SPFL 2: Deja vu 2-2 for Spartans

Posted on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

It was a 2-2 deja vu for Spartans as they ended up sharing the spoils for the second Saturday in succession, this time against East Fife at Ainslie Park.

After replacing Blair Carswell at Forfar, Jacques Heraghty continued as custodian of the gloves in the first competitive fixture between the clubs since 1996.

The coin toss saw Spartans make the unfamiliar pilgrimage to goal away from the Café end, a change of scenery for the strikers to attack.

East Fife immediately went on the attack.  Ayrton Sonkur looked to have stood his ground only to find himself penalised for having the audacity of being jumped into.

There was then a scramble in the home box after the ball was lost in midfield.  Brogan Walls launching into the box, Scott Shepherd causing problems and his shot was initially saved by Heraghty.  He then cut it back to Jack Healy who saw his rebound blocked by Kieran Watson as Spartans looked to keep the Fifers at bay.

That they did and they were rewarded in the 26th minute with the opener.  Cammy Russell’s long throw into the box was cleared to the edge of the box.  Kieran Watson getting enough on the ball to find Rhys Armstrong who, in the little space he had, swapped feet and sent a delightful finish into Allan Fleming’s bottom corner.

Spartans looked to build on their recently found momentum and Jamie Dishington’s exceptional cross was out of the reach of Fleming and just the narrowest of margins away from connection with Bradley Whyte’s head who was loitering behind the keeper.

A move from one end to the other from the hosts involving half a dozen slick passes found Cammy Russell out wide.  He sent in a tempting cross looking for the head of Blair Henderson who just couldn’t connect.

HT: The Spartans 1-0 East Fife

A strong run through the middle of the park by Bradley Whyte saw him play in Jamie Dishington who had Fleming scrambling with a shot that just landed on the wrong side of the woodwork.

Then nine minutes after the break, Spartans doubled their lead.  James Craigen winning the ball in the middle, his neat placement into the path of Cammy Russell saw him race to the bye-line where he swept in a tidy cross which was sent into the net by the head of Blair Henderson.

A two goal cushion was reduced by half just three minutes later.  The hosts losing possession on the edge of the Methil men’s box and a quick counter found Healy.  He launched the ball up the park, Watson tried to block however it spun into the path of Scott Shepherd who found the net.

It was all a bit frantic.  Play was fast and loose.  East Fife looking for the equaliser, Spartans keen to not only to curtail that activity but searching to restore their hard earned two goal advantage.

Bradley Whyte showed neat feet on the touchline to skip past a pair of pursuers.  He sent a low cross with pace towards the front post and Rhys Armstrong see his deft touch narrowly whizzed past the post.

A series of throw ins for the visitors saw them edge closer towards Heraghty’s penalty box. A neat move found Scott Shepherd who found the unmarked Nathan Austin who latched on to the ball and his left footed shot evaded the Spartans keeper to level proceedings.

Spartans made a couple of late changes in personnel with Gavin Morrison replacing Jamie Dishington following by a brace of swaps featuring Jordan Tapping and Sean Brown coming on for Allan and Henderson.

Alas, there was to be no change to the scoreline and Spartans continued their positive start to the season, losing only once in the opening seven games in their inaugural season in the SPFL.

FT: The Spartans 2-2 East Fife

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Cammy Russell

Next Fixture

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

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