Atkinson is Spartans Leith-al Weapon in League Cup Final triumph

Posted on Sunday, April 24th, 2016

A second half Blair Atkinson double saw Spartans complete the perfect comeback to win the East of Scotland League Cup with a 2-1 victory over Leith Athletic at St Marks Park.

Colin Tomassi picked up silverware in his first season at the helm as Manager after his side bounced back from last week’s heavy league defeat to deliver a determined performance, despite turning round at the interval a goal down.

The opening quarter was played at a predictably fast and furious pace with Leith looking to build on their pre-match ‘bookies favourite’ tag whilst Spartans were keen to dismiss the underdog title against the league champions-elect.

It was the Meadowbank-based side who took the lead with just four minutes of the half to go.  A header from close range by Robbie Mason left Daniel Cassells with little chance to send Leith in at the break a goal to the good.

HT: Leith Athletic 1-0 Spartans EOS

Almost midway through the second half Spartans were handed an opportunity to level proceedings after Blair Atkinson was upended just about inside the box.  After deliberation with his far-side Assistant, Referee Alan Hogg pointed to the penalty spot, much to the dismay of the Leith players.

Following the delay that ensued from the decision that wasn’t universally well received, the same player stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way to equalise.

Spartans keeper Cassells made a couple of telling interventions to keep the Leith side at bay, and this was to prove crucial as the game entered the final ten minutes, finely poised at 1-1.

Then, with seven minutes left on the clock, the pace of Atkinson proved to be the undoing of the Leith defence and the Spartans playmaker made enough ground to allow him to strike the ball low past the despairing dive of the keeper to send the Ainslie Park contingent in the crowd into raptures.

Leith looked for a way back into the game to force extra time however it was a resolute Spartans defensive operation that saw out the final few minutes of a highly entertaining game and allowed Captain Chris Anderson to collect the silverware post-match much to the delight of his team-mates and backroom staff.

FT: Leith Athletic 1-2 Spartans EOS

Spartans: Cassells, Boyes, Mair, Gair, Dickson, Rossi, Stewart (Brown 88), Raiker, Anderson, Howat (Girdwood 85), Atkinson.  Subs Unused: Walker, Gilpin (GK).

Next Fixture

Date: Friday 17th May
Opponent: Dumbarton
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: Play-Off Final 2nd Leg
Kick off: 7.30pm

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