Football Nation Cup: Spartans see off Gala in seven goal thriller

Posted on Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Spartans survived an early scare against Gala Fairydean to eventually run out 5-2 winners and advance into Round 2 of the Football Nation Qualifying Cup at Ainslie Park.

Under the watchful eye of their newly appointed Club Ambassadors John ‘Yogi’ Hughes and John Collins, the visitors almost took the lead in the fifth minute when Jack Hay was handed a goal scoring opportunity but the Rovers striker could only shoot wide.

Just three minutes later Hay to atone for his earlier transgression when he popped up at the back post to nod home the opener for the Borders men.

That lead was short lived when Eddie Malone squared things up in the 14th minute.  A Jack Beesley corner was only partially cleared by the head of Hope and it fell to the feet of Malone who rattled home from twelve yards.

Beesley had a glorious chance to edge his team in front on the half hour mark however despite a first touch that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Nou Camp, he contrived to send his shot wide.

His blushes were saved by David Greenhill who ensured Gaffer Dougie Samuel’s half time team was delivered to a side with their noses in front with a goal of utmost elegance.  Craig Stevenson’s pass finding Greenhill twenty yards out and the Spartans Captain exquisitely curved the ball round the outstretched arms of Jamie Newman into the net.

Half Time: Spartans 2-1 Gala Fairydean Rovers

It was all square once again 8 minutes after the restart and it was an equally impressive strike from Jack Hay who latched on to a long ball down the middle of the park to send it looping over Blair Carswell with a deft first touch.

The pendulum swung once again towards Spartans midway through the half when Chris Townsley towered over the Gala defence to header home.

Spartans were denied what looked like a stick-on spot-kick when Beesley was sent flying in the box, only for Referee Clark to wave home protestations aside.

The penalty shout was a distant memory just moments later when Jamie Dishington put light between the sides after a game of header-tennis eventually saw the ball hit terra firma for the youngster to drill beyond Newman.

Samuel made two changes with ten minutes left on the clock.  Beesley and Horribine were replaced by Brad Raiker and debutant Igor Salutregi Gabiola.

Spartans secured their passage into the Round 2 draw when Greenhill netted his second of the afternoon following determined play by Stevenson out on the touchline.  ‘Grinchy’ spotted the unmarked Greenhill racing into space outside the 18 yard box, the first time shot flying past the Rovers keeper.

It was almost a dream debut for Spaniard Gabiola just before full time when he advanced towards the Rovers’ box.  His shot just edging past the post, with the keeper scrambling.

FT: Spartans 5-2 Gala Fairydean Rovers


Next Fixture

Date: 16/07/24
Opponent: Cove Rangers
Venue:Balmoral Stadium
Competition: Premier Sports Cup
Kick off: 7.45pm

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