Lowland League | Allan key in turning screw in Spartans Christmas comeback mission

Posted on Saturday, December 24th, 2022

A dynamic double from Mikey Allan saw Spartans reverse a half time deficit in the pouring rain at Netherdale and give Gaffer Dougie Samuel the perfect early Christmas present of a win on the road.

There was a welcome return to the bench for Jordan Tapping following a recent period on the treatment table in a Spartans side that featured four Academy Pathway Graduates in the starting XI and Miko Komocki on the bench with the replacement gloves.

It was a decidedly foul evening in the Borders heartland however the recent re-opening of the iconic concrete listed stand allowed the hardy supporters much needed shelter as the rain fell throughout the evening.

On with the game and in apt festive fashion, A Shepherd got the match underway and the wise men of Spartans attacked towards the rugby club end.

It was almost an early opener for the tourists when Bradley Whyte had a snap shot in the box but Ryan Goodfellow was equal to the task. The Gala goalie had to look lively moments later when he thwarted the diving Blair Henderson from nodding home.

At the other end it was an early opportunity for the host and a deflected effort wrong footed Adam Meek however the base of the post saved Spartans from going behind against the run of play.

Kevin Waugh was in typical no-nonsense fashion at the back and his pair of successive telling tackles kept the Rovers at bay.

There was a combined appeal for a spot-kick from Mikey Allan and Blair Henderson when their aerial battle saw them and a Gala defender fall to the floor on the six yard line with the ball appearing to hit the latter on the arm. It wasn’t convincing enough for Referee Shepherd who waved play on.

Then, with five minutes to go until some respite from the rain, a deep corner to the back post saw Gareth Rodger climb to head beyond Adam Meek and give his side the lead.

HT: Gala Fairydean Rovers 1-0 The Spartans

Spartans made a change at the break with Jordan Tapping replacing Josh Laing.

The second half was just six minutes old when Spartans levelled proceedings. An average effort from Mikey Allan saw him turn to race back into position but his journey was cut short when it turned into celebration after Ryan Goodfellow allowed the ball to slip through his gloves and legs and it skited across the slippery carpet into the net.

Gala gaffer Martin Scott’s blood pressure was taking a battering as his side continued to put themselves under the cosh with their determination to play from the back as Spartans pressed to take the lead.

The ball did find itself in the Rovers net when Blair Henderson tapped home however the stand-side AR raised his flag in the rain to deny the striker.

However, the next time the Gala defence was breached, it was legitimate and it was Mikey Allan once again who was on hand to scoop the ball beyond Goodfellow and into the net to swing the pendulum in his side’s favour.

The celebrations from the Spartan Army contingent in the stand had barely ended when Jamie Dishington found himself in acres of space inside the box. With no written invitation required, he composed himself before sending an unstoppable strike home for Spartans’ second in as many minutes.

Sam Jones and Ian McFarland then replaced Gavin Morrison and Rhys Armstrong to freshen things in the middle of the park.

There was one final request for a spot-kick from the visitors, instead, the remonstrations from the visting bench were deemed to be in contravention of the spirit of Christmas and a card was offered to Assistant Manager Darren Cameron for his troubles.

FT: Gala Fairydean Rovers 1-3 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