Lowland League | Rollercoaster at Rose sees Spartans fightback to earn draw

Posted on Monday, January 10th, 2022

Spartans made their inaugural visit to New Dundas Park at the third season of asking in what turned out to be a proverbial game of two halves.

It what offers the foundations of a future pub quiz question, Spartans scored four goals in a pulsating 2-2 draw against Bonnyrigg Rose in the Lowland League match of the day.

The recent inclement had made the paddock a bit precarious, with a sympathetic covering of sand across the goalmouths and centre circle however the ground staff had done a sterling job to get the game on – despite news to the contrary on the BBC Sport website which listed the game as postponed.

With the Scottish Government’s restrictions still in place, a capacity 500 crowd welcomed the teams out onto the pitch from the sheds and strapped themselves in for a ninety minute rollercoaster ride.

The Spartans shot into the sun first half however it was the hosts who made hay whilst the sun shone, which wasn’t for long. Just seven minutes on the clock had elapsed when McGachie sent in a low cross but it was agonisingly despatched into the net by a stricken Spartans defender.

It could have been two moments later but for the goal line clearance by Kevin Waugh who somehow managed to block a certain net bound shot and the ball was hoofed to safety.

Jamie Dishington came close to bringing the visitors back in line however his effort could only flash across the keeper’s six yard box and behind.

Mikey Herd earned a caution in the middle of the park following a robust challenge on Gray that brought much harrumphing from the home dug-out who voiced their disapproval.

There jeers turned into cheers shortly after when they doubled their lead. From the resultant free-kick, the hosts worked the ball up the field and when Barrett whipped in a low cross, the ball was sent beyond Blair Carswell for the second time by a hapless defender.

Spartans once again rallied and ahead of the interval they almost grabbed a lifeline when Sam Jones collected the ball on the edge of the 18 yard box however he could only send his powerful shot over the bar.

Frustratingly though, with Dougie Samuel’s side having played the better football in the half, they found themselves heading to the sheds two goals down.

HT: Bonnyrigg Rose 2-0 The Spartans

The opening quarter of an hour after the oranges (proverbial, just in case anyone from Covid compliance is reading) were largely note free save for some testosterone fuelled engagement between the benches and the odd exchange of pleasantries on the field. One such interaction causing the Ref to pull in a couple of lads for a chat, one imagines, to suggest they all calm down.

A sodden and trodden surface having as much bounce as a dead goldfish wasn’t the way forward for dynamic fast flowing footy however the 22 out there tried valiantly to give it a go.

As the floodlights burned under the blanket of night time sky, Spartans made a change with Sean Brown replacing the industrious Alan Brown.

Cammy Russell then lined up a free-kick some 25 yards out. Whilst his dead ball effort cleared the wall, it was met with the welcoming arms of the Rose keeper.

Then, with fifteen minutes left on the clock, Spartans pulled a goal back to set up that cliched ‘grandstand finish’.

A free-kick launched towards the back post, saw Ryan Finnie shake off his marker and he offered enough ooomph on his effort that could only see the home keeper parry the ball deeper into his net as he attempted to halt it on the line.

Another couple of replacements saw Sam Newman and Calum Burns enter the fray at the expense of Russell and Finnie.

Spartans then had the goal frame to thank after Evans launched a shot, it was deflected and crashed off the woodwork before getting the laces royal sent through the ball.

With five minutes to go, it was suddenly – and on the balance deservedly – all square. Calum Burns sending in a long ball into the Rose penalty area, it was headed high into the air by a defender before it fell, invitingly, into the path of Sean Brown. He wrapped his foot round the leather and sent it low into the bottom corner despite the goalie’s despairing dive at his post.

All square with five minutes to go. Alas, a hero there was not to be. Plenty of talking points to chew over, even media reports of a home side penalty claim that failed to even grace this or the home side’s match resume. It’s a funny old game…

FT: Bonnyrigg Rose 2-2 The Spartans

Next Fixture

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

cinch J-Teq EMS Solutions Ltd Spentwell JB Contracts (Scotland) Ltd
Mintbox Removals Johnstone Carmichael Consider IT Shepherd Chartered Surveyors
Sonsie Face Westwoods Health Club Mr Eion Coffee Hart Lifts
Soho IT CHAS Jim Martin