SPARTANS went joint top of the Lowland League with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Whitehill Welfare at Ferguson Park.

David Greenhill’s first half goal was added to by a Jamie Dishington strike on the hour.

But Welfare made it a nervy finish with Kerr Dodds scoring with quarter of an hour remaining.

Spartans manager Dougie Samuel said: “No team can come here and expect an easy game.

“Whitehill made it difficult and we had to be at our best this afternoon.”

Spartans, who have a game in hand, are now level on points with leaders East Kilbride with only four and three games remaining, respectively.

Hawick Royal Albert were officially relegated after going down 4-1 at home to East Stirlingshire.

Connor Greene, Paul Sludden, Derek Ure and Andy Rodgers all scored for Shire with Cormac O’Brien netting a late consolation.

A last-gasp penalty from Darren Smith prevented Dalbeattie Star leaving Netherdale with a vital three points.

Tommy Muir had fired Star into a two-goal lead before being sent off.

Gala Fairydean Rovers responded through Kieran Ainslie and Smith’s 97thminute spot kick to make it 2-2.

Gala gaffer Steven Noble said: “Nobody wants to finish second bottom and if we’d been beaten today it would have made it very difficult to stay above Dalbeattie and away from the bottom two.

“It was a game of two halves and I am relieved to have got the draw.”

Vale of Leithen, who are currently second bottom, were pegged back for a 2-2 draw by Gretna at Victoria Park.

Sean Stewart had cancelled out Gretna’s opener from Ellis Pearson before Liall Smith edged the hosts in front.

But a Jack Hunter strike in the closing stages earned Gretna a draw.

Early strikes from Martin Grehan and Stevie Murray kept BSC Glasgow in fourth as they beat Civil Service Strollers 2-1 at the Indodrill Stadium.

Ciaren Chalmers headed Selkirk towards a top five finish as they saw off Cumbernauld Colts 1-0 at Yarrow Park.

Selkirk assistant manager Jonathan Craig said: “It wasn’t a game full of quality but it was a big win for us.

“We want to finish at the top of the teams chasing the top four and we got a bit closer to that today.”

Edusport Academy and Stirling University fought out a goalless draw at the Falkirk Stadium.