Viaplay Cup: Thistle sting Spartans with late penalty

Posted on Saturday, July 29th, 2023

Blair Henderson made it four goals in four Viaplay Cup ties to get Spartans back on level terms against Partick Thistle however  it was a late penalty for the hosts that saw the men from Maryhill progress to the last 16.

Spartans arrived at Firhill Stadium on Saturday afternoon in an admirable position of being in the hunt for progression in the SPFL League Cup tournament, with the winner of this final round of fixtures tie set to have their name in the hat at full time. 

The hosts looked to use their home advantage in a game that had the floodlights on for kick-off, such is summer football in Scotland. 

The home faithful in the stands were on their feet early on following an incident in the Spartans box that saw one of their favourites hit the deck. 

With the man in the middle unimpressed, play raged on and from the Spartans counter, Jamie Dishington’s pace proved a problem and he was clattered to the ground. 

The subsequent free kick from Rhys Armstrong was sent to the back post and despite Jordan Tapping trying his best to control, it went behind for the bye-kick. 

Almost midway through the half, there was a caution dished out to James Craigen, a former favourite around these parts, after the Ref adjudged the Spartans man to have transgressed on the edge of his own box. It was a harsh booking which unfortunately was the prove costly as the afternoon unfolded.

Possibly one of the tackles of the tournament so far saw Gavin Morrison put in a likely goal stopping, ball winning sliding tackle deep inside his own penalty area.

If the hosts came close at one end, lady luck was on their side at the opposite when Jamie Dishington saw the keeper slightly off his line.

His delicate chip agonisingly hit the bar and as Blair Henderson steady himself for the rebound, last ditch defending by Milne saw the ball sent flying behind for a corner.

HT: Partick Thistle 0-0 The Spartans 

The second half was just six minutes old when Partick took the lead.  James Lyon’s effort hit the post before coming back along the line and finally nestling in the net.

Much of the second half was played out under a blanket of blue sky, which was welcomed following the biblical first half shower. 

Partick, who finished last season in 4th spot in the Championship, were keen to stroke the ball around in front of a home support who had found their voice following the opener.

With ten minutes left, the travelling Spartan Army support were up on their feet after Blair Henderson pounced in the box and sidefooted home from 14 yards to bring the SPFL 2 side back on level terms.

The outcome of Group B’s contribution to the last 16 draw continued to remain in the balance following Henderson’s equaliser and the destination of the match points looked set to be decided by spot kicks as the game entered its dying stages.

Alas, it was penalty singular that decided the outcome of the tie with just two minutes left.

A shot inside the Spartans box appeared to hit the arm of James Craigen as it hurtled toward goal and as the Partick players appealed, Referee Gavin Duncan pointed to the spot.

Before the kick could take place, Craigen trundled back to the sheds after receiving his second yellow of the afternoon.

Up stepped Brian Graham and despite Blair Carswell guessing correctly, the pace on the penalty proved to be too much and with that, the tie was won.

FT: Partick Thistle 2-1 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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