MacPhee Cup glee for Elgin as Spartans bow out at Borough Briggs

Posted on Sunday, October 25th, 2015

Archie MacPhee’s last minute headed goal gave Elgin City victory as Spartans agonisingly bowed out at Borough Briggs in Round 2 of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

The 350 mile round trip ended in heartbreak for Dougie Samuel’s Lowland League side after MacPhee got on the end of Craig Gunn’s cross to deny the Edinburgh side a replay that no-one inside the Morayshire ground would have begrudged.

Despite the rain in surrounding areas causing fixtures to fall, the tie kicked-off under a blanket of blue sky as Spartans looked to emulate their cup exploits of last year’s campaign.

The opening chance of the afternoon came on the quarter hour mark from the hosts courtesy of Dylan Easton.  The striker’s free-kick from 20 yards clearing the wall but his radar could only find the side-netting.

Craig Stevenson’s long range dead ball attempt then saw Elgin keeper Stewart Black scampering across his goal as the speculative effort appeared to be closer to the target than the goalie anticipated.

The hosts did have the ball in the net before the teams headed up the tunnel at the break, however the stand-side Assistant rightly flagged for offside.

HT:  Elgin City 0-0 Spartans

Just five minutes into the second half and Spartans were centimetres away from breaking the deadlock.  An Eddie Malone corner found Aaron Murrell on the edge of the six yard box, only for the youngster to look on as his header crashed off the bar.

It was the woodwork at the other end of the field that denied City from opening the scoring after Daniel Moore’s effort from a free-kick hit the frame of Blair Carswell’s goal.

Man of the Match Carswell was in fine form throughout and Dylan Easton must have wondered what he had to do in order to break down the last line of the Spartans defence.   Carswell’s 70th minute full length diving save to send the ball round the post drew applause from all corners of the ground.

Gary Cennerazzo’s trickery down the wing saw him cut back inside his marker before pulling the ball back to Murrell who saw his net-bound effort cannon off an unsuspecting defender’s leg and nudge past the post for a corner.

Carswell once again thwarted the SPFL 2 side’s attack as the game entered its final stages when he closed down Cieran McLean inside the box to push the ball away for a corner.

Sadly for Carswell and his side, their valiant efforts and hope of a replay at Ainslie Park seven days later where dashed by MacPhee with just seconds left on the clock.

FT: Elgin City 1-0 Spartans

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Blair Carswell.

Spartans: Carswell, Brown, Malone, Cennerazzo, Thomson, Horribine, Dishington, Stevenson, Murrell, Herd, Duthie.  Subs: Saunderson, Raiker, Murray, Ross, Mair, Gilpin (GK).

Next Fixture

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

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