A lasered banana and spot kick drama: Irn Bru blues for Spartans

Posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2018

Not often a game will be remembered in the annals of Scottish football history for a piece of fruit however it proved to be as a penalty shoot out once again proved to be the proverbial – and literal – banana skin for Spartans as they bowed out of the IrnBru Cup following a spot kick showdown against East Kilbride.

Ahead of the game, there was much hilarity in the EK Boardroom when Committee Member Gary Simpson presented the Spartans contingent with a laser engraved – banana! A hit on social media – it definitely a-peeled to the Twitteratti following the game.

Speaking of the game, a few changes were made from the team that beat Dalbeattie Star in the league and on a mild evening after the rain, the match got underway.

It took just three minutes for the deadlock to be broken and it came from the visitors.  Willie Bremner surprised the Kilby faithful – and the defenders – by popping up in an onside position and just as he was to become the meat in an East Kilbride sandwich, he squared the ball to Gary Cennerazzo who tapped home from a couple of yards.

The hosts rallied and it was a textbook trackback and tackle by Craig Stevenson to deny an opportunity at the other end.

Willie Bremner was certainly up for this clash of last season’s Lowland League titans and his robust, enthusiastic dogged determination saw EK men scatter like tenpins on the bowling alley.  Maybe one two many however and it saw him find the jotter of the Referee.

HT: East Kilbride 0-1 Spartans

Both management teams will have set out their second half stalls in the sheds at the break and it was the hosts who certainly started the liveliest of the two sides and within minutes of the restart, a bit of a hairy moment in defence saw Blair Carswell react to head the ball away at the edge of the box before utilising his bulk to close down any danger from the resultant loose play.

Bernard Coll was an unlucky Kilby soul when his free-kick went narrowly over Carswell’s crossbar whilst at the other end, Adam Corbett came close when his looping header wasn’t far away from finding the corner of the net.

On the hour mark, the hosts equalised.  Ross McNeil reacting first after Anton Brady’s corner wasn’t hoofed out the park and the striker poked home from marginally further out than Cennerazzo to draw level.

Craig Malcolm thought he’d swung the pendulum in East Kilbride’s  favour when his header from a corner was cleared from under the bar by a Spartans defender.  The Irn Bru tourney not quite at VAR status yet and the old fashioned usage of Lino’s eyes saved Spartans from going a goal behind.

‘Worldy’.  A ‘Worldy’ would be the best way to describe Blair Carswell save that saw the Spartans stopper push a Sean Winter header over the bar and the game opened up with neither side keen for the shootout to decide the game’s fate.

With the game entering its final stages, substitute Blair Atkinson found himself one on one with Matthew McGinley however the striker shaved the wrong side of the post.

FT: East Kilbride 1-1 Spartans

So, straight to penalties. Corbett, Stevenson, Herd and Maxwell all netted their penalties whilst Winter, Malcolm, Longworth and Reid all made similar successes of their spot kick efforts.  Unfortunately for Spartans, their 12 yard hoodoo continued as McGinley saved Jack Smith’s attempt leaving Bernard Coll to step and earn Kilby a second round tie against Edinburgh City.



Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 30th September
Opponent: Bonnyrigg Rose
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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