Coldstream 2-1 Spartans Reserves

Coldstream defender Kieran Ainslie in the thick of the action for Coldstream against Spartans. Picture: Stuart Cobley
Coldstream defender Kieran Ainslie in the thick of the action for Coldstream against Spartans. Picture: Stuart Cobley

Coldstream came from behind to record their first home win the league since March 2014 and boost their survival hopes in the East of Scotland Premier Division.

John Crawford’s free-kick and Luke Strangeways’ first goal for the club since joining from Wooler last month secured a valuable three points in the battle to beat the drop.

Coldstream manager Stephen Gibbard.

Coldstream manager Stephen Gibbard.

Stevie Gibbard’s men remain bottom of the table on ten points, but are now only one goal behind Craigrosyton and have a game in hand over the Edinburgh side.

Spartans were the visitors the last time Coldstream recorded a home win in the league, but that was 11 months ago. The Streamers have won cup ties on home turf since then, but three points were essential in this fixture in order to cling on to Craigroyston’s coattails in the relegation battle.

Coldstream showed character to come back from 1-0 down at the break, taking their chances when they came along. They also had goalkeeper Mark Walters to thank for pulling off a string of superb saves in an outstanding performance.

“Mark showed with that performance why he is the best goalkeeper in the East of Scotland League,” said relieved manager Stevie Gibbard, pictured. “That was a massive three points. The second-half performance was much better and this win will give us a big lift. We need to kick on from here.”

Spartans were by far the better team in the first half, pinning Coldstream back. They took a deserved lead on the half hour when a cross from the right was superbly volleyed into the corner of the net from 16 yards by Davy Stewart.

Coldstream equalised early in the second half when Crawford curled a free-kick into the bottom corner from just outside the box.

The captain played his part in the winner too. It came from a long kick upfield by Walters – a tactic Coldstream used effectively in the second half. Crawford won the flick-on and Strangeways, who had timed his run in behind to perfection, chested down before volleying home from just inside the box.

Coldstream: Walters, Johnson, Graham, Allan, Ainslie, Neill, Heugh (Rutherford 64), Hebdon, Crawford, Oliver, Strangeways. Subs not used: McLeod, Gibbard.