Derby day success as Spartans blooter first footers with first half display

Posted on Sunday, January 15th, 2017

A dynamic first half performance saw Spartans kick-off 2017 with a comfortable victory over neighbours Civil Service Strollers in front of a sizeable crowd at Ainslie Park.

In his match programme notes, Dougie Samuel talked of his squad being offered key game time between them of late and those ingredients seems to be forming a winning recipe as they made it seven league wins in a row in the second North Edinburgh Derby of the season.

There perhaps weren’t the fireworks on display at the corresponding fixture at Christie Gillies Park early in the campaign however it took just five minutes for Spartans to stamp their authority on the match.

David Greenhill’s well placed pass found Jamie Dishington on the periphery of the Strollers box and a bit of weaving and jinking later, Stuart Burnside’s first touch of the ball was to fish it out the net.

That lead was doubled just six minutes later when Keith Murray added to his double at Preston the previous week with a true strikers goal as he cropped up at the back post to send a low cross into the back of the net.

It was a double whammy from which Strollers failed to recover and just before the half hour mark, the lead extended to three from the spot.

Craig Comrie’s teasing run into the heart of the Strollers box left Referee Cook with his easiest decision of the afternoon when the Spartans man was taken out with a challenge of desperate proportions.  Jack Beesley stepped up and his power and placement was simply too much for the beleaguered Burnside who had little to do in half an hour other than scoop the ball out the bag three times.

At the other end, there was universal applause following a fine shot by David Churchill who found Blair Carswell equal to the task with a top drawer save.

Ahead of the interval there was some concern within the home ranks as Craig Stevenson and Alan Brown collided during a challenge in midfield.  After lengthy attention, both were up and running, if not a bit dazed!

HT: Spartans 3-0 Civil Service Strollers

The second half was certainly one for the purists as the lovely January North Edinburgh sunshine dipped behind the neighouring flats and a bracing chill enveloping the Ainslie Park ground.

Indeed, it’s not just Disney who have produced something Frozen as Superfan ‘Grim O’Grady’ would testify following his usual filming berth on top of the gantry behind the dugouts.

It was a half largely devoid of noteworthy incident save for Turnbull’s consolation strike with nine minutes to go that never offered to threaten Spartans stranglehold on the game.

FT: Spartans 3-1 Civil Service Strollers

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Keith Murray

Spartans: Carswell, Herd, Comrie (Maxwell 62), Thomson, Tolmie, Greenhill, Beesley (Mair 71), Stevenson, Murray, Brown, Dishington.  Subs (Unused) Gabiola, Ward, Malone, Rae (GK)

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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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