Spartans head for South semis after scoring seven in Sanquhar

Posted on Saturday, March 15th, 2014

Keith McLeod’s fourth hat-trick of the season helped send Spartans into seventh heaven as they progressed into the South Challenge Cup semi-finals, with a 1-7 win against Nithsdale Wanderers.

With a series of regulars unavailable for selection, Spartans Manager Dougie Samuel drafted Neil MacCuish onto the bench and there was a return to the squad for Jack Blaikie as his road to recovery continues.

Spartans started the livelier and Chris Anderson was unlucky not to break the deadlock in the 5th minute however his header from a Kevin Motion corner went over Grozier’s crossbar.

The opening goal came in the 11th minute.  Jack Beesley’s determined run towards the Wanderers box was thwarted when he became the meat between a Kilpatrick and Paterson sandwich.   From 25 yards out, the midfielder’s delivered a trademark ‘Bend it like Beesley’ moment, lifting his free kick up and over the wall before it hit the back of Nithsdale net. 0-1.

The Referee’s notebook was busy.  Enthusiastic tackling from Nithsdale’s Soltys earned him his side’s first yellow of the afternoon as the home side attempted to close down the Spartans attack.

Spartans doubled their lead when Keith McLeod attacked an Alan Brown cross at the front post, his header leaving Grozier helpless as it flew past him to nestle in the back of the net. 0-2.

Half – Time: Nithsdale Wanderers 0-2 Spartans

The visitors started as they finished the first half – with a goal from McLeod.  Motion’s majestic play down the touchline allowed him space to cross the ball low and hard into the path of the Spartans hitman who obliged by tapping it home from three yards. 0-3.

As the hosts looked to find a way to get back into the game, they were awarded a lifeline when Scott Bennett collided with Soltys inside the box, leaving the Referee with little option that to point to the spot.  Paterson narrowed the deficit, sending the Spartans keeper the wrong way. 1-3.

Willie Bremner replaced the industrious Anderson and it was a master substitution by the Spartans gaffer.

John Grant’s long ball into the box was headed down by Mark Whatley into the path of Bremner who unleashed a thunderous half-volley that stayed low and accurate as it whizzed past the outstretched hand of the Nithsdale goalie. 1-4.

Bremner turned provider moments later as he tormented the Wanderers defence before setting up McLeod who grabbed his fourth hat-trick of the season. 1-5.

Worse was to follow for the Sanquhar faithful as Bremner outpaced Calum Kilpatrick to push the ball across the six-yard box to allow Sean Muhsin, who had earlier replaced Motion, to nip in front of Bennie to side-foot it home to make it 1-6.

Beesley made it the magnificent seven on the full time whistle when he latched onto the ball in the box before his cheeky chip over the advancing Grozier trundled across the Lorimer Park whitewash to cap a decent day on the road.

Full Time: Nithsdale Wanderers 1-7 Spartans

The victory pleased Manager Dougie Samuel, “We produced a professional performance today that I’m delighted with.  At times our ball retention and link-up play was excellent.  I also thought some of our goals were top drawer as was the support play, in particular I felt Mark Whatley produced a complete central midfield performance and was back to his very best.”

Spartans:  Bennett, Grant, Cennerazzo, Sivewright, O’Donnell, Motion, Brown, Whatley, Anderson, McLeod, Beesley.  Subs: Bremner, Muhsin, Blaikie, MacCuish, Gilpin.

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Keith McLeod

Finally, we’d like to thank everyone at Nithsdale for their fantastic hospitality today.

Next Fixture

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

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