SPFL: Super Sonkur sinks Stranraer with dramatic double

Posted on Sunday, February 18th, 2024

It was a game full of downpours, dramas, debating points and an incredible Sonkur smash and grab in second half injury time at Stair Park as Spartans remained undefeated against their hosts this season so far.

Some of the crowd who had braved the elements had barely made it to their seats before Blair Carswell had been called into action, producing a fine stop in the opening minute to deny James Dolan scoring the earliest of openers.

With the surface sodden, it was made for textbook sliding challenges and it wasn’t long before Ayrton Sonkur enjoyed the opportunity to utilise his long frame to stretch out on the ground to make a telling tackle.  Quite what kitman Ralph Buchanan made of it with the team playing in their white kit is another matter!

When Danny Denholm put Cammy Russell into the box to subsequently finish with aplomb, the joy of scoring turned to dejection with the main stand lino, racing up and down on a tricky muddy track, raising his flag aloft.

His counterpart at the other end of the field was to come to Spartan rescue shortly after when Tam Orr netted, but he was adjudged to be offside too.

Cammy Russell then collected the ball deep in his own half and as he set out on a break on the bed of treacle, he was taken out by Kyle Fleming who earned a booking for his troubles.

Then, the hosts took the lead.  A burst down the wing resulted in a ball crossed along the tricky surface.  Blair Carswell got down low, Tam Orr was there too.  The Cat saving the shot only for the ball to ride over his frame and Orr tapping home the rebound.

HT: Stranraer 1-0 The Spartans

A change at the break saw Sam Jones replace Jamie Dishington.  Jones easy to make out in his resplendent white outfit amongst the backdrop of muddy men.

Spartans pressed hard for the equaliser with a suite of chances following the interval.  A Cammy Russell cross narrowly missing Blair Henderson in the box, Sam Jones laying off for Callum Booth who was blocked from close range and Jones sending a low drive that was collected by the keeper at the second attempt.

As the half moved on to its midway point, Blair Carswell was once again the Spartans saviour with a top stop to deny Matty Grant.

A trio of swaps saw Sean Brown, Bradley Whyte and Jordan Tapping replace Armstrong, Denholm and Paul Watson as gaffer Douglas Samuel looked to fresh up legs that had worked tirelessly on the heavy conditions.

Tapping was to be in the thick of the action shortly after when Deryn Lang won possession out wide.  Both players set off on a foot-race into the box and a last gasp challenge by the talismanic defender saw Lang stumble to the ground in the box.  Cue shouts for a penalty from the home contingent but to no avail.

There was just two minutes on the clock when the two players were to lock horns once again.  Lang looked clear as he raced in for a one-on-one with Carswell however out of absolutely nowhere, Tapping had tracked back to put in a tackle that was to have a significant impact on the outcome of the game.

Meanwhile at the other end, the late show was just beginning…

Blair Carswell’s 92nd minute clearance was nodded down by Ayrton Sonkur and when it came back to Bradley Whyte on the edge of the box, he sent the ball to the back post where Sonkur positioned himself to head back across goal to net the equaliser.  A point rescued on the road.  Ah, but wait, the fat lady had yet to sing…

Deep into added on time, five minutes to be exact, Cammy Russell’s corner was palmed in the air by the keeper, Kieran Watson was on the bye-line to head back into the crowded six yard box then the long leg of Ayrton Sonkur stretched out to send the ball high into the net to cue absolute scenes.

FT: Stranraer 1-2 The Spartans

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Ayrton Sonkur

Next Fixture

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

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