Pre-season: Highlanders Huntly halt Spartans winning ways

Posted on Saturday, July 11th, 2015

Spartans winning start to their pre-season campaign came to a Highland halt as Hunty headed back with the share of the spoils in a 0-2 victory at Ainslie Park.

In their second game in under 48 hours, Spartans took on the Highland League outfit who made the early pilgrimage to the Capital for their first pre-season outing of the summer.

It took until the 15th minute of a physical affair before the first foray towards goal was recorded at either end.  Neat play between Dean Horribine and Eddie Malone on the edge of the box saw the latter aim for goal however his shot couldn’t be directed home.

In what was a first half war of attrition in midfield on a muggy day in North Edinburgh, Keith Murray’s 44th minute attempt with a deft flick at the near post that cleared the Huntly crossbar was the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock.

HT: Spartans 0-0 Huntly

Both sides rung the changes at half time and within 10 minutes of the second half, the visitors found themselves with a two goal advantage.

Three minutes had lapsed before a cross into the box saw Blair Carswell and defender Ally MacKinnon collide just outside the six yard box as the keeper came to collect.  Craig Dorrat was first to react and hooked the ball home, much to the delight of the small travelling Huntly support.

The Black and Gold fans were back up on their feet ten minutes later when Adam McNamee collected the ball inside the penalty box before bulleting the ball into the net between Carswell and his near post.

Spartans had a golden opportunity to pull back the deficit in the 68th minute when substitute Aaron Murrell burst into the box before squaring to Blair Atkinson however the U/20s striker couldn’t dig the ball out from under his feet ahead of pulling the trigger from close range.

Murrell, with five goals in two pre-season games so far, broke the offside trap to race into the Huntly box as Spartans looked to set up a grandstand finish, however he was met by the gargantuan spread-eagled frame of the visitor’s substitute keeper who forced him wide of the goal.  Murrell steadied himself only to see his shot from a tight angle cleared by a back-tracking defender.

The Spartans post denied Huntly a third in the 89th minute as Sam Harrison looked to put the icing on the Highlanders cake.

FT: Spartans 0-2 Huntly

Spartans: Carswell, Trialist, Stevenson, Malone, Mackinnon (c), Trialist, Greenhill, Ward, Murray, Brown, Horribine.  Subs: Trialist, Anderson, Raiker, Atkinson and Murrell.

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Next Fixture

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Date: Saturday 15th December
Opponent: Dalbeattie Star
Venue: Islecroft Stadium
Competition: GeoSonic Lowland League
Kick off: 3.00pm

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