Spartans 2 Lothian Thistle 0 – Match Report

Posted on Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Spartans won a hard fought match against Lothian Thistle in the quarter finals of the SFA South Regional Cup. It was a match dominated by the referee rather than either side with 3 red cards, several yellows and even more unusual decisions.

Spartans started with the 3-5-2 formation they played against Coldstream last week. Henretty, Manson and Kader all returned to the starting line up. New signing Sam Woods started on the bench but wasn’t to feature in the game.

Spartans took the lead in the 23rd minute. A good pass from Danny O’Donnell set up Kader who crossed to the back post. Donal Henretty headed back towards goal where Robbie Manson rose above the Lothian defence to head home the opener and his first ever goal for Spartans.

In the 35th minute great work from Alex King in midfield, beating three players, allowed him to play Omar Kader into space. Kader whipped the ball brilliantly to the back post, however Keith McLeod blasted high over the bar from 4 yards when it looked easier to score.

The wind was preventing either side from playing however Lothian were throwing in a lot of hard challenges which seemed to go mostly unpunished by the referee.

Into the second half and unsurprisingly it only took five minutes for the first red card. The Lothian number 3, who showed no purpose all game other than to put in terribly timed tackles was given two yellows within 5 seconds of each other and a red as the referee opened a book which was to be busy in the second half. It certainly was an unusual decision however on reflection was the right one. The mouthy Lothian number 10 was booked just 2 minutes later for dissent as Lothian started to lose all discipline.

It took only ten minutes for Spartans to then extend their lead. A mazy midfield run from Alex King resulted in him being taken down just outside the box. He placed the subsequent freekick himself, looked up, then blasted the ball in the bottom left corner of the goal with the keeper rooted on the other side.

King was starting to control everything in midfield and Lothian were struggling to contain him.

In the 65th minute the referee decided to level the numbers on the pitch. Ross Archibald went in hard to a tackle which was probably deserving of a yellow, however the referee decided to show him a straight red, much to the bemusement of the Spartans bench and Archibald himself. This was Ross’ first ever red card for Spartans and he was bitterly disappointed.

The match started to lose all rhythm, James Hair was brought on for Kader as Spartans tried to regain control of the game.

In the 75th minute the match exploded into action again as Lothian’s number 6 lunged in on Dan Gerrard with a two footed, off the ground challenge. The referee produced his red card again as Lothian were reduced to nine.

Struan Preston and Darryl Devlin replaced Keith Mcleod and Donal Henretty as Spartans pushed to extend their lead however it wasn’t to be as Preston, King and Nicky Walker all shot wide from long range shots.

It took until the 87th minute for Lothian to test Chris Flockhart in the Spartan goal, as he did well to stop a direct shot at goal then force the ball out wide to ensure Lothian were unable to take advantage of the follow up.

The match finished 2-0 and Spartans must now face Easthouses away in the Semi-final in early December.

MOTM: Alex King, a sensational performance from King, he controlled midfield all afternoon, caused countless problems and ran rings round the Lothian defence throughout the match. He capped his performance with an excellent free kick. Certainly this has to be one of the best performances in a Spartan strip by any player this season.

Team: Flockhart, Gerrard, Fowlie, Archibald, O’Donnell, Kader (Hair), King, Manson, Walker, McLeod (Preston), Henretty (Devlin)

Next Fixture

Date: 16/07/24
Opponent: Cove Rangers
Venue:Balmoral Stadium
Competition: Premier Sports Cup
Kick off: 7.45pm

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