Challenge Cup | Blair bags brace as Spartans progress

Posted on Saturday, October 24th, 2020

Blair Atkinson bagged a brace as Spartans secured a Soccer Shop Direct sponsored Challenge Cup second round tie against East Stirlingshire with a 4-0 win over East of Scotland side Kinnoull.

New signing Jamie Walker went straight into Dougie Samuel’s squad fpr the Friday night clash and the former Raith Rovers player was included on the bench whilst Ian McFarland continued to sit out due to injury.

Spartans got off to the ideal start after just four minutes when the took the lead through Sam Jones. The former Penicuik man grabbing his first goal for the club following a long ball from Archie Meekison was inadvertently headed into his path by a Kinnoull defender, setting up Jones who let fly to drill low across the goalie into the bottom corner.

Jones was almost the provider for a second minutes later when his industrious play opened up an opportunity to drive the ball across the face of the six yard box but it evaded the incoming Blair Atkinson who couldn’t get his Inspector Gadget legs operating in time.

Dan Baur was next to whip in another cross which went flying through the box, teasing either a defender to poke out a leg or a team mate to latch on and poke home. Sadly neither and Spartans had to be content with their narrow lead despite the lion’s share of possession.

That narrow lead can be a precarious one and it took a fine save from Blair Carswell to turn a Robertson strike round the post for a corner, as the Perth men made a rare attack in search for an equaliser.

With the clock hitting forty-five minutes, Kinnoull had a corner, which was met by the clearing head of Adam Corbett then collected by Scott Maxwell who passed to Blair Atkinson deep inside his own half.

The striker put his head down, raced up the touchline before cutting back inside his defender and unleashed an unstoppable strike low into the corner of the net. An early contender for goal of the season.

HT: Spartans 2-0 Kinnoull FC

An early effort may well have gone to VAR in one of the big games when Sam Jones shot went to the back post, Archie Meekison looked to have been fouled as he headed away with the net inches away, only for the ball to come back to Jones who saw his shot punched away by the Osinski who appeared to be behind his line whilst doing so.

There was however no questions asked over Osinski’s save minutes later when he denied Meekison with a fine one handed save following some lax defending forcing the busy keeper into action.

Meekison was once again denied after Baur progressed like a gazelle up the touchline to put a neat cross into the near post, but the touch was just too cute and it went inches wide.

Spartans were denied a ‘stonewaller’ in the 55th minute when a corner missed most folk in the crowded box and Sam Jones saw his effort clearly hit the Kinnoull defender who was standing guard on the post. Bizarrely, a goal kick was the eventual outcome.

Cometh the hour and it was Blair Atkinson’s second as he reacted quickest to a bit of a ricochet in the box and he drove home from 10 yards to put the game out of the reach of the visitors.

Patience finally paid off for playmaker Archie Meekison with ten minutes left on the clock. Caddow and Woods combined down the wing, the latter sending ball into the danger area where McCrory-Irving and Paul Anderson collided and Meekison was on hand to pick up the scraps and grab a deserved goal.

FT: Spartans 4-0 Kinnoull FC

Line-up: Carswell, Bolochoweckyj (Russell 66), Caddow, Corbett, Baur (McCrory-Irving 53), Woods, Meekison, Grant (Watson 75), Maxwell, Jones, Atkinson (Tait 66). Subs (Unused) Murrell, Allan

Match Pics here

Match Highlights here

Next Fixture

Date: Friday 17th May
Opponent: Dumbarton
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: Play-Off Final 2nd Leg
Kick off: 7.30pm

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