Maxy makes his mark as Spartans get back to winning ways

Posted on Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

It was a happy one hundred for Craig Stevenson as the latest Spartans Centurion saw team mates Jack Beesley and Scott Maxwell find the net as Spartans beat Preston Athletic 2-1 at Ainslie Park on Tuesday night in the Ferrari Packaging Lowland League.

With a full moon illuminating a chilly North Edinburgh sky, Spartans almost caught the visitors cold from the off with an opening minute corner forcing Matthew Baines into an early save from an adventurous Blair Tolmie flick.

The wind tunnel picked up pace and it was almost claiming an assist as Jack Beesley’s corner narrowly headed over the bar by Paul Thomson from close range.

Jack Hay was next to threaten and his neat feet saw him get enough room in for a dig at goal from the edge of the box with Broque Watson offering a decoy / looking for a lay-off (delete as applicable) on the outside.

Against the run of play, the Panners pounced.  A break up the park saw Stuart Ritchie rattle the woodwork then moments later from open play, Jack Jardine found the bottom corner of Ross Gilpin’s net to give the East Lothian side the unlikeliest of leads after 20 minutes played.

There were loud appeals from the home side shortly before the break when Jack Beesley appeared to be manhandled inside the opposition penalty area.  The match official deemed the transgression to have taken place on the other side of the whitewash.  A free-kick was all that was on offer and Eddie Malone’s effort meant the sides went in at the interval with the tourists 0-1 ahead.

HT: Spartans 0-1 Preston Athletic

Spartans came out the traps almost as strong as the wind that was affecting Baines in the away goal.  The keeper having his work cut out as the conditions weren’t sympathetic for long bye-kicks.

On the hour mark, lady luck finally shone on Spartans.  Gavin Stevenson was offered the freedom of the showers after receiving his second yellow of the evening after he brought down Beesley inside the box.  The Spartans man picked himself up before sending Baines the wrong way from 12 yards out.

Spartans looked to capitalise by using the momentum – and numerical advantage. This paid off just eight minutes later when Blair Tolmie’s pass of perfection cut out the Preston defence for Scott Maxwell to latch on before guiding the ball into the back of the net.

Cue substitution!  Andrew Mair replaced Chris Townsley and this was followed later by the introduction of Alan Brown who replaced Malone.

Mikey Herd went on an uncharacteristic rampage into the danger zone and his thumping shot was effectively, if perhaps unconventionally, pushed over the bar by the goalie for a corner.

Further appeals for another spot-kick resulted in a similar outcome late in the half.  A lengthy delay ensued as the whistler invited the away dug-out for a wee word or seven.  The break in play perhaps not ideal for Stevenson who couldn’t mark his 100th appearance with a goal from the set-piece.

FT: Spartans 2-1 Preston Athletic

Spartans: Gilpin, Thomson, Malone, Tolmie, Townsley, Herd, Beesley, Stevenson, Hay, Dishington, Watson.  Subs: Brown, Comrie, Ward, Mair, Gabiola, Maxwell, Carswell.

 

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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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