Lowland League: Spartans pay price; Whitehill win

Sent off: Jack Beesley

Sent off: Jack Beesley

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A rather disjointed Spartans lost ground on league leaders East Kilbride last night as they went down 1-0 to Cumbernauld Colts at Ainslie Park.

Dougie Samuel’s men are now five points adrift of Kilby with Cumbernauld also leapfrogging the Capital club into second place with their fifth win on the trot.

Jack Beesley, who recently netted his 50th goal for Spartans, was shown a straight red card with 17 minutes remaining for a late lunge on Andy Ward before Craig Stevenson joined his team-mate two minutes later for kicking out at an opponent.

Ross Kavanagh’s poacher’s finish just before the half-hour mark ensured the visitors left with all three points despite some sustained pressure from the hosts in the second half.

Defender Chris Townsley should have at least directed his header on target from eight yards in the 15th minute following a Beesley corner before Kavanagh punished a rather clumsy looking defence when he nipped in ahead of Eddie Malone to prod the ball into the net.

Townsley again spurned another opportunity to score right on the stroke of half-time but badly miscued his header wide from another Beesley corner.

Cumbernauld appeared content to soak up anything the home side threw their way, but any momentum was lost when both Beesley, who could consider himself a tad unlucky, and Stevenson were sent for early showers.

Meanwhile, Whitehill Welfare picked up an impressive three points in the Borders as a brace from Michael Osborne gave them a 3-2 win over Gala Fairydean Rovers.

The Roswell club twice found themselves ahead only to be pegged back at Netherdale before former Preston Athletic midfielder Osborne rifled home the winner with just four minutes to spare.

Osborne had given the visitors a 25th minute lead from a rebound off the post but Darren Smith levelled the match from the penalty spot four minutes after the restart.

Connor McGregor’s free-kick restored Whitehill’s lead before Adam Watson again drew the home side level.

However, Osborne’s blistering strike into the top corner won it.

Preston Athletic were beaten 3-0 by Vale of Leithen at the Pennypit while Edinburgh University and Civil Service Strollers played out a goalless draw at East Peffermill.