Football Nation Cup: Spartans into semis after Leith win

Posted on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

Keith Murray scored on his return to Ainslie Park against his old club Leith Athletic as Spartans progressed into the semi final of the Football Nation Qualifying Cup with a comfortable 3-0 win against the East of Scotland league leaders.

Both sets of players and supporters stood shoulder to shoulder in silence ahead of kick-off as the football world united to show their respect in relation to the tragic events that unfolded in Columbia earlier this week involving Chapecoense.

The Spartans woodwork was called into action after just two minutes when Rhys Craigie hit the post under pressure from Blair Tolmie.   Early chances were traded as Jack Beesley’s cross fell to Murray who couldn’t direct his header home.

Murray was unfortunate when his next attempt with the head fell into the welcoming arms of Iain Gordon however moments later, perseverance paid off for the striker.  Eddie Malone’s pass was collected on the edge of the box before being despatched into the net to open the scoring.

Spartans doubled their lead four minutes before the break.  Jack Beesley’s impressive footwork saw him skip past his marker whilst offering a nutmeg in the process, before composing him to slot past Gordon.

HT: Spartans 2-0 Leith Athletic

Beesley was offered an early opportunity to put further light between the sides after Jamie Dishington was impeded in the penalty box.  Beezer stepped up, but Gordon was equal to the task and pushed the effort away.

The season of goodwill looked in short supply following a couple of tasty challenges in front of the visitors dug-out which incensed the home bench.  Referee Craig Ferguson offering peace to all men and kept his cards in his pocket.

Then, with eight minutes left on the clock, Spartans were awarded a free-kick twenty yards from goal.  Up stepped Scott Maxwell who lifted the ball over the wall and into the top corner despite the despairing dive from Gordon.

Leith pressed until the end and it took a cheeky Chris Townsley headed clearance, whilst lying on his belly, to deny a consolation goal.

FT: Spartans 3-0 Leith Athletic

Malt and Hops MotM:  Jack Beesley

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 16th December
Opponent: Elgin City
Venue:Borough Briggs
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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