Maxi spot on to KO Kilby in Scottish Cup cracker

Posted on Saturday, December 12th, 2020

Goals from Scott McCrory-Irving and Scott Maxwell saw Spartans turn around an early East Kilbride opener to progress in the Scottish Cup.

With Alan Brown joining seasoned campaigners Blair Carswell and Ian McFarland on the treatment table, gaffer Dougie Samuel picked a strong starting XI for the visit of Kilby in what was to be an exciting ninety minutes of knockout football.

It was almost an ideal start for Spartans when Blair Atkinson broke the offside trap and chased after the ball but the Kilby keeper was equal to the task as he raced off his line to slide in and clear.

With just five minutes on the clock, it was the visitors who gained an early upper hand with the opening goal of the game.

Erskine sprung the offside trap, went for a run down the touchline before firing the ball across the box and it was met by Healy who flicked the ball beyond Baines.

Spartans looked for a quick response and a couple of chances in quick succession saw a Blair Atkinson shot blocked. It was deflected into the path of Sam Jones who saw his effort well saved.

They didn’t have much longer to wait for the equaliser though and in the 13th minute, Blair Atkinson was the architect as he scooted past his man to the bye-line before sending the ball into the path of Scott McCrory-Irving who wrapped his foot round the leather to thump it into the back of the net.

The width of the post came to Kilby’s rescue shortly after, when a free-kick into the box was headed down by Michael Bolochoweckyj into the path of Sam Jones who could only look on in frustration as his shot hit the base of the upright and behind for a goal kick.

Half Time : The Spartans 1-1 East Kilbride

There was drama just two minutes into the second half when Tom Leighton was shown his second yellow for an agricultural challenge under the noses of the home bench, leaving the visitors to play out 43 minutes with 10 men.

Spartans looked to make their numerical advantage count and they were unlucky when Archie Meekison, causing his typical tormenting mayhem, crossed for Michael Bolochoweckyj who connected well, only for his effort to hit team mate Blair Atkinson and off it went behind for a goal kick.

Baines was called upon at the other end to look lively and he scrambled across his six yard box to get a glove to a shot and push away to safety.

Then it was time for Archie Meekison to turn his man inside out but he could only watch on as his shot hit the post and whizzed away to safety.

With twelve minutes left on the clock, Spartans made a double substitution which saw Aaron Murrell and Keir Russell introduced at the expense of Meekison and Grant.

Then, with just five minutes left on the clock, Aaron Murrell collected the ball on the edge of the box and as looked to make progress, he was wrestled to the ground by a pair of Kilby defenders and the Referee had little hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Big moments call on big players and Scott Maxwell stepped up to the plate and sent the keeper the wrong way to guide the ball low into the bottom corner.

FT: The Spartans 2-1 East Kilbride

Next Fixture

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

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