his foot round the ball and scooped it over the stranded Vinnie Parker and into the net.

HT: The Spartans 3-0 Dalbeattie Star

There was little festive cheer for the visitors and when Ross Green got unceremoniously skelpt square in the coupon by the ball at decidedly close range. It most certainly wouldn’t have been Christmas Bells ringing in his ear!

Spartans made their first change of the afternoon when Nicky Reid replaced Jack Smith. The pint-sized striker was to have an immediate impact when he out-wrestled Lee Wells on the bye-line to square for the unmarked Aaron Murrell to stab home for his hat-trick.

A further replacement with a quarter of the match remaining saw the welcome return of Dale Baxter who traded places with Murrell.

FT: The Spartans 4-0 Dalbeattie Star

Next Fixture

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

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