Lowland League | Blair hits half century as Spartans beat the Braves

Posted on Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Talismanic hitman Blair Henderson bagged his 50th goal in Spartans colours during a comprehensive 5-1 victory over Caledonian Braves at Ainslie Park.

There was a call-up to the bench for Under 20s striker Mackenzie Scott whilst the team were joined as they entered the pitch by the Youth Section’s 2015 Carswell side as mascots for the day.

The first chance of the afternoon fell to the visitors as the masked defender Jordan Tapping was adjudged to have fouled his man just outside the box. The wall held their own and also blocked the effort before it was hoofed clear.

With just nine minutes on the clock, the opener. Malt and Hops Man of the Match Jamie Dishington collecting the ball before gliding the ball under the advancing Braves keeper to slide into the empty net.

As they would say on the Masked Singer, ‘Take it off, Take it off’ and it was Tapps aff for Jordan who gave an early departure for his facial furniture.

Brad Whyte was unfortunate not to double the lead with a cross / shot effort to the back post. The ball just begging for a wee nudge net bound with a plethora of players rooted to the spot.

As the half progressed, Spartans maintained their momentum and in the 32nd minute, Mikey Allan rose to head towards the goal and despite the valiant attempts by the defender on the line – or more so behind it – the far-side Assistant Referee called the shots and decreed that the ball had indeed crossed. No VAR in North Edinburgh required.

There was some disquiet in the away dugout when Ian McFarland dished out a robust challenge in the middle of the paddock. Ball won, noted Referee George Calder although play was halted to allow both players to receive treatment from the coming together of committed individuals.

HT: The Spartans 2-0 Caledonian Braves

Anyone just finishing off their pie and bovril in the cafe would have done well to have made it back to their seats in time for Braves halving the deficit moments after the restart. Almost shades of the game between the sides earlier in the season.

That momentary fortune for the Braves was dashed just five minutes into the half when Cammy Russell pulled the ball back into the path of Blair Henderson who slid home the third and his half century of strikes for the club.

The provider turned finisher in the 62nd minute after collecting the ball before going on a tormenting run, turning his man one way then another ahead of dinking the ball over the keeper to make it four.

Spartans made a double substitution ahead of the restart with Harvey Swann and Sam Jones replacing Ian McFarland and Josh Laing.

Then, it was Cammy Russell once again coming up with a low drive that sailed into the onion bag to round off the scoring.

There were further changes to come with Sean Brown replacing Mikey Allan ahead of a final brace of replacements as Mackie Scott entered the fray for Blair Henderson and Gregor Woods coming on for Cammy Russell.

FT: The Spartans 5-1 Caledonian Braves

Next Fixture

Date: 29/06/24
Opponent: Livingston FC
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Kick off: 3.00pm

William Hill J-Teq EMS Solutions Ltd Spentwell JB Contracts (Scotland) Ltd
Mintbox Removals Johnstone Carmichael Consider IT Shepherd Chartered Surveyors
Sonsie Face Westwoods Health Club Mr Eion Coffee Hart Lifts
Soho IT CHAS Jim Martin