Lowland League | Back to winning ways is call from 250 not out Hovie

Posted on Friday, September 24th, 2021

The Spartans get back on Lowland League duty this weekend as they welcome Berwick Rangers to Ainslie Park.

This is the third season the sides have met in the League since the Shielfield side moved into the competition in 2019, with Spartans having recorded two narrow 1-0 wins, both at Ainslie Park in each of the Covid-curtailed campaigns.

Of course, the sides have had a rich history of competition in Cup competitions over the years, in the City Cup, King Cup Finals along with the incredible 5th Round Scottish Cup encounters between the sides in 2014/15 where some 1,000 Spartan Army supporters made the cross-border trip for a midweek replay following a dramatic draw at Ainslie Park.

One player who has locked horns with the Shielfield side on a number of occasions over the years is Alan Brown.  ‘Hovie’ clocked up his 250th Spartans appearance last week and whilst the result didn’t befit the moment, the stalwart was keen to get back on the paddock and a return to winning ways.

“Whilst we are clearly disappointed to be out of the Scottish Cup, there’s plenty of reasons of us all to be optimistic about how we’ve started the season.  It’s a congested first couple of months, we’ve played 14 games in only 10 weeks and combined that with injuries and suspensions we still remain just four points from top spot with so many twists and turns ahead of us.”

“We need to be maximising our home advantage and picking up all three points every time – that’s important to us as a group – and that’s what we will be out to do against Berwick. If you want to progress in this league, you have to do well at home and hopefully a win on Saturday will be the catalyst behind kicking off a winning streak.

“Obviously Berwick have the same ambitions as us this season so it’s another tough test for us however we can extend our gap over one of our fellow challengers with a win on Saturday. 

“Like a number of us, I watched Berwick on the telly the other night and they’ve made some good signings this season, just like ourselves.  The Lowland League has improved so much. Every team has players in their squads where some will think “Oh, how did they get him?”.  Berwick for example have Alex Harris who was at Hibs then Edinburgh City last year and scored on Monday so he’ll be someone we’ll need to keep an eye on during the game.

“But we’ve of course got our own threats and new players that have come in too.  Cammy Russell and Jack Newman for example have joined us in the last couple of weeks with both having played at a higher level.  We’ve got nothing to fear and we need to dictate the tempo of the game on our terms.”

Kick-off is 3pm.  Tickets available in advance via the Fanbase app on your smartphone, or pay at the gate.


Next Fixture

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Date: 16th October 2021
Opponent: Easthouses Lily
Venue:Newbattle Complex
Competition: South Challenge Cup R2
Kick off: 2.30pm
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