Man of the Match display sees Carswell Cuik visitor’s Football Nation goose to reach Final

Posted on Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

Spartans reached the Final of the Football Nation Qualifying Cup following a penalty shoot-out victory over Penicuik Athletic at Ainslie Park on Friday night.

Referee Millar got proceedings underway in front of a 265 strong attendance scattered across the ground on a decidedly blustery evening.  The conditions offering some challenges in the opening exchanges with the Conor Horribine Community Pitch the recipient of the match ball on more than one occasion as clearances found themselves gone with the wind and well over the stand.

The opening quarter of the match were largely without noteworthy commentary, save for a Blair Tolmie header that was comfortably saved by Thomas Cordery in the Penicuik goal.

At the other end, the visitors found the net however the stand-side linesman wasn’t slow in raising his flag and the score remained level.

Just as the sides looked like they were heading to the sheds after a stalemate, David Greenhill collected the ball on the far side of the Athletic penalty box.   His cross looked decidedly aided by the swirling wind and it caught Cordery off guard and it sailed over the stopper and into the far end of the net.

HT: Spartans 1-0 Penicuik Athletic

Into the second spell and Penicuik pressed, looking for a way back into the tie.  They were decidedly close but for the timely intervention of Ian McFarland who was on his own goal line to hoof an attempt into a different postcode.

Spartans were winning ugly.  Penicuik were seeking an equaliser.  There was a creeping sense of tetchiness and a couple of cards were brandished as players got a bit excitable at times.

Then, with just three minutes left, the visitors forced the game into extra time.  Steven Notman saw his shot saved by Blair Carswell however he could only parry and Sam Jones was on hand to pounce for Penicuik and snatch an equaliser at the death.

FT: Spartans 1-1 Penicuik Athletic

Into Extra Time…

A nervy added thirty minutes with Adam Corbett perhaps the Spartans saviour with a timely block just inside his box the main moment of the second period however no further goals were added and the lottery of a penalty shoot-out gave the fans added value for their admission money.


The visitors netted their opening spot kick and Adam Corbett’s effort had a similar outcome.  McIntosh stepped up and rattled the crossbar with his attempt leaving Scott Maxwell to make it 2-1 in Spartans advantage.  Man of the Match Blair Carswell then pulled off a stunning save to put some light between the sides.  Aaron Scott slotted home and then it was 3-2 with Mikey Herd stepping up, knowing his success would send Spartans into the final.  In true captain fashion, Herdy sent the keeper the wrong way and his side into the final.  We will have to wait a while to find out our opponents though.  Jeanfield Swifts will take on Bonnyrigg Rose and the winners will play either Peebles Rovers.  The victors of that tie will then take on Camelon Juniors for the right to play Spartans. Phew!

Penalties: Spartans 4-2 Penicuik Athletic

Next Fixture

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

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