Lowland League: Spartans 2-1 University of Stirling

Posted on Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Goals from Willie Bremner and Keith McLeod gave Spartans an opening day Scottish Sun Lowland League victory against Stirling University at Ainslie Park.

Spartans set out their stall from the off and within six minutes, the defending inaugural champions were a goal to the good.

Fine interactive one-touch play between Michael Herd, Willie Bremner and Jack Beesley saw the latter whip in an inviting cross to Bremner who gave Marshall no chance in the Stirling goal with an unstoppable strike from just inside the box.

Spartans continued to have the lion’s share of possession and were unlucky not to double their lead after Herd launched the ball into the Stirling danger zone for Beesley however it took an instinctive save from Marshall down low at the base of his post to prevent the home side from grabbing a second.

Stirling started to ask some questions and they had their first chance of the game in the 23rd minute after Elliot Sutcliffe laid the ball off to George Leigh who let fly from 25 yards, with a deflection denying the visitors the chance to test out Swain.

That chance did finally come in the 34 minute after a lapse in the home defence saw Geddes run from halfway almost unchallenged to eventually slot the ball past Swain to give his side an equaliser against the run of play.

Frustration turned to elation however just four minutes later after talisman Keith McLeod scored his 277 Spartans career goal after Bremner headed back across goal for the scoring sensation to squeeze the ball between the keeper and the post to put his side back in the lead.

Half Time: Spartans 2-1 University of Stirling

The second half started with the floodlights illuminating the dark sky over the ground, a scene more likely in December rather than the start of August.

A stramash in the Stirling box with the ball ricocheting around like a pinball perhaps the highlight of the half for Spartans, with McLeod unlucky not to guide it home between a plethora of legs in the area.

The visitors went for it as the game headed into injury time and substitute Tony McKerrell almost grabbed his side’s second equaliser of the afternoon however he couldn’t keep his looping header on target as he agonisingly watched it drop on top, rather than inside, Swain’s net.

Final Score: Spartans 2-1 University of Stirling

Man of the Match Craig Stevenson was delighted to pick up an early three points,  “I thought we controlled the game well in the first half and the Gaffer asked us at the break to press on for a third but unfortunately we couldn’t get that to kill the game off however I’m very happy to get three points in the bag on the opening day.”

Spartans look to build on their successful start when they take on Edinburgh City at Ainslie Park on Wednesday night (7.45pm KO).

Stevenson is relishing the challenge.  “I think it’ll be a harder game than we had today against an experienced side who have been together for some time.  They’ve made some decent signings over the summer too and it’ll be a good test of how far we’ve come.”

Next Fixture

Date: 23/07/24
Opponent: Forfar Athletic
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: Premier Sports Cup
Kick off: 7.45pm

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