Spartans League Cup hopes gone with the wind at Whitehill

Posted on Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Spartans hopes of securing a semi-final spot in the Lowland League Cup were blown away after losing 1-3 at a windy Whitehill.

With the hosts already out of contention for progression, a win for Spartans would have seen them leap-frog Stirling Uni for a place in the semi-final.

However it was the hosts, playing for pride in the group stages, who worked the conditions to their advantage with goals either side of half-time to record their first win over the Ainslie Park men this season.

The Spartans players were wearing black armbands as they took to the heavy Ferguson Park surface and both teams and the match officials lined-up ahead of kick-off to respectfully observe a minute silence for Spartans Honorary President Ronnie Swan who sadly passed away earlier this week.

Spartans had the wind behind them as the match got underway.  McLeod ventured into the Welfare box onto to see his shot turned around for corner.  The blustery conditions were tested from the corner with the ball changing its route to goal on a handful of occasions before Whitehill’s Walker punched it clear.

McLeod almost capitalised on a Walker error in the box but as he rounded the keeper’s spread out frame on the ground, the Welfare defenders closed down to save the goalie’s blushes.

Mushin was unlucky not to keep his shot from the edge of the box down after a fine passage of play – any of which welcomed by both sets of fans due to weather – by a Spartans side keen to break the deadlock on the search for silverware.

Sadly for the Lowland League leaders, it was the hosts who took a 28th minute lead.  A cross from the right swirled around in the wind before landing at the feet of Sproule who fired the home side into the lead. 1-0

Half –Time: Whitehill Welfare 1-0 Spartans

The hosts, now playing with the hoolie blowing behind them, added to their advantage in the 50th minute.  A speculative MacIntosh strike from long range appeared to catch out Bennett as it zig-zagged its way towards the goal and it flew into the net, leaving the Spartans keeper rooted to the spot. 2-0

Spartans offered a rally in a valiant attempt to show an act of defiance and get back into the game.  Bremner went down in the box under a heavy challenge in the box however his side were left with a mountain to climb after Danny Noon’s wind assisted long range effort left Bennett with an unenviable task of picking the ball out of the net for the third time. 3-0

Mark Whatley grabbed what proved to be a consolation goal with seven minutes left on the clock as Spartans bowed out of the League Cup in what would be best described as a ‘bad day at the office.’

Final Score: Whitehill Welfare 3-1 Spartans

Team vs Whitehill: Bennett, Cennerazzo, Main, Sivewright, O’Donnell, Muhsin (Brown), Grant (Anderson), Whatley, Bremner, McLeod (Beesley), Henretty.  Subs: Not Used: Motion, Gilpin

Malt and Hops Man of the Match:  Mark Whatley

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 13th April
Opponent: Stranraer FC
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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