|5th November 2016||15:00||Ferrari Packaging Lowland League||2016-17|
|Team||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
EAST STIRLINGSHIRE 2 DALBEATTIE STAR 1
Connor Greene’s injury-time goal gave Shire three valuable Ferrari Packaging Lowland League points against Dalbeattie Star at Ochilview and sent the team into second place in the league table.
Time was running out for Shire to find the winner when keeper Jamie Barclay launched a free-kick from inside his own half to Andy Rodgers. The striker crossed into the Dalbeattie penalty area, Paul Sludden headed across the face of goal and Greene was in the right place at the right time to fire the ball into the net for what turned out to be the winning goal.
But on a day where the lively visitors kept Shire on their toes it fell to Barclay, even deeper into injury-time, to preserve the advantage, making a brave save with his legs to prevent Dalbeattie scoring a second equaliser with what was the last kick of the game.
It was fitting that Barclay should have the final say in making sure Shire won because his saves earlier in the second period had given the team the platform on which to build their victory.
Shire had headed into the changing room at the half-time break 1-0 in front thanks to Rodgers’ 41st minute penalty kick which had been awarded after Greene was pushed in the back as he attempted to reach a corner kick.
But the visitors were in determined mood at the start of the second half. After 52 minutes Barclay had to throw himself across the face of his own goal to palm away a Joe Slattery shot at his near post that looked as though it would end up in the back of the net.
Two minutes later Steven Degnan sent a free-kick over from wide of the right, Slattery flashed a header toward goal and Barclay had to leap high to tip his effort over the crossbar.
But not long after Barclay was beaten from the penalty spot. The referee judged Derek Ure had fouled Degnan inside the box and James Baty levelled the scores from the spot.
Barclay’s work wasn’t done, though. Midway through the second half Lewis Todd got in behind the home defence and shot for goal and again the Shire keeper came to the rescue, throwing himself across goal to push the shot away.
Shire deserve praise for the way they kept going in spite of the threats to their goal. Late on the home team did manage to dominate but Sludden shot wide when well-placed and then David Grant mis-hit his effort when the goal opened up for him.
It genuinely looked as though Shire were going to be out of luck completely when, with three minutes to go, David Grant got in on goal only to see visiting keeper Vinny Parker pull off a fantastic save to deny him the game-winning goal.
As things turned out, Shire had one more chance to take the points and Greene did not disappoint.
Nevertheless, especially in the first half, Shire did struggle to create much in the way of goalmouth action. The visitors started strongly forcing three early corners before Todd almost opened the scoring after six minutes with a shot which shaved the top of the crossbar.
Shire responded and Rodgers was just a fraction away from converting a Sludden cross while later in the half Jamie Glasgow set up Sludden for what looked as though it might be the opening goal only for the Shire man to shoot over the bar.
Rodgers’ penalty had the chance to allow Shire to relax and play themselves into the game but that’s not how things worked out and it was Dalbeattie Star who instead created the better scoring opportunities only to find Barclay in top form.
SHIRE : Barclay, Murray, Allison, D. Grant, Greene, Faulds, Rodgers, Ure, D. Grant, Sludden, Glasgow.
DALBEATTIE STAR : Parker, Wilson, Thorburn, Wells, Maxwell, Baty, Todd(McHarrie 68), Ferguson, Muir, Degnan(Proudlock 80), Slattery(Park 77),.
|East Stirlingshire Home Ground|
|55 Gladstone Rd, Stenhousemuir, Larbert FK5, UK|