Lowland League: Spartans go top

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Spartans moved to the top of the Lowland League with a 3-0 victory away at Gretna 2008. The Capital side opened the scoring in the tenth minute when Kevin Motion’s cross from the right was headed over the Gretna keeper and into the net by Mark Whatley.

McLeod was desperately unlucky in the 24th minute as he latched on to a slack pass-back and after rounding a stranded Graham Wright, he slipped as he stroked the ball towards the line, taking the sting out of the shot and allowing Ross Johnston to slide in to clear the ball off the goal line.

John Grant did double the advantage in the 34th minute. Left back Danny Main, who caused the Gretna defence problems all afternoon, raced down the left side of the pitch and crossed into the box where Grant had to leap high above the Gretna defenders to get his head onto it and direct it into the goal.

McLeod had an excellent chance to extend the lead just after half time when he latched on to a great long ball pass, Wright in the Gretna goal was quick off his line however and managed to snatch the ball away from the striker’s feet.

Just moments later, in the 59th minute, Spartans did find a third goal when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. Dead ball specialist Kevin Motion stepped up to curl the ball into the top corner of the net.

Substitute Thomas Lucock had the best chance for the visitors as they tried to find a way back into the game however Spartans keeper Scott Bennett was able to get a hand to the strike and scoop it away to safety.

Spartans manager Dougie Samuel was delighted with the performance of his team as well as the convincing away win. “It was important to demonstrate we could win big games on the road. On and off the ball it was an excellent performance.”

Gretna 2008: Wright, Blake, Inglis, Johnston, Wallace, Todd (McMath), Reynard (Slattery), Earl, Shiel (Lucock), Longcake, Atkinson. Unused subs: Rudd, Adamson.

Spartans: Bennett, Grant, Main, Sivewright, MacKinnon, Blaikie, Brown (Beesley), Whatley, Henretty, McLeod (Ross), Motion (O’Day). Unused subs: Anderson, Gilpin.