Replay at Kilby required after six-goal Scottish Cup thriller at Ainslie Park

Posted on Saturday, October 4th, 2014

Six goals, one red card, a penalty and battered woodwork served up a pulsating William Hill Scottish Cup 2nd Round encounter which now heads to K-Park for a replay to decide who takes the next trip on the Road to Hampden.

When Keith McLeod gave his side the lead for the first time in the game in the 74th minute, the home support were hoping their by now 10 man team could hold out to secure their first win against East Kilbride.

Unfortunately Joao Vitoria failed to read the script and his second of the afternoon five minutes later from a free-kick on the edge of the box set up a nervous final 10 minutes in a game that gave the 285 inside the ground fantastic value for money and enough to talk about on their way home.

Spartans started off in fine fashion, attacking the Café end from the opening shrill of Referee Munro’s whistle and may have counted themselves unlucky not to have been awarded an 8th minute penalty when Keith McLeod looked to have been wrestled to the floor inside the box by Craig Howie.

It was ironically a penalty that gave Kilby the lead in the 16th minute after an innocuous looking aerial challenge in the home box offered enough of an infringement to allow the match official to point to the spot.  Joao Vitoria stepped up and slotted home the opening goal of the afternoon.

Spartans responded well and in the 21st minute, they equalised through William Bremner.  Keith McLeod creating enough space to manufacture a cross what was half-volleyed home in emphatic fashion by Bremner.

Bremner was posing problems and was clattered shortly after in the Kilby penalty box with the home fans once again calling for the whistler to make a decision their way.  It wasn’t to be as play raged on under the North Edinburgh blue sky.

The visitors perhaps rode their luck with a couple of decisions however there was no doubt over their 27 minute goal that edged their noses back in front.  A low cross whipped into the six yard box was turned in from a yard at the back post by Liam Gormley to put Kilby 1-2 ahead.

Errol Douglas was unlucky not to pull things back before the break – his first attempt hitting the back of a Kilby defender who flung himself in front of the big striker as he pulled the trigger from 8 yards out, then his header from a Jack Beesley corner was sent narrowly wide of the post shortly after.

Kevin Sivewright replaced Michael Bruce as the game headed into the dying stages of a frantic first half.

Half Time: Spartans 1-2 East Kilbride

Kevin Motion almost brought equilibrium to the score line after his 53rd minute effort rattled the crossbar, leaving Kean rooted to the spot in the Kilby goal.  Keith McLeod was next up however his 25 yard strike fizzled out before reaching a busy visiting goalkeeper.

Alan Brown replaced the hard working Errol Douglas in the 66th minute.

With 20 minutes left on the clock, Spartans once again drew level.  Ally MacKinnon got on the end of a Kevin Motion cross and his header saw the ball land in the back of the net to make it all square again.

Drama followed just three minutes later when Spartans were reduced to 10-men after Kevin Motion received his second yellow of the afternoon for a challenge in the Kilby midfield.

The timeless adage suggests that it’s harder to play against ten men and when the talismanic McLeod scored with a thumping strike to put his side ahead for the first time in the game, it set up what promised to be a frantic finale.

Vitoria ensured the visitors had a second bite of the cherry with a 79th minute goal from a 20 yard free-kick that nestled in Swain’s bottom corner.

Spartans almost sneaked it at the end when the woodwork came to East Kilbride’s rescue once again after Jack Beesley’s dead ball effort rattled the bar before being hoofed to safety and setting up a replay at K-Park next week.

Final Score: Spartans 3-3 East Kilbride

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Jack Beesley

Team vs East Kilbride: Swain, MacKinnon, Cennerazzo, Stevenson, Bruce (Sivewright), Motion, Beesley, O’Donnell, Douglas (Brown), McLeod, Bremner.  Subs(Not Used): Muhsin, Henretty, Thomson, Gilpin (GK)

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 20th April
Opponent: Bonnyrigg Rose
Venue:New Dundas Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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