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Under 20s: Spartans topple Tynie as Hill nets in debut
Spartans Under 20s moved up to second place in the Development League following a 1-3 win over Tynecastle at Saughton Park.
Following an emphatic victory over Stirling University on Monday evening, the Ainslie Park side made the short trip across the capital looking to add to their five match unbeaten run.
There was a return to the squad for Brandon Archibald whilst Jordan Pettigrew deputised once again between the sticks for Cameron Rae who was unavailable for selection.
The 3G cage was littered with a healthy band of supporters from both sides who watched the game under floodlights that were as flickering in parts as they were poorly illuminated in others.
It took just over a minute before the first replacement of the evening – the match ball. The first aerial assault saw players unable to identify the flying object that was, rather unhelpfully given the circumstances, black in colour.
Play resumed shortly after and with seven minutes on the clock, it had found it rightful destination for the first time of the evening.
Cameron Dawson, who netted all four strikes at Stirling, collected the ball on the outskirts of the Tynecastle box before unleashing an unstoppable effort that flew into the net with some pace.
Five minutes later, it was a second for the visitors. Youngster Gabriel Hill, in his debut for the 20s, broke the offside trap to race into the 18 yard box then send his shot netbound, despite the valiant efforts of a home defender on the line.
Midway through the half, the home side grabbed themselves a lifeline from the spot after Sutherland was penalised for a mistimed tackle in the area. Pettigrew came out second best in the ‘guess the corner’ competition and the shot from twelve yards was delivered with accuracy.
Then, with just two minutes left on the clock before the break, Lady Luck intervened to restore Spartans’ two goal advantage.
A probing cross into the danger zone by Murray Hand was diverted from it’s intended recipient of Dawson at the back post by a hapless defender who could only look on in horror as his header flew past his keeper who had raced off his line and into the empty goal.
HT: Tynecastle 20s 1-3 Spartans 20s
It was a second half that failed to match its enthusiastic earlier cousin however it was a period that saw some enterprising play and fine stops by Pettigrew who held out firm to record a ‘technical clean sheet’ from not being beaten from open play.
One of the more notable incidents of a booking infused forty five minutes saw Liam Currie almost dine out on a memorable moment with ten minutes left. His thunderous 25 yard drive troubled the Tynecastle stopper who had to be sharp to push it over the bar.
FT: Tynecastle 20s 1-3 Spartans 20s