McLeod marches on despite derby defeat

Posted on Saturday, January 11th, 2014

Spartans lost out in the Edinburgh Derby at a bitterly cold Ainslie Park in a game that saw all four goals scored in the second half and Keith McLeod maintaining his emphatic goal-scoring run, with the Lowland League’s Player of the Month now having found the net in each of his 12 consecutive outings.

Spartans went into the game looking for three points to keep the pressure on Section B leaders Stirling Uni and they got off to a promising start when Referee Nick Walsh pointed to the spot in the 12th minute after City defender Donaldson was penalised for man-handling McLeod in the six yard box.

Unfortunately for the prolific hitman, his penalty kick hit the post and away to safety by Stobie in the City goal.

It was all one way traffic as Spartans looked to capitalise on the early possession and it took another save by the City keeper, this time at point blank range from Bremner, to keep the home side at bay.

Following Cennerazzo being crudely scythed down as he raced towards the City box on a rampaging run, Motion’s resultant free-kick failed to dip down fast enough and it skimmed the top of the bar.

City made a rare venture into the Spartans box and it took a timely challenge by John Grant to deny Wilson a clear shot at Bennett.

It was an even closer call for Dougie Samuel’s men three minutes before the interval when Aaron James looked to finish off a fine midfield move however he was found wanting as his finished product went comfortably wide.

Half Time: Spartans 0-0 Edinburgh City

It took until the 59th minute before the deadlock was broken and it was against the run of play that saw the visitors take the lead.

A break through the middle of the field saw the Spartans defence caught cold, in the literal and metaphorical sense, and Ian McFarland race in to drill the ball low and hard passed the outstretched arm of Bennett. 0-1.

It didn’t take long for the men from Meadowbank to double their lead and it was done in some style.  Ryan Wilson collected the ball on the edge of the18 yard box and he flicked the ball up one way, then the other, before unleashing an unstoppable strike into the net. 0-2.

Spartans manager Dougie Samuel looked to change his side’s fortunes and a triple substitution saw Muhsin, Henretty and Brown replace Main, Beesley and Motion in the 71st minute.

The trio didn’t have much of an opportunity to make an impact before City grabbed a decisive third.  A mix-up at the back saw Referee Walsh award a free-kick just outside the box.  Aaron James cleared the wall with his effort and it crashed in under the crossbar leaving Bennett with no chance to make it 0-3, sending the small band of City supporters into untold joy.

A spirited effort to get back into the game saw a Cennerazzo cross find Bremner in the box however he could only direct his header into the welcoming arms of Stobie.

With the game moving into injury time, McLeod was pulled back in the box giving the Referee one of his easier decisions of the afternoon.

The striker made no mistake this time with the spot kick, drilling it hard and fast down the middle of Stobie’s goal to grab a late consolation and keep his impressive goal scoring record intact, netting his 12th consecutive strike.

Final Score: Spartans 1-3 Edinburgh City.  Match Highlights can be viewed via our You Tube Channel by clicking here

With Whitehill securing a 0-0 draw away to Stirling University in the other Section B tie, it’s still all to play for, with Spartans needing victories against both to ensure qualification.

Spartans Team: Bennett, MacKinnon, Cennerazzo, Sivewright, Main (Brown), Grant, Beesley (Mushin), Whatley, Bremner, McLeod, Motion (Henretty).  Subs Not Used: Anderson, O’Donnell.

Malt & Hops Man of the Match: Gary Cennerazzo

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 13th April
Opponent: Stranraer FC
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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