Spartans go back top of the Lowland League

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Spartans moved back to the top of the Scottish Lowland League with a narrow 2-1 victory over Gala Fairydean Rovers.

Spartans started the game well and Jack Beesley forced John Dodds into an early save following some impressive skill, juggling the ball with his feet to get past several Gala defenders.

They took a deserved lead in the 14th minute. Willie Bremner raced free on the left wing, turned inside and fired in a strike which Dodds could only palm away. The ball ran along the goal line, where Keith McLeod was waiting to blast the ball home from six yards out.

Gala got back on level terms, against the run of play, in the 40th minute. A throw-in was flicked into the box by Sean Paliczka and Marc Berry was able to get a foot onto it in the six-yard box and blast it high into the net.

Spartans immediately went on the attack, looking to get back into the game and Keith McLeod hit the bar twice within 60 seconds, first with a great curling shot from the edge of the box and moment later firing a low shot onto the base of the post.

The second half was much closer event and neither side were able to create clear goal scoring chances. Gala, with the wind at their back, were causing problems on the counter attack while Spartans were struggling to continue the creativity in the final third they had shown in the first half.

It was McLeod however who had the first chance of the second half, his glancing header from a corner kick however was cleared off the line by Marc Berry with an overhead kick in the 62nd minute.

Des Sutherland forced Spartans keeper Scott Bennett into a neat save with a low free-kick from the edge of the box while Dean McColm’s shot from the edge of the box in the 74th minute was held by Bennett.

Spartans were award a penalty in the 83rd minute when Alan Brown appeared to be first pushed, then tripped in the box. With usual penalty taker McLeod having just been subbed off, John Grant stepped up and blasted the ball low into the middle of the net.

Spartans: Bennett, Grant, Cennerazzo, Blaikie, MacKinnon, Bremner (Beacher), Brown, Whatley, Henretty (Atkinson), McLeod (Ross), Beesley. Unused: Gilpin, Trialist

Gala Fairydean Rovers: Dodds, Miller, Mair, Bonnar, McBride, Sutherland (Common), McColm, Berry, Gibson, Paloczka, Jardine. Unused: Collins, Steven Noble, Stuart Noble, Greene.