Spartans got their Scottish Sun Lowland League Cup campaign off to a winning start with a 2-1 win over high flyers Edinburgh City at a bitterly cold Ainslie Park, writes Mark Brown
With several games off in and around the Lothians, the stand was a kaleidoscope of football colours as fans from a series of clubs took in the Edinburgh Derby and were generous in the offerings as they piled a host of goodies into the Donate at the Gate buckets on arrival.
There was a start for Davey Stewart, the East of Scotland player impressing Dougie Samuel into offering him a place in the team.
The crowd didn’t have long to wait before they witnessed goalmouth action either. A break in midfield saw the ball land at the feet of City’s John Dunn who made an impressive turn before unleashing a strike from 20 yards that beat Kevin Swain and sent the visitors into a 5th minute lead.
It may be the season of goodwill but there was little on show when Douglas Gair sent Alan Brown flying with an unorthodox challenge inside the Spartans half. Despite the countdown to Christmas underway, there were to be no cards handed out from Referee Lambie here.
Spartans were back on level terms in the 25th minute. Iain Thomson, wearing his trademark goggles, beat Ian McFarland on the edge of the box before crossing the ball across field to Errol Douglas who stroked the ball back across Andrew Stobie into the bottom corner.
City’s response immediately after almost delivered the same outcome. Craig Stevenson was on hand to make a telling headed clearance, with the help of his own crossbar, to deny the visitors from gaining the upper hand once again.
As the players and fans alike yearning for the half-time warmth of the Academy building, up stepped Jack Beesley to score what turned out to be yet another invaluable winning goal. The playmaker collected the ball from Davey Stewart after the duo exchanged a nifty ‘one-two’ and he left his defender rooted to the spot before leaving Stobie with no chance.
Spartans came close to extending their lead after Ally MacKinnon counted himself unlucky to see his header cleared off the line.
Dougie Samuel made the first of his substitutions on the hour, with Willie Bremner replacing Davey Stewart.
When City’s Shaun Harrison dilly-dallied on the ball looking to formulate another aerial assault on the home defence, the livewire Beesley robbed the dozing defender however he couldn’t direct his audacious chip from 25 yards on target.
With five minutes to go, City’s job of pulling themselves back on level pegging was made harder after Ian McFarland was invited to get first dibs on the showers by the man in the middle after being brandished his second yellow card of the afternoon.