GeoSonic Lowland League: Friday night welcomes Rovers over to Ainslie Park

Posted on Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Gala Fairydean Rovers are our Friday night Lowland League visitors to North Edinburgh as Spartans look to build on last weekend’s emphatic clean sheet victory over EduSport and retain their 4th placed spot come 5pm on Saturday.

Ahead of the match, Manager Dougie Samuel was in reflective mood on our previous encounter with the Netherdale early this.  “Our 3-1 loss down at Netherdale in early October is a game which remains fresh in the memory and a reminder of the difficult challenge we face this evening.

“Although it was only 3 weeks ago since our last league vs. EUAFC, it feels longer.  Friendly games (and wins) over Berwick Rangers and Linlithgow Rose proved to be ideal preparation for our trip to Galabank last Saturday to play Edusport Academy.  Our 1st half performance in particular last week was excellent, although we have played better and lost (or drawn) this season.  In recent games, we have tightened up at the back, but more importantly started to take and convert the chances we are creating.  The number of different goal scorers has been another huge in recent weeks.

“With a tough league run-in and 2 x cup competitions (ideally 3) still to play there’s lots to play for in the final quarter of the current season.  It’s hugely encouraging for us that some key players and our team as a whole is finding some form and greater levels of consistency.

“On the player front, with the exception  of Aaron Scott (on holiday) and Cameron Dawson (on loan) we have a full squad to choose from.  There’s no doubt Aaron will be a loss, a quick look at the PlayerTek statistics lets you see quite clearly the increased energy levels he has brought to our Team, along with is undoubted quality on the ball.

“With Hovie back in full training the number of options at our disposal is greater than we’ve had in recent weeks.  With our U20s playing on the same night it’s more tricky balancing the needs of individuals and both Teams, as ever, we will focus on the here and now but not at the expense of the bigger picture.

It was great to see Jack Smith notch another goal last week following his return from injury.  Lack of goals in the 1st half of the season perhaps over-shadowed just how important Jack’s football intelligence and link-up play is to our playing style and approach.  There’s no doubt all of our strikers are looking sharp and crucially in goal scoring form (long may it last).  We will need everyone in what is now a relatively small squad to contribute and play their part if we are to achieve our short term goals and targets we have set for ourselves.”

It’s a Spartans double header tonight too as our undefeated Under 20s take on Stirling Uni in a top of the table clash on the Conor Horribine Edwards Community Pitch.  Les Atkinson is boosted by the return of injured trio Josh Wishart, Lewis Hall and Douglas Crowe for what will be a fantastic showcase of young talent.  The match kicks-off at 8.15pm so a good chance to watch at half and full time too.

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 13th April
Opponent: Stranraer FC
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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