Spartans tumble to ten man Whitehill in tousy New Year affair

Posted on Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

A goal after 30 seconds by Keith McLeod wasn’t enough to provide the catalyst for Spartans to overcome a stuffy Whitehill in what turned out to be a frustrating afternoon at Ainslie Park for Dougie Samuel’s side.

Blair Carswell continued to take up the berth between the sticks against the side he performed heroics against at Rosewell before Christmas as Spartans set out to reduce the gap at the top of the league.

Keith McLeod got the home side off to the perfect start within 30 seconds as he raced into the Whitehill box before sliding the ball under Bryan Young to gran an earlier opener.

Minutes later it was almost a second for Spartans after confusion in the visitors 18 yard area offered Jack Beesley an opportunity however Young was equal to the task, pushing the ball over the bar.

Welfare were back on level terms after 7 minutes.  Aaron Somerville worked an opening from out wide before cutting inside to unleash a strike that avoided Carswell’s outstretched frame to nestle in the bottom corner of the net.

After a frantic opening, both sides settled down with pace of the game dipping as quickly as the mercury in a North Edinburgh thermometer.

An unhelpful challenge from Kerr Dodds in midfield on Jack Beesley saw the Welfare player enter Referee Roncone’s book, a caution that was to prove costly later in the game.

The pendulum of advantage then swung Welfare’s way in the 36th minute when Wayne McIntosh gave his side the lead against the run of play.

Spartans almost grabbed a equaliser of their own as the first half drew to a close.  A well weighted ball by Craig Stevenson saw Gary Cennerazzo dart into the box however he could only watch on agonisingly as his shot curled round Young’s back post.

Half Time: Spartans 1-2 Whitehill Welfare

Iain Thomson saw his header tip over by Young as Spartans looked to bring parity to the score line early in the second half.

In what was turning out to be a chilly afternoon, Kerr Dodds was the first player to head back inside for a hot shower.  The Welfare midfielder was despatched to the sheds by the Referee after an unhelpful challenge inside the Spartans box.

Spartans looked to turn the numerical advantage into goals and they came close after Iain Thomson’s cross into the danger area found McLeod who couldn’t get enough purchase on his shot as he slid in to make contact.

Substitute Kevin Motion then found himself unlucky when his in-swinging corner hit the outside of the near post and bounced to safety, much to the relief of the tourist’s defence.

The killer blow came with 15 minutes to go.  10 man Welfare venture across the halfway line and when Steven Manson pushed the ball across the face of Carswell’s box, Somerville popped up at the back stick to nudge home from the shortest of distances.

John Grant’s industrious drive through the middle of the park allowed him to carve out a powerful drive, forcing Young into action once again.

As the stopwatch ticked down, Keith McLeod’s snap-shot from six yards drifted wide of the Welfare goal and with that, any hopes of a late comeback were dashed.

The result means the old foes have one win each with a draw between the sides so far this season.

Full Time: Spartans 1-3 Whitehill Welfare

Next Fixture

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

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