Qualifying Cup | Teengers at the helm as Spartans flush out Fulshie

Posted on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

The Spartans set up another cup clash against Dundonald Bluebell following a 9-0 victory over Stoneyburn FC in the 3rd Round of the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup.

After two weather impacted attempts to play the tie in West Lothian, home advantage was reversed by the League Committee and the sides got round to going toe to toe at the third time of asking.

With Lowland League endevours in mind, Manager Dougie Samuel rung the changes with no fewer than eight Development Squad players in the match day squad.  Callum Mackay made his debut from the off and his peers Adam Meek started between the sticks, whilst there were places in the opening XI for Josh Laing and Ben Lamont.

It took just over 60 seconds for Spartans to open the scoring.  Sean Brown searching for the ball as it came into the box but he had his feet taken from him leaving Referee Tommi Kerr with his first – and not his last – easy decision to make of the night.

Up stepped Jamie Penker who dispatched the ball from 12 yards, finding the roof of the net leaving Connor Shaw – wearing a borrowed home goalie kit – little chance.

That lead was doubled in the 6th minute when Sean Brown showed some twinkle toe touches in the box before rounding the keeper to guide the ball into the empty net.

If the early two goal deficit wasn’t enough of a hill to climb for the visitors, their chance of emulating their giant killing act from earlier in the tournament were left in tatters when, in the 17th minute, Baley Ferris was shown a straight red card.  Whilst the details of the incident will be in the Referee’s report, it came after Spartans skipper Ian McFarland was visibility infuriated by actions that left him with a nasty cut on this face forcing his early retiral and he was replaced by Sam Coats.

Moments later, the numerical advantage in personnel resulted in the same in terms of number of goals.  A vintage burst of pace from Alan Brown saw his wheels burn the Fulshie defender and his cross was bundled over by Sean Brown to make it 3-0.  The goal brought up 100 in competitive action for the side this season.

A golden chance for the visitors to narrow the deficit came from a corner that fell to Gary Calvey however the striker blasted it over Adam Meek’s crossbar.

The admission money was worth it’s weight in Ben Lamont’s 35th minute goal.  The teenage striker, who has netted 15 times for the Development team this season so far, collected the ball out wide before cutting in and sending a sublime curler into the top corner drawing warm applause from team-mates and supporters alike.

The first half scoring wasn’t over and with three minutes left til the interval, a quickly taken corner was floating to the back post where Gregor Woods was found lurking and he nodded home from comfortably a solitary yard.

Half Time: The Spartans 5-0 Stoneyburn

Spartans made a change at the break with Aaron Cameron – who has played at the Academy since he was 3 years old – replaced Michael Herd.

The second half was just seven minutes old when Spartans made it six.  Ben Lamont timing the through ball with perfection and Sean Brown, still with almost half the park to run, went forth and netted his hat-trick.

Then it was Ben Lamont with a solo run of this own that made it seven.  The striker benefitting from a ricochet in defence, it fell to the pacey goal getter and he whizzed up the paddock, cut back inside the defender and calmly bagged his brace.

Further changes came on the hour mark when Sean Brown and Ben Lamont, who had scored five out of the seven, were replaced by Mackenzie Scott and his Under 20s team mate Given Ndlovu who made his senior debut.

There was a chance for both players not long after their introduction.  Mackie Scott looked to lob the keeper who had drifted off his line but could only clear the bar then Given Ndlovu showed his trickery to get into the box and in a one-on-one with the keeper, Connor Shaw pull off his finest save in a borrowed Spartans jersey, pushing the ball behind for a corner.

It proved to be little respite however for the keeper as he was once again beaten, this time by Mackie Scott who was pin-pointedly played into the box by Aaron Cameron before sliding beyond Shaw.

Adam Meek then pulled off a save at the other end that was to the filed under ‘one for the cameras’ as the home keeper, largely a bystander throughout the tie, looked to get in on the action.

Then, with just seven minutes on the clock, substitute Mackie Scott rounded off a decent night after Sam Coats won the ball in midfield, Gregor Woods collected and passed to Scott who still had work to do before drilling low into the bottom corner to make it 9-0.

Full Time: The Spartans 9-0 Stoneyburn FC

The victory sees Spartans head across the Forth Bridge on Wednesday 29th March where they will play Dundonald Bluebell in the next round.

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Ben Lamont

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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