Under 20s: Given takes plaudits as wondergoal sets up win over City

Posted on Saturday, August 7th, 2021

Les Atkinson’s young team continued their winning start to the season with a hard fought 1-2 victory over Edinburgh City courtesy of a Given Ndlovu double.

There were a few shuffles in the Spartans pack ahead of this ‘away’ fixture against Edinburgh City with Ndlovu and Reece Mason in the starting XI as Atkinson’s side looked to build on their opening day win over Stirling Albion.

Less than two minutes on the clock and there was a half chance for Mason who broke the offside trap but a timely challenge saw the defender clear the ball as the Spartans striker clattered into the City keeper.

The Spartans defence seemed less nervy than the previous week however they had to be on guard when Cai MacNamara broke into the box but he could only blast over.

Spartans turned their early pressure into the opener and it was a goal that will be talked about for some time to come amongst the 60 or so in attendance.

Given Ndlovu collected the ball on his head inside the box, before turning his man then sending an unstoppable thunderous half volley into the roof of the net beyond the despairing dive of the outstretched Cameron Quate. A goal to savour and one the 17 year old will dine out on for some time to come – and who could blame him!

City keeper Quate was called into action shortly after when he raced from his line to fly through the air to kick the ball to safety as Mason looked to get on to a long ball behind the City defence.

With two minutes left til the break, a delightful cross to the back post from Rory Campbell found Ndlovu lurking at the back post. The striker was poised like a sniper almost already lying on the deck as he headed into the bottom corner.

It doubled the lead but whilst the celebrations were still ringing round the home support, the visitors pulled a goal back with the last play of the half, with Emre Karaduman halving the deficit.

Half Time: Edinburgh City 1-2 The Spartans u20s

It was almost the perfect start after the interval for Chris Inglis but a fine save from Quate saw his header pushed over the bar for a corner.

The second half failed to live up to the previous forty five minutes for notable events and goals, with some tired challenges and frustrations making their way into the game.

One clearance from the Spartans defence was launched out of the ground and must have been inches away from a late Friday night glazier call out.

Spartans made a few chances throughout the half, with Thabet, Mrowczynski and ‘Trialist’ all entering the fray.

A single goal lead with ten minutes to go in a game is sometimes as welcome as it is a squeekybum feeling and it was no different at City pressed hard, enjoyed lots of possession however couldn’t break down a resolute Spartans defence.

Mackenzie Scott was unlucky not to get on to a defence splitting pass but there was just an extra touch of pace on the ball and Quate came out to take it off the toes of the Spartans sub.

There was drama at the death as the hosts thought they’d snatched a last gasp equaliser. A well hit free-kick was spilt by Komocki on the ground but the Referee was well placed to spot the player netting the rebound in a clear offside position.

Relief and two points when the whistler called an end to proceedings after a lengthy period of additional time.

FT: Edinburgh City 1-2 The Spartans u20s

Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 20th April
Opponent: Bonnyrigg Rose
Venue:New Dundas Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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