Qualifying Cup | Carswell focused on winning in Nitten

Posted on Friday, August 19th, 2022

After a hectic month of Lowland League activity, it’s a switch of silverware attentions for Spartans who head to Mid Lothian for an East of Scotland Qualifying Cup clash against Newtongrange Star.

With the intense start to the league season, the cup tie may see some personnel changes and the Gaffer utilising the squad to get important game time for his players.  Irrespective of who is in the starting line-up, Blair Carswell knows that the eleven men of Spartans will head into the clash totally focused on the win. 

“It’s a wee break from league competition and a chance to get to play against different players who you don’t come up against every season. It’ll be good to put ourselves up against difficult opponents from another league and see how we fare against them.”

Star sit bang in the middle of the EOS 1st Division with a finely balanced win / loss balance after four games gone whilst Spartans are 6th in the extended 19 team league after half a dozen outings.

The sides haven’t locked horns often over the years however they did meet on St Andrew’s Day in 2018 in a five-goal Football Nation Qualifying Cup thriller at Ainslie Park which saw Spartans progress with a 3-2 win and the visitors end the match with 9 players in an epic encounter that came to life in the final fifteen minutes. 

Carswell was between the sticks in that game however the four year gap between meetings means many personnel changes since.

“Both teams are completely different now with a new set of players on each team so it would be difficult to look to draw comparisons.

“It’ll be a decent test for us without a doubt and it’ll be interesting to see what the difference in standard is like between Lowland League and East of Scotland. 

“No doubt Star will be a good side and well organised however we’ll go into the game looking to carry momentum from last week’s win at Edinburgh Uni and set out to be in the hat for the draw for the next round come full-time on Saturday.”

The name Carswell is a familiar one at New Victoria Park, although it’s been a quarter of a century since it was chanted from the touchline.

“I’ve never played at Nitten so it’ll be another ground to tick off on my list.  There will no doubt be some level of split-loyalties for my Dad who will be at the game.  He spent several years there as the Star goalkeeper and it’ll be good for him to return and catch up with some old faces.”

You can take a trip down memory lane on Spartans / Star connections here: http://www.spartansfc.com/2022/08/16/eos-qualifying-cup-a-look-back-at-stars-for-spartans-nitten/

Please note the slightly earlier kick-off time of 2.30pm

Admission: £7 Adult/£4 Concessions

Next Fixture

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

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