Spartans defy the odds to secure sensational Scottish Cup win

Posted on Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Goals from Willie Bremner and Jack Beesley saw Spartans defy the odds by defeating Morton 2-1 in front of a packed Ainslie Park arena as they secured a Last 16 place in the William Hill Scottish Cup.

National Team Manager and Patron of the Spartans Academy Gordon Strachan was in the 1288-strong crowd along with SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan.

Before the match, the ground fell silent as a mark of respect for former Morton Director and fan Arthur Montford.  The Scotsport legend sadly passed away earlier this week.

After a blast of Montford’s signature tune that was the Scotsport anthem through the PA system, Referee Euan Anderson got this eagerly awaited Cup clash underway.

Spartans took the game to the League 1 leaders and an early opportunity for the home side saw a defence splitting pass fall behind the Morton defence however the ball wouldn’t fall kindly for Jack Beesley on the edge of the box.

Kevin Swain was to be the livelier of the two goalkeepers in the first half and he pulled off a trademark save from dangerman Andy Barrowman to keep his goal intact.

Joe McKee almost sneaked in an opener shortly after when his drive from the edge of the box took a deflection en-route to Swain and the keeper had to be alert to push the ball over the bar.

Jim Duffy’s side finally took the lead in the 24th minute.  Mark Russell was afforded the luxury of the midfield before pushing the ball into the path of Barrowman and the Morton striker drilled the ball into the back of the Spartans net, much to the joy of the travelling fans behind the goal.

Three minutes before the break, Mikey Bruce was replaced by Alan Brown.  Bruce failing to recover from an injury sustained in midfield following a challenge that thwarted a Morton break.

Half Time: Spartans 0-1 Morton

Neither side made a change at the interval as both managers stuck with their original selection as forty-five minutes stood between cup progression and rejection.

Gary Cennerazzo whipped in an inviting cross for Bremner only for McGowan to save well for the visitors.

It took a late gasp piece of desperate defending from a Morton defender to deny Bremner moments after as the striker was set to pull the trigger from six yards out.  The home crowd sensed a change in the game as Spartans started to edge towards an equaliser.

That came in the 71st minute sparking an almighty noise around Ainslie Park.   Bremner drilled the ball past McGowan from 12 yards to set up a grandstand finish.

Beesley was unlucky not to make it advantage Spartans when his in-swinging corner kick had youngster McGowan flapping at his back post.

After 78 minutes at the coal face, John Grant was replaced by Errol Douglas and the substitute almost made it a fairytale introduction to the game however he couldn’t direct his header home.

There was further drama in the 81st minute when Morton were reduced to 10 men.  Stefan McCluskey was dismissed after picking up his second yellow of the afternoon.

Spartans manager Dougie Samuel brought on a fresh set of legs for the final five minutes as he replaced Keith McLeod – wearing the Captain’s armband for the day – with Jack Beacher.

Then, with sixty seconds left of regulatory time, Spartans defied the odds in real Roy of the Rovers fashion.

Beacher’s cross fell nicely to Beesley and the Spartans hero of the day had just about enough time to compose himself before rattling the ball low into the bottom corner to win the tie and send his side into Monday’s Last 16 draw.

Listen to Jack Beesley’s post match interview here | https://audioboom.com/boos/2692214-jack-beesley-on-spartans-cup-win-v-morton

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Ally MacKinnon


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