Spartans score four in South Challenge Cup rout

Posted on Saturday, February 15th, 2014

A Keith McLeod double helped Spartans to a 4-1 win against Vale of Leithen to progress in the South Challenge Cup.

Having knocked out holders Whitehill Welfare earlier on in the tournament, Spartans took on fellow Lowland League pacesetters Vale of Leithen for a place into the quarter finals.

Spartans took the game to the visitors from the start and pressed hard for an early goal, with Brown and Whatley dominating early proceedings in the middle of the park.

Vale came close at the other end when a fine exchange of passes by Gormley and Kerr put Lough in, however the striker’s attempt went over Bennett’s goal.

The home side took a 15th minute after Bremner and Aitchison clashed in a 50/50 on the penalty spot, only for the ball to spill to Anderson who drilled the ball across O’Brien, low into the bottom corner.  1-0

It was almost a second for Spartans after McLeod sprung the offside trap but his audacious chip over the advancing keeper failed to drop quickly enough and landed on the roof of the net.

The visitors equalised against the run of play in the 34th minute through Gormley who got in behind the Spartans defence before slotting the ball home. 1-1

Spartans restored their lead shortly after.  A Gary Cennerazzo bicycle kick was well saved by O’Brien and when the resultant corner kick made its way into the box from Anderson, a bullet from the head of Man of the Match Ally MacKinnon left the Vale keeper with no chance. 2-1.

Half Time: Spartans 2-1 Vale of Leithen

Ten minutes after the result, Spartans extended their lead.  Brown whipped in an inviting cross to the near post and McLeod beat Young to the ball to head it beyond O’Brien.  3-1.

The visitors had Coach Mikey Weir sent from the dug-out by the man in the middle for foul and abusive language after Aitchison and Lough both found themselves on the deck following midfield challenges.

Jack Beesley replaced Anderson and he almost made an immediate impact following a mazy run through the middle of the park which saw him evade the attentions of two defenders before pulling the trigger and shooting inches wide.

Keith McLeod put the icing on the Spartans cake with 12 minutes to go when he grabbed his 25th of the season after picking up the ball 25 yards out before rounding the stranded Vale keeper to slot the ball into the empty net. 4-1.

Final Score: Spartans 4-1 Vale of Leithen

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Ally MacKinnon

Team: Bennett, MacKinnon, Cennerazzo, Sivewright, O’Donnell, Grant, Brown, Whatley, Bremner, McLeod, Anderson. Subs: Motion, Beesley, Muhsin, Main, Jackson

Next Fixture

Date: 16/07/24
Opponent: Cove Rangers
Venue:Balmoral Stadium
Competition: Premier Sports Cup
Kick off: 7.45pm

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