Truly Bradley Deeply (into extra time) as Spartans reach South Challenge semi in seven-goal thriller against Swifts

Posted on Saturday, April 2nd, 2022

A Malt and Hops Man of the Match winning goal performance from Bradley Whyte saw Spartans edge out Jeanfield Swifts in an extra-time seven goal humdinger to reach the semi final of the Trade Radiators South Challenge Cup.

The three times winners headed to Perth to take on East of Scotland high flyers Jeanfield Swifts with a semi final at stake against Bonnyrigg Rose who defeated Bo’ness United 3-0 in the other half of the quarter final draw.

There was a return to the Spartans bench for Michael Bolochoweckyj in a side, by the Gaffer’s own admission, had been blighted by injuries throughout the season.

The opening exchanges largely failed to live up to the hype and the first attempt came from Cammy Russell but his effort was high and wide.

It took until the half hour mark for the game to come to life and two goals in almost as many minutes had the punters awake and demanding more of the same!

The hosts took the lead after capitalising on some slack defensive play however the sides were level moments later when Cammy Russell was upended in the box and Blair Henderson netted from twelve yards.

HT: Jeanfield Swifts 1-1 The Spartans

The dry Riverside surface saw fast flowing football a bit of a challenge with some players second guessing the bounce of the ball as they looked to build moves to see their side take the lead.

Not only did the Swifts use their knowledge of the paddock to take said lead, they opened a two goal gap, leaving Spartans with a bit of a small Munro to climb.

The game was delayed for treatment to Cammy Russell after the Swifts keeper mistook his napper for the ball, resulting in a booking for the goalie and another penalty for Spartans.

Henderson stepped up and bagged his brace to reduce the deficit with his second from the spot then Jamie Dishington set up the proverbial ‘grandstand finish’ with a headed equaliser with just five minutes left on the clock.

FT: Jeanfield Swifts 3-3 The Spartans

Sub Sam Newman saw his effort deflected behind for a corner as Spartans looked to keep the momentum going and build on their late comeback that took this pulsating quarter final tie into extra time.

From the resultant corner from Jamie Dishington found Bradley Whyte who powered his header home to give Spartans the lead for the first time in the game.

ET HT: Jeanfield Swifts 3-4 The Spartans

Bradley Whyte must have thought he was on for a double when he was clean through for a one-on-one with the keeper however the Ref had other plans and pulled play back for an earlier foul.  The free-kick from Cammy Russell was saved and the result was still in the balance.

Resolute Spartans defending a tired legs all round saw the final stages of extra time peter out to nothing more than an ‘are we nearly there yet?’ from the merry band of travelling Spartan Army faithful in the ground.

The man in the middle made one final toot-toot with his whistle and with that, Spartans set up a tasty semi-final clash with Bonnyrigg Rose in the coming weeks.

ET FT: Jeanfield Swifts 3-4 The Spartans

1 J Newman 2 Herd 3 A Brown 4 Waugh 5 Burns 6 C Brown 7 Dishington 8 McFarland (c) 9 Henderson 10 Russell 11 Whyte.  Subs 12 A Smith 14 Caves 15 S Newman 16 Jones 18 Bolochoweckyj 19 Komocki

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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