Lowland League | Young guns quick on the draw at Berwick

Posted on Sunday, April 23rd, 2023

The Spartans finished their season as Champions of the Lowland League with a 0-0 draw on the road at Berwick Rangers.

With the Pyramid Play-Offs around the corner, a reshuffled Spartans side saw several changes to the team that defeated Caledonian Braves in midweek.

Berwick went into the game on a bit of a roll and it promised to be a challenge for the seven Under 20s who pulled on the jersey throughout the afternoon.

The teams came out onto the park with the home side putting up a guard of honour, welcoming the newly crowned champions from the sheds. A lovely touch of sportsmanship, but just how generous would they be over the forthcoming ninety minutes remained to be seen!

An early opportunity saw Ben Lamont go on a run, leaving his man on the ground as he brushed him off in the process. The ball found its way to Jamie Penker who saw his shot blocked.

A corner next, with Sam Coats rising above the defence, but he couldn’t direct his header under the bar.

Spartans hadn’t been tested in the early stages but when the Borderers got some possession on the go, they were a menace and in one valiant attempt to thwart a drive up the park, Josh Laing unceremoniously hoofed the ball out of the ground.

On the half hour mark, Spartans were awarded a penalty. Ben Lamont taking the ball into the box, inviting the challenge and it wasn’t best timed, bringing the young Spartan to the ground. Easy decision for the Ref that time round.

Up stepped Jamie Penker who gave his spot-kick plenty pace, but it just lacked direction and the ball was sent over the bar.

HT: Berwick Rangers 0-0 The Spartans

The opening period of the second half was devoid of noteworthy incident and many were left wondering what was happening in the game behind the terracing such was the cheering coming from the crowd there.

Neat work by Ben Lamont deep inside the Berwick half then set up Sam Coats however his effort went straight down the keeper’s throat. Metaphorically, of course.

An incredible piece of defending from Callum Mackay saw the defender launch himself to clear what looked like a certain goal off the line after Adam Meek had been lobbed on the edge of his box. Thankfully it was Mackay and not the ball that bulged the net this time.

A change with twenty to go saw Given Ndlovu replace Jamie Penker.

Ndlovu, another from the Under 20s development squad, then collected the ball inside his half from a goalmouth clearance. The Berwick defender was desperately trying to halt him, legally and not so much, as the pacey striker went on a lung bursting run through the middle of the park. Unfortunately he couldn’t manufacturer a shot at the end which would have finished off a wonderful move.

Sam Lovie then came on for skipper Ian McFarland with ten to play.

Yet another outstanding stop, once again from Callum MacKay saw him put in a last ditch tackle to put another chance for Berwick behind for a corner.

With seconds left, an injury to Sam Coats saw him withdrawn and Kieran Watson barely had time to dirty his jersey before proceedings were brought to a halt.

FT: Berwick Rangers 0-0 The Spartans

Next Fixture

Date: 29/06/24
Opponent: Livingston FC
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Kick off: 3.00pm

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