Spartans show lots of bottle to beat Berwick in Irn-Bru Cup clash

Posted on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Goals from Scott Maxwell, Jamie Dishington and Craig Stevenson saw Spartans defeat League 2 side Berwick Rangers 0-3 at a dreich Shielfield Park in Round 1 of the Irn-Bru Cup on Tuesday night.

It’s the fifth consecutive game Dougie Samuel’s side have scored a trio of goals with Blair Carswell claiming a hat-trick of clean sheets on the bounce.

John Coughlin’s outfit looked to get back to winning ways following their quartet of BetFred group games that failed to provide a victory.

Just ten minutes had lapsed however before the visitors took the lead. Andrew Mair setting up ex-Wee Rangers player Scott Maxwell who drilled low past the keeper to open the scoring.

The home side were inches away from an equaliser on the half hour mark when back to back corners asked some questions of the Spartans defence but Darren Lavery’s dead-ball efforts went without any takers.

Next up was Sheerin who used his bulk to nip in behind the Spartans back division but the unit couldn’t find the target as the home fans started to voice their frustration.

As the sides looked set to head back to the warmth of the changing rooms with Spartans commanding the narrowest of margins, the mood of the half time team-talks were set to change.

McKenna was pick-pocketed in the middle of the soggy Shielfield surface and Jack Beesley’s cushioned pass set up Jamie Dishington who composed himself before sliding under the advancing Walker.

Half Time: Berwick Rangers 0-2 Spartans

Spartans all but booked their passage into the hat for Thursday’s second round draw five minutes after the break.

Captain David Greenhill, conducting the midfield orchestra throughout the evening, sent the travelling Spartan Army support into raptures when he fed Craig Stevenson who drew the keeper before sliding under the hapless Walker.

It was a triple-whammy from which there was no return for the English side. Darren Lavery’s header a few minutes later was perhaps the pick of the changes as the home fans continued to voice their frustrations.

Dean Horribine looked to have earned Spartans a penalty after taking a tumble as he circumnavigated round the outstretched arm of Walker inside the box. It wasn’t however enough to convince the man in the middle who waved aside any claims.

With time running out, Berwick continued to press forward akin to the Big Bad Wolf of nursery rhyme fame but they too could only huff and puff as Blair Carswell and the Spartans defence maintained an impenetrable rear-guard to confirm their scalp and place in the second round draw.

Full Time: Berwick Rangers 0-3 Spartans

Spartans: Carswell, Herd, Maxwell (Beesley), Thomson, Dishington, Greenhill, Brown, Stevenson, Townsley, Horribine (Raiker), Mair.  Unused Subs: Girdwood, Malone, Gilpin.

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 13th April
Opponent: Stranraer FC
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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