SPARTANS renewed their Lowland League title challenge with victory in a bad-tempered clash against East Stirlingshire.

Dougie Samuel’s team ended the recent rot with a 4-3 win in a game which saw both teams reduced to 10 men.

Blair Atkinson grabbed a hat-trick for the defending champions with David Greenhill also netting from the penalty spot.

Spartans boss Samuel said: “We’ve had a few set-backs in recent weeks so a win today was vital to get back on track.

“We looked like we had secured the points when we were 4-1 up against 10-men but credit to East Stirlingshire for coming back at us the way they did.

“I am disappointed with losing the late goals but happy with the win.”

Paul McAfftery scored a brace and Ross Allum got Shire’s third.

Craig Stevenson was red-carded for Spartans while Chris McKee was ordered off for the visitors.

A stunning strike from former East Fife striker Stuart Cargill keeps Kelty Hearts on top of the Lowland League.

The 29-year-old netted with just 10 minutes to go at Galabank to give Barry Ferguson’s team a 1-0 win over Edusport Academy.

Civil Service Strollers came from behind to beat Gretna at Christie Gillies Park.

Andrew Mair had cancelled out Gretna’s early opener before David Churchill grabbed a late winner.

Strollers boss Gary Jardine said: “These are the games where you’re hoping to get all three points but it took a lot of character to come back and win that one.

“Both Gretna and ourselves are in that pack below the top teams and there wasn’t a great deal between us today.”

Vale of Leithen’s match with Cumbernauld Colts was postponed due a waterlogged pitch at Victoria Park.