Spartans cup hopes dashed by Kilby comeback

Posted on Monday, March 21st, 2016

Spartans fell at the final hurdle in their bid to win the Football Nation Qualifying Cup after East Kilbride turned a first half deficit round in the Broxburn sunshine on Sunday.

The neutral territory of Albyn Park saw Spartans and Kilby lock horns in the search for silverware, not before their kick-off was delayed due to the over-run caused by a youth cup semi final on the same pitch came to a conclusion.

There was an early big call for the match officials to make when Howie appeared to manhandle Murray on the edge of the Kilby six yard box, causing the Spartans striker to grace the astro.  Despite the remonstrations that followed, the man in the middle waved away shouts as play raged on.

Kean had collective Kilby hearts in mouths when he fumbled an in-swinging Jack Beesley corner before it came back down off the bar into his welcoming arms.

Murray looked like he wasn’t going to be denied shortly after as he broke the offside trap to race in on Jacob Kean in the East Kilbride goal.  The keeper managed to get enough on the ball to slow Murray down before it was gathered by Horribine.  The in-form striker then returning to Murray who squared to Greenhill who rammed the ball home to take the lead.

On the half hour mark it was almost a second for the Edinburgh side, but for the circumference of the base of Kean’s post.  Murray evaded the high line of the Kilby defence only to see his shot beat Kean but not the woodwork.

An equaliser was threatening before the interval however Gormley could only find the side netting as the half came to an end with Spartans holding on to a slender lead.

Half Time: East Kilbride 0-1 Spartans

Whatever was in the East Kilbride kool-aid at the break, it seemed to fuel the players into action and eleven minutes into the second half, McBride levelled proceedings after a corner to the back post was headed back into the captain’s path and he drive home.

Spartans almost restored their lead once again, only for Murray’s effort was deflected away at the last second courtesy of some desperate defending.

Then, with 64 minutes on the clock, Kilby took the lead for the first time in the game.  McBride turned scorer to provider as he crossed for Winter who headed home past Carswell.

Dougie Samuel rung the changes with Herd and Beesley withdrawn to be replaced by Hunter and Malone as he looked to get his charges back into the game.

That task was made even harder when it was a second from the head of Winter with 17 minutes left to play to put some extra light between the sides on the metaphorical scoreboard.

Spartans looked to forge an opening to salvage the game but it simply wasn’t to be.  Their agony was further compelled further when Brady scored the pick of the afternoon’s goals as the sun began to set in West Lothian, picking out the top corner with a well placed curled effort to ensure the trophy was making it’s way back along the road to K-Park.

Full Time: East Kilbride 4-1 Spartans

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Craig Stevenson

Spartans: Carswell, Herd (Malone 70), Brown, McNab (Maxwell 88), Thomson, Greenhill, Beesley (Hunter), Dishington, Murray, Stevenson, Horribine.  Subs (Not Used) Saunderson, Gilpin.


Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 13th April
Opponent: Stranraer FC
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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