BetFred Cup: Spiders spin web of defeat as Roberts rocket stuns Spartans

Posted on Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Jamie Dishington’s opener gave Spartans an early second half lead however it was the League 2 hosts Queen’s Park who came from behind to edge out their Lowland League visitors 2-1 at Hampden in the penultimate BetFred Cup Group Stage tie.

It’s been a tournament of firsts for the Ainslie Park side with their debut in the competition and the club’s first outing at the National Stadium.  Spartans Manager Dougie Samuel took in the match from the main stand with Coach Derek Riddel overseeing proceedings from the sizeable technical area.

The opening exchanges were tense, akin to a tight game of chess with both XI’s looking to forge a way behind their opposition rear guard.

An early bursting run by Craig Stevenson was well received by the travelling Spartan Army housed in the vacuous stand.  They were almost on their feet shortly after when Stevenson turned provider from a corner kick with Jack Smith narrowly shooting wide from six yards.

Next up, the Spiders fans thought the rippling of the net had resulted in the lead being taken however the shot from McKernan hit the outside rather than inside Carswell’s goal.

Half Time: Queen’s Park 0-0 The Spartans

With just six minutes gone in the second half, Dishington benefitted from a piercing Blair Atkinson run and pass to shrug off the attentions of two defenders before shooting home, sending the band of Spartans faithful into absolute scenes.

That joy however was short lived when just two minutes later, Gibson headed home at the back post following a free-kick conceded by Blair Tolmie out wide.

Spartans made a double substitution in the 65th minute with Atkinson and McFarland being replaced by William Bremner and Jason Stevens.

As the half progressed and the big lush green surface sapping energy from the Lowland League champions, up stepped Kurtis Roberts who let fly from outside the box with an unstoppable strike that evaded the outstretched and flying Carswell who could only look on as ball found it’s way into the top corner.

One final change for the visitors came with 10 minutes to go, Jack Nixon coming on for Scott Maxwell as Spartans looked to salvage the game.

Penalty kicks perhaps haven’t been Spartans friend during the tournament however there was a decidedly strong shout for at least another chance to try one out when substitute Bremner looked to have been upended by a despairing challenge deep inside the Spiders box.  Referee Smith wasn’t convinced and pointed towards the corner flag.

And with that, the final whistle blew. Spartans succumbed to a narrow defeat and now look to completing their BetFred Cup debut with bouncebackability against Kilmarnock on Tuesday night.

Next Fixture

Date: 29/06/24
Opponent: Livingston FC
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Kick off: 3.00pm

William Hill J-Teq EMS Solutions Ltd Spentwell JB Contracts (Scotland) Ltd
Mintbox Removals Johnstone Carmichael Consider IT Shepherd Chartered Surveyors
Sonsie Face Westwoods Health Club Mr Eion Coffee Hart Lifts
Soho IT CHAS Jim Martin