Steele wonder strike not enough to brighten up day for the Streamers

COLDSTREAM 1

SPARTANS 3

A debut double from new signing Craig Johnston and a late strike from Jamie Dishington saw Spartans dispose of plucky Coldstream to progress in the Football Nation Qualifying Cup.

Arriving at Home Park under a blanket of Borders blue sky, there was a feel of the Mediterranean in the air as the warm temperatures made it a fantastic day for football.

This was complimented by the lush green surface that the Coldstream ground staff have done a fantastic job with.

With a series of player movements causing the Spartans boss to reshuffle his pack more times than a croupier at the casino, there was a start for Spaniard Igor Gabiola while Craig Johnston and Craig Comrie made their debuts from the off.

The opening quarter of the match was predominately spent in Coldstream’s half as Spartans looked to make early possession turn into goals.

On another day, Keith Murray may have had a hat-trick early on, however, a combination of seasoned stopper Mark Walters and margins of inches denied the comeback striker.

Then, as the sides looked towards some respite from the unseasonal sunshine, Spartans delivered a telling double whammy.

Craig Stevenson continued to terrorise down the flank and his cross into the box was uncharacteristically fumbled by the dependable Walters and Johnston was the first to react and despatched accordingly.

Then, right on the half-time whistle, it was the same combination that linked with Johnston making it two with right foot drive from 10 yards.

Just five minutes had been played in bthe second half before Coldstream halved the deficit. Hagen Steele picked up the ball in the middle of the park and from a full 40 yards spotted a gap in Blair Carswell’s goal to unleash a strike that he’ll be dining on for some time to come.

The home support were almost given more cause to celebrate when Mark Johnston’s effort flashed past Carswell’s goal as the hosts looked to level proceedings.

Then, with 10 minutes left on the clock, Spartans confirmed their name in the hat for the next round draw when Broque Watson’s cross was hooked home under pressure by Jamie Dishington.