Blair flair bunch send Tomassi into seven heaven with debut win

Posted on Saturday, August 1st, 2015

Colin Tomassi got his Spartans East of Scotland Managerial career off to a winning start with a convincing 7-2 win over Duns in the opening Qualifying League Section C tie.

Blair Atkinson lead the charge with a hat-trick, Chris Anderson added a brace and goals from Danny O’Donnell & Andy Howat saw Spartans pull away from the men from the Borders after a closely fought first half.

Spartans welcomed back Danny O’Donnell to Ainslie Park and he was reunited with former Lowland League team-mate Keith McLeod in a side that had a fine mix of youth and experience throughout the 15 man squad.

It was another returnee to the Academy in the shape of Chris Anderson (and what a shape!) who made the early running, making his way to the by-line before his cross was diverted behind by a Duns defender.

The hardy bunch of fans seeking shelter from the sweeping rain in the stand didn’t have to wait long for the opening goal and it came from Blair Atkinson who drilled home past Paul Tansy between the visitor’s sticks.

Leigh Walker was the first to enter the Referee’s notebook after bringing down Sean Stewart at the edge of the box.  The yellow card was to prove costly later in the game.

Duns equalised in the 33rd minute from the penalty spot through Connor Devany after the whistler noticed a shove in the 18 yard area.

Just three minutes later, Spartans restored their lead.  Chris Anderson lifted the ball over Tansy from a tight angle to send his side 2-1 ahead at the break.

Half-Time: Spartans 2-1 Duns

As the saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Edinburgh, wait half an hour”.  Only 15 minutes at the interval was required for winter to return to summer as the sunshine forced the fans to shelter their eyes from the sun instead of the rain as the players returned for what was to be a value for money second half.

A sending off and six goals in a jam-packed forty five minutes  started with Walker receiving his marching orders for a second yellow in the 56th minute for deliberate handball.

Walker had barely turned on his early shower before Danny O’Donnell used his 6ft 2” frame to head home at the back post to extend Spartans lead.

Dez Cameron was unlucky not to reduce the deficit when his pile-driver from 25 yards clipped Willie Turner’s crossbar on its way over the goal.

At the other end, Tansy earned the plaudits for a wonderful save, denying Anderson from point-blank range and somehow managing to push the striker onto the bar and over for a corner.

The Duns threat was done and dusted as a clinical Spartans ended a spirited Borders side’s comeback with a triple-whammy of goals in an eight minute spell.

Keith McLeod set up Anderson for his second of the afternoon before Atkinson took the ball for a run prior to rattling it low into the net.  The youngster grabbed his hat-trick moments later after Brad Raiker’s well weighted pass set up a golden opportunity in the box.

Duns dilemma was further compounded when they were reduced to nine players after another second yellow was brandish with less than 15 minutes left.

The sides exchanged goals in a frantic 60 seconds with sub Andy Howat won the 1-2-1 dual with the Duns keeper whilst at the other end, Cameron Beesley forced the ball home to grab a consolation strike with nine minutes left on the clock.

Final Score: Spartans 7-2 Duns

Speaking of his debut win, a pleased Tomassi said, “Not only is the result a fantastic start, but I felt the overall performance from a great mix of young talent and old heads was really good.  A sign of things to come but we won’t get carried away based on one result.

“Undoubtedly the sending off was a turning point in the game at 2-1, however as we all know, playing against 10 men isn’t always easy and it can sometimes turn against you, but credit to the players for keeping their concentration and scoring some great goals.

“It was good to see them being shared around and I’m delighted for Blair getting his first hat-trick of the season and also Danny ‘prolific goal-scorer’ O’Donnell too.”

In the other Group C clash, University of Stirling drew 1-1 with Kelso United.  Spartans head to face the Students on Wednesday evening before they head to the Borders to face Kelso next Saturday.

Next Fixture

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

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