Under 20s: Spartans take extra time to break Kelty Hearts

Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

Les Atkinson’s Spartans youths reached the Final of the Development League Knock-Out Cup with a dramatic 4-2 extra time win over Kelty Hearts at Ainslie Park.

The two top teams in Under 20s football served up a super contest that had many twists and turns throughout 120 minutes of end to end football. As the early evening rain subsided, Spartans got the game underway, attacking the familiar Cafe End of the Academy.

It didn’t take long before they pressed and troubled the Fifers however the first clear cut opportunity fell to the visitors which saw Chris Peden pull off a fine stop, pushing the ball over the bar to safety. First blood though came in the 24 minute and it was for the hosts. The Kelty bench mildly bemused by the lack of offside decision from the solitary official that led to the corner kick which saw Murray Hand leap at the near post to deftly flick the ball beyond the keeper into the roof of the net.

That lead lasted a mere four minutes when the Fifers were awarded a penalty. In his attempt to defend inside the box, Oran Hosey appeared to slip under pressure and his hands looking to protect him from face planting onto the Astro surface, the Referee seemed the action deliberate enough to point to the spot. Kick covered and all square once again.

Both sides looked to forge ahead and press for another goal to take a lead into the half time sheds however neither strike force could penetrate their opposite rear guard and the sides were in level.

HT: Spartans 1-1 Kelty Hearts

Hosey came close to scoring shortly after the break but his header was well saved down low by a largely unsighted Kelty keeper. The visitors keen to counter but the athleticism of Hosey to back track and mop up the danger drew warm applause from the Spartans faithful.

Just before the hour mark, a through ball down the middle of the Spartans defence, saw Kelty capitalise and despite the efforts of Chris Peden between the sticks, the pendulum swung into the favour of the Fifers. Cameron Dawson was then denied by some brave goalkeeping that saw the Kelty man require a rub with the sponge before playing on. Dawson then turned provider only for Josh Wishart’s to be saved at close range.

Then came the second equaliser of that night which took the game into extra time. Oran Hosey went on a solo mission before looking up and unleashing a 35 yard shot that unceremoniously rattled off the bar. Dawson was first to react, swooping like a seagull onto chips and the striker tapped in from close range.

FT: Spartans 2-2 Kelty Hearts

Two tired looking sets of lads had offered a tremendous ninety minutes of passionate football. Another half hour was put on the proverbial clock and off we went again in order to find the winner.

Eight minutes into the opening period and a dashing and daring break by Ollie Hetherington saw him find the box. Weaving through the legs akin to a slalom skier down the slopes of Courcheval, he hit what looked like a fairly innocuous shot and the keeper could only watch as the ball agonisingly creep over the line.

ET HT: Spartans 3-2 Kelty Hearts

Could Kelty comeback once again? No. Midway through the second spell of the added thirty energy-sapping minutes Spartans sealed their place in the Final.

An over hit shot was collected by Matteo Crolla out on the touchline. A cheeky shimmy-shammy allowed him space to throw in a cross and up stepped Lewis Hall to hit the ball with power and accuracy to bulge the onion bag and send the home support into raptures – and his side into a Knock-Out Cup Final showdown against Bonnyton Thistle.

ET FT: Spartans 4-2 Kelty Hearts

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 27th April
Opponent: Peterhead
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

cinch 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