Lowland League | Derby delight for Dougie’s dominant Spartans

Posted on Sunday, September 8th, 2019

The Spartans climbed to fifth spot in the Lowland League table following a 1-2 victory over Civil Service Strollers at a sun-soaked Christie Gillies Park that had former Scotland Manager Gordon Strachan amongst the sizeable crowd.

Leading his side out once again was Captain Adam Corbett with the visitors sporting their new away strips, sponsored by JB Contracts Ltd.  It was Corbett and fellow Academy pathway graduate Blair Atkinson who were to get on the scoresheet in a game where the result suggests a tighter match than the ninety minutes offered.

Spartans took the game to the hosts from the outset and it didn’t take long before the first opportunity to arise.  Dean Hoskins whipped in what is becoming a trademark telling cross to find Blair Atkinson who headed over.

Shortly after, Aaron Murrell looked to capitalise on a defensive lapse but he couldn’t get the ball past Stuart Burnside who made himself big between the sticks and saved well.

Spartans early dominance finally turned possession into a 16th minute lead.  Scott Maxwell threaded the ball down the flank into the path of Murrell who squared the ball to Blair Atkinson.  The striker took a touch to take him away from his marker before sending it home.

Playmaker Murrell almost added a second moments later.  Blair Carswell showed tremendous composure under pressure with his feet to send the ball long for Murrell to race onto it.  With pace akin to a Gazelle in the early stages of securing freedom from the hungry Lion on the Serengeti, Murrell galloped away from his pursuant, only for his final effort to narrowly drag wide.

With a minute left on the watch before the break, that elusive second goal came to town.  An Aaron Scott free-kick out wide was delivered into a packed penalty box and Captain Adam Corbett leapt like a salmon to outjump the posse to head home with gusto.

Spartans Scottish Cup opponents Deveronvale were in attendance and the first half showing will have had a few busy scribbles in the notepad for the de-brief back up the road.

Half Time: Civil Service Strollers 0-2 The Spartans

The second half started much in the same vein as the first, with Spartans taking the game to the hosts.  Scott delivering a fine ball into the danger area however both Atkinson and Murrell had the same intentions but telepathy wasn’t the order of the day and a chance went abegging.

You’d be thinking this report was out of the confines of North Korea such is the one-sidedness of the affair however it was another opportunity for Atkinson who couldn’t get over the ball under the bar to convert a Murrell cross.

A double substitution saw Cameron Dawson and Nicky Reid introduced at the expense of Murrell and Atkinson who had run the Strollers back division utterly ragged in the Muirhouse sunshine all day.

A break in play offered attention to Hoskins and Corbett who clashed with a Strollers man inside the visitor’s 6 yard box, making Craig Samuel’s magic sponge work overtime. 

With 5 minutes left, Mikey Allan came on for the industrious Maxwell as Spartans looked to close out and secure the points.

A slack pass back then put Carswell under some pressure however the Spartans stopper was off his line like a hungry greyhound seeing the hare released from the traps and in the process of winning the race, he found himself unceremoniously clattered.

Perhaps even Gordon Strachan would have conceded that the final scoreline flattered the hosts but pull a goal back they did in the dying stages of added time courtesy of Josh Morris who had the freedom of Christie Gillies Park to slide the ball home in off the post from close range. 

Full Time: Civil Service Strollers 1-2 The Spartans 

For balance, Strollers take on events can be found on their website here

Next Fixture

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

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