9 man Spartans pay penalty as Welfare win sudden-death shoot-out

Posted on Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Sean Muhsin’s late extra-time goal looked to have secured the silverware for Spartans however a last gasp equaliser by Welfare’s Gareth Thom set up a dramatic sudden-death penalty shoot out win for Whitehill.

A crowd of circa 400 at Craigroyston FC’s St. Mark’s Park witnessed a series of dramatic twists and turns in a game that had goals, red cards and dug out debates.

Neither keeper had a save to make in the opening 15 minutes as both teams engaged in a midfield war of attrition with goal scoring options being kept at a minimum.

Somewhat against the run of play however, it was Welfare who took a 20th minute lead.  McIntosh broke free down the left flank and his cross found the head of Noon who headed home from a yard. 0-1.

Spartans first clear cut chance almost resulted in an equaliser after Beesley broke into the box, only for his chip over the sprawling keeper to edge past the outside post to safety.  This was followed by Somerville heading the ball off his own line from the same player moments later.

Spartans drew level on the stroke of half-time after O’Donnell’s right footed shot came crashing down off the bar and was only part cleared into the path of Whatley who made no mistake as he hammered the ball home from 12 yards. 1-1.

Half Time: Spartans 1-1 Whitehill Welfare

There was early drama within five minutes of the restart when McLeod was shown red for an off-the-ball incident in the Welfare box.

The ten-man Spartans survived an offside ‘goal’ by Noon late in the half to take the game into extra-time.

Full Time: Spartans 1-1 Whitehill Welfare

Muhsin replaced Motion ahead of the extra-time period as Spartans

Beesley had a half-chance to grab the lead after he charged down Young’s clearance from the box however the keeper recovered enough to get low to smother the ball at the Spartans’ striker’s feet.

Dougie Samuel made two further changes, Henretty and Anderson replacing Bremner and Beesley.

The rollercoaster of cup final emotions came to life in the second half period of extra time.

Muhsin let fly from the edge of the box, only to see his shot narrowly go wide, with the keeper unsighted as the ball flew through a melee of bodies.

That was to be Muhsin’s marker as moments later he drilled the ball low and hard under the keeper to give 10 man Spartans an unlikely lead with minutes left on the clock.  After the celebrations subsided, the Referee pulled across Brown before brandishing a second yellow card, ending his involvement in the game. 2-1.

With seconds left, Welfare made use of their numerical advantage when Sproule crossed into the Spartans box and the depleted defence failed to pick up Thom who bundled the ball over the line to send the match into penalty kicks.  2-2.

Full Time: Spartans 2-2 Whitehill Welfare

The lottery of penalties saw McIntosh hit the bar before Anderson’s kick was saved.  Noon, Whatley, Bruce, Mushin, Grant, Kidd, Henretty and Sproule were all successful with their spot-kicks sending the shoot-out into sudden death.  Cennerazzo stepped up but his attempt was saved by Young.

Penalty Kicks: Spartans 4-5 Whitehill Welfare.

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

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Danny O’Donnell

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 27th April
Opponent: Peterhead
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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