Whitehill winner sees Bremner bring Spartans a Sun + Cup of Christmas cheer

Posted on Saturday, December 20th, 2014

A 70th minute headed goal by Willie Bremner was enough to separate the sides as Spartans continued their 100% Scottish Sun + Lowland League Cup winning start at a bitterly cold Rosewell.

The Ferguson Park surface was, in horse racing terms, ‘soft’ as the Welfare groundstaff worked tirelessly to ensure fans got their festive fayre of frantic and at times feisty football.

Spartans, already fielding a makeshift side, were delivered a further blow ahead of kick-off when Goalkeeper Kevin Swain was forced to withdraw after sustaining an injury in the warm-up.  Youngster Blair Carswell took over between the sticks, whilst there were places on the bench for a trio of U/20s in the shape of Jamie Dishington, George Hunter and Alex Imlah.

Despite both squads completing their warm-up on the embankments, the surface resembled one of a treacle-esque consistency as the game got underway, with the players all set for an energy sapping ninety minutes ahead of them.

Carswell had an early confidence booster when he got down low to deny Wayne McIntosh after an uncharacteristic lapse in the Spartans defence.

At the other end, Willie Bremner’s headed knock down into the path of Jack Beesley almost brought about the opener but for a Welfare body deflecting the netbound shot out for a corner.

Beesley was unlucky once again in the 22nd minute when he leaped above a static Welfare defender deep inside the box and it took an impressive save by Young to tip the ball over the bar.

Welfare did have the ball in the net shortly before the half hour mark however the stand-side Linesman was quick to raise his flag, much to McIntosh’s misery.

Half Time: Whitehill Welfare 0-0 Spartans

Dead-ball specialist Beesley, the hero against Morton in the Scottish Cup recently, looked to catch Welfare cold after the 15 minute interval within the warmth of the sheds when he whipped an in-swinging corner towards goal and it took a goal-line clearance to prevent Spartans gaining the upper hand.

Despite the play mostly having been spent in the home half throughout the game, Rookie goalie Carswell was once again called upon to keep Whitehill at bay and he denied Kerr Dodds with a fine save down low, pushing the ball round his right hand post.

On the hour, Spartans manager Dougie Samuel introduced the first of his substitutes, with teenager Jamie Dishingston replacing Jack Beesley.

A stramash in front of the dug-outs after John Grant and Wayne McIntosh engaged in a 50/50 challenge saw Grant booked along with Welfare Captain Darren McGlashan for his part in the melee as they game entered the final quarter in increasingly poor light.

The breakthrough however came in the 70th minute.  A long throw into the home box was headed on by Errol Douglas for Willie Bremner to pop up to nudge the ball home from close range at the back post.

Before the restart, Samuel withdrew Kevin Motion and he was replaced by the talented u/20’s striker George Hunter.   The youngster had an opportunity to put the game to bed with 5 minutes left on the clock however Young was equal to the task in the Welfare goal.

The final play of the afternoon saw Hunter take on former Spartans player Danny O’Donnell and as the players edged towards the box, O’Donnell pulled out a tackle that wouldn’t have looked out of place at Murrayfield as he bundled Hunter to the ground.

O’Donnell made his way into the Refs notebook with the yellow card barely visible as dusk descended upon Mid Lothian.  The resultant free-kick dragged itself wide and with that, the Referee brought proceedings to a close before a call went out for supporters to gather round the pitch with lighters to illuminate the ground.

Final Score: Whitehill Welfare 0-1 Spartans

After the game, match winner Willie Bremner said, “It was a really good result on a pitch that was tough and energy sapping to play on and it was always going to be a real battle rather than our preferred passing game.

“In tight games like this, getting the first goal is vital – thankfully we scored it and we managed to hang on in the end.”

Whilst Bremner hit the winner, it was a clean sheet at the other end by Blair Carswell, a display that earned praise from the striker. “It was an outstanding performance by Blair.  He held everything thrown at him and his kicking is absolutely phenomenal as always and he was a great replacement today and we’re glad he was on the bench.”

Spartans: Carswell, Brown, Cennerazzo, Thomson, Beesley (Dishington), Nixon, Grant, Motion (Hunter), Douglas, Bremner, Stevenson.  Subs: (Not Used) Imlah

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Iain Thomson

Next Fixture

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

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