Late comeback can’t get Spartans out of jail at Saughton in South Challenge Cup

Posted on Sunday, September 16th, 2018

Late goals from David Greenhill and Steven MacDonald were just too little too late for Spartans as they bowed out of the South Challenge Cup in a five goal encounter against Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale at Saughton Enclosure.

Utilisation of the squad saw Manager Dougie Samuel ring the changes for this Edinburgh cup derby with Scott Costello taking over the gloves and Willie Bremner back in the starting line up.

It wasn’t the best of starts for the visitors and they were a goal behind after just 9 minutes to the East of Scotland side.  Blair Tolmie the transgressor in the box and the hosts went ahead from the penalty spot.

Midway through the half, Spartans came close to drawing level when Jamie Dishington made a penetrating run before passing the Jack Smith who could only find the side-netting with his shot.  Moments later, Craig Stevenson came close, with his effort only rising as it closed in on Kevin Swain’s goal.

HT: LTHV 1-0 Spartans

A ten minute double whammy offered Spartans a proverbial mountain to climb when they lost two goals as the hosts put what turned out to be unsurmountable light between the sides.

A free-kick from 20 yards was curled round the five man wall to outfox Costello whilst a counter attack found the keeper exposed and the ball found its way into the net.

Spartans made a pair of changes 0n the hour mark as Cameron Dawson and Stephen MacDonald entered the fray at the expense of William Bremner and Blair Atkinson.

With 15 minutes left, Spartans closed the gap.  A long range effort from David Greenhill had sufficient power and direction to beat Swain.  MacDonald came agonisingly close to reducing the deficit further when he nudged the ball past Swain on the corner of the six yard box but it bobbled its way across the face of the goal and behind for a goal kick.

The same player had more joy in the final minute when he swooped on the ball like a seagull on chips after Swain spilled from a Jack Smith long ranger.  The lanky Yankee extending his leg to poke the ball across the line despite a despairing attempt by the keeper to prevent otherwise.

One last flurry and like a siege from the Alamo, the ball was launched into the home box and deflected behind for a corner.  Referee Calder decreeing his allotted period of additional stoppage time up, blew for full time.

FT: LTHV 3-2 The Spartans

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Mikey Herd

Next Fixture

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

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