Harry, Harry night… Girdwood double guides Under 20s to Welfare win

Posted on Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Les Atkinson’s Under 20s moved up to second place in the Development League with a comfortable 0-4 victory over Whitehill Welfare at Lasswade High School on Friday night.

Fielding an unchanged XI that defeated Lothian Thistle seven days previously, Spartans headed into the match under the lights keen to avoid a similar outcome last time at the tight 3G paddock.

It was a frantic opening five minutes which included a bursting run by Harry Girdwood who whizzed past his man before squaring the ball to Johnny Grotlin who could only find the welcoming arms of the Welfare keeper between the sticks.

Despite the one-way traffic and the home goal leading a somewhat charmed life, it remained goalless until an incredible four minute spell effectively ended the game as a competitive clash.

Cameron Dawson’s long-legged trickery saw him weave his way into the dangerzone before putting in Girdwood who rammed home from inside the box.

It was the same combination that broke the Welfare defensive guard just two minutes later as Dawson broke the offside trap before enticing the keeper off his line and selflessly squaring to Girdwood who knocked home from close range.

Moments later, Dawson turned provider to finisher following a whippet like Calum O’Neil racing up the wing to deliver a cross of pin-point accuracy to the tall striker to headed home under pressure.

Lewis Grant ensured it was to be a third shut-out in a row for his side when he made a timely intervention to prevent Welfare from pulling a goal back before the break.

HT: Whitehill Welfare 0-3 Spartans

Another Lewis, this time Hall, was unlucky not to grab his first of the season when he almost turned his fine pirouette move and shot on the edge of the penalty area into a goal.

The hosts’ task to get something out of the game was made harder when McCabe was shown a straight red card after the match official deemed his feedback in the corner less than helpful.

On the hour mark, the scoring was complete.  Calum O’Neil’s initial effort from a free-kick twenty yards out was blocked by the wall however the pocket rocket was first to react and his second effort left the goalie with no chance as it flew low into the bottom corner.

A trio of replacements followed, O’Neil continuing his celebration all the way to the bench along with Girdwood and Grant with Jamie Clark, Mikey Allan and Lewis Temple entering the fray.

Two of the substitutes were involved in a move that failed to yield at least one decision from the whistler as time raced on.  Clark was taken out on the run and as play raged on, Temple was sent high into the cold Lasswade air under a challenge only for the Ref to wave play on.

FT: Whitehill Welfare 0-4 Spartans

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Next Fixture

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Date: Friday 22nd February
Opponent: Gala Fairydean Rovers
Venue: Ainslie Park
Competition: GeoSonic Lowland League
Kick off: 7.45pm

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