Spartans end league campaign with home defeat

Ross Allum put Spartans ahead before Dalbeattie hit back to win
Ross Allum put Spartans ahead before Dalbeattie hit back to win
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Spartans finished their Lowland League campaign in third place despite a disappointing defeat at home to Dalbeattie Star.

Dougie Samuel was forced into a change between the sticks ahead of the match against the Dumfries side with Ross Gilpin deputising for the injured Blair Carswell whilst there was a 
return to the starting line-up for striker Jack Hay.

With 20 minutes on the clock, it was the home side who took a deserved lead. Enterprising play by Craig Stevenson opened up a gap to send Ross Allum into the Star penalty box and the former Edinburgh City striker unleashed an unstoppable drive that crashed into the net off the base of Graham Wright’s inside post.

Igor Gabiola was in the thick of the early action and his powerful strike saw Wright pull off one for the cameras with a fine save.

Somewhat against the run of play, Dalbeattie went in at the interval on level terms. Gilpin, largely a spectator from the Pilton Drive end, was beaten by a well-executed free-kick by Lewis Sloan, who found the postage stamp from the edge of the box.

Having scored five minutes before the break, Star perfected their recovery by taking the lead five minutes after the restart. A ‘Garry Owen’ up and under into the home penalty area saw Gilpin outjumped in an aerial assault and Tommy Muir was on hand to slot home the spillage into an empty net.

Teenage replacement Johnny Grotlin was close to opening up his senior squad account, with his attempt pinging around like a pinball amongst a plethora of legs in the Dalbeattie box.

Then, with two minutes left, Jack Beesley was upended on the edge of the box and Scott Maxwell could only look on in frustration as his effort beat the wall only for it to hit the inside of Wright’s post and bounce away to safety.

Spartans: Gilpin, Brown, Stevenson, Gabiola (Dishington), Tolmie, Greenhill, Beesley, Comrie (Grotlin), Allum, Hay (Maxwell), Townsley. Subs: Saunderson.

Dalbeattie Star: Wright, Murray, Thorburn, Todd, Maxwell, Baty, McHarrie, Dunglinson, Muir, Sloan, Brotherston (Slattery). Subs: Wells, Wison, Park, Slattery, Anderson.