Students pass midweek Spartans test as title heads to Rosewell

Posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Spartans travelled to the impressive settings of the Gannochy Sports Centre for a midweek clash v Stirling University knowing that a victory was a must to take the race for the title to the wire.

The early evening rain made way for bright blue sky and the match kicked off in frantic fashion with both teams keen to make ground on Whitehill Welfare who were entertaining Gretna at Rosewell.

MacKinnon was an early recipient of a yellow card from the Ref as he introduced himself to the University striker in uncompromising fashion in the centre circle.

Neither keeper seemed troubled as the ball went back and forth, akin to a long rally at Wimbledon’s Centre Court, causing frustration for players, coaches and fans alike.

A probing Beesley corner almost saw the McLeod break the deadlock however the close attentions of two defenders saw his header deflected over the bar.

The midfield tussle was a pretty tousy affair and it finally boiled over in 35th minute when Manson received a straight red after tangling with one of the Students on the half-way line.   Bremner found his way into the Ref’s notebook in the aftermath as the game started to lose it’s way.

Both teams made the long pilgrimage back to the changing rooms at half-time as news filtered through of a goal at Rosewell which, as results stood, would see Whitehill secure the title.

Beesley had a shot blocked at close range as Spartans stepped up the pace at the start of the second half.  At the other end, Gilpin was caught by a trailing boot as he bravely went down at the feet of an en-rushing Uni striker.

Enterprising play by Stirling sub Burns saw the player in a good position on the edge of the Spartans box however his shot narrowly curled round Gilpin’s far post and to safety.

A Motion free-kick then saw a strong Spartans penalty shout fall on deaf ears as MacKinnon appeared to be manhandled in the six-yard box.

Grant replaced Beesley but the Spartans bench were then forced into an unplanned substitution after Henretty had to be helped off the field after being scythed down in the middle of the park.  Andy Martin took over at the heart of midfield in his place.

The game then took and unexpected turn in the 75th minute.  Stirling ventured deep into the Spartans half and Burns let fly with a speculative / spectacular* (delete as applicable) shot which evaded Gilpin and hit the back of the net.  A goal which meant the visitors would have to pull something special out the bag.

A further change of personnel saw Ferguson take the place of O’Donnell with 10 minutes left on the clock.

With Spartans now chasing the game, the Uni side looked for an opportunity of their own and despite attempts to close the ball down by MacKinnon and Bremner, their collective challenge could only help deflect a 25 yard strike over the head of Gilpin to double the home side’s lead.

Martin looked to have won a late penalty as he was brought down by the Uni keeper however the Referee waived strong claims aside and awarded a free-kick against the Spartans man.

The final whistle sounded and with that, the East of Scotland Premier title headed to Rosewell.  Our congratulations to Mickey and his Whitehill side.

Final Score: Stirling University 2-0 Spartans.

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: A tough shift for all tonight and the sponsors award went to Kevin Motion.

Next Fixture

Date: 23/07/24
Opponent: Forfar Athletic
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: Premier Sports Cup
Kick off: 7.45pm

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