Lowland League | Mackie makes his mark with winner

Posted on Thursday, April 28th, 2022

The strains of The Undertones 1978 classic Teenage Kicks rung round Ainslie Park as supporters of both sides departed Pilton for the final time this season after u20s striker Mackenzie Scott’s late winner saw Spartans defeat Gala Fairydean Rovers 2-1 to complete their Lowland League campaign.

Spartans welcomed Blair Carswell back between the sticks whilst a raft of youths from Les Atkinson’s Academy Pathway incubator were in the squad, with Chris Inglis in the starting XI whilst Aaron Cameron, Mackenzie Scott, Josh Laing and Keir Foster took up places on the bench.

The tourists from the Borders arrived in North Edinburgh searching for their first Lowland League win on the road in the Capital against the hosts and they got off to the best start possible when they took the lead after just three minutes from the spot courtesy of Zander Murray.

Despite the early goal, it was the home side who pressed hardest for the next and when Bradley Whyte chased down a pass deep inside his own half, he drove forward before crossing for Blair Henderson, only for the Gala goalie to pluck the ball off the head of the striker.

Any memo for a light touch ‘dead rubber’ end of season fixture clearly hadn’t been passed to Spartans skipper Ian McFarland who returned to his trademark no-nonsense self in the middle of the park with a welcoming robust challenge or two.

The woodwork saved the visitors from surrendering their lead when Sam Newman headed against the crossbar as Spartans looked to level proceedings.

That goal finally came with three minutes left before the break.  A corner was sent into the box, it’s lack of flight deceiving the players in the box and it was only half cleared to the awaiting Craig Brown who put his laces through the ball to grab his first goal for the club.

HT: The Spartans 1-1 Gala Fairydean Rovers

After one final serving of the legendary Bain’s Pies, the bulging bellies made their way from the Café to their seats for the last forty five of the season.  With the score finally balanced, would there be a second half hero?

Spartans made a double change ten minutes after the interval, with Josh Laing and Rhys Caves replacing Allan Smith and Ian McFarland.

Gala came close with a rare excursion up the park with an effort that whizzed across the face of the goal, however there were no takers.

Josh Laing made a lung-bursting run up the stand-side touchline before whipping in a tremendous cross only for the connection to fly behind for a bye-kick.

Spartans gaffer Dougie Samuel made a further pair of replacements, this time it was a debut for Aaron Cameron and Keir Foster, who replaced Craig Brown and Sam Jones.  Another teenage starlet Mackie Scott entered the field shortly after, swapping spots with Blair Henderson.

It didn’t take long for the Aaron Cameron to get stuck in and he was the recipient of two hefty fouls, one earning the transgressor a yellow card.  The youngster, who had his first Spartans experience at the ripe old age of three, making quite the debut thus far!

With the game looking to throw up just the second draw between the teams, Spartans were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Gala box.  Jamie Dishington sent the ball into the area and up popped Mackie Scott at the near post and the striker nodded the ball into the net before wheeling away to pick up the congratulations of his team-mates.

There wasn’t enough time for the deflated Gala side, with former Spartans players Lewis Hall and Lewis Grant, to launch an attempted late salvo and when Referee Iain Sneddon blew for full time, it was to be a winning end to the season for Sammy’s Spartans.

FT: The Spartans 2-1 Gala Fairydean Rovers

Next Fixture

Date: Monday 5th June
Opponent: FC Edinburgh
Venue:Community Pitch, Ainslie Park
Competition: Development League
Kick off: 7.45pm

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