Spartans Under 20s were crowned East of Scotland League Champions at Ainslie Park on Tuesday night after an Aaron Murrell hat-trick helped Les Atkinson’s side to a 5-0 win over Heriot Watt University, writes Mark Brown
Having secured the Challenge Cup last Friday evening against Edinburgh University, Spartans completed the double after a competitive opening forty five minutes saw the Students put in a determined performance against the champions-elect.
That resilience was finally worn down on the half-hour mark when Aaron Murrell latched on to a defence-splitting pass into the penalty box and the hit-man made no mistake with his attempt on goal, a strike that separated the sides at the interval.
The pick of the evening’s goals came on the hour mark when Sean Stewart raced down the touchline before whipping in a most inviting cross for Aaron Murrell to power his header into the back of the net.
With 15 minutes to go, Spartans extended their lead. A melee inside the visitors six-yard box saw the ball hit off the legs of players akin to a pin-ball in an amusement arcades game before Dylan Tait managed to convince the Referee that he’d squeezed enough of the ball over the line to make it 3-0.
Two goals in as many minutes made the Students punch-drunk as a double whammy put the contest to bed. In the 83rd minute, the ball broke to Blair Atkinson who volleyed home from the edge of the box and this was followed by hat-trick hero Aaron Murrell who obliged by knocking the ball into the empty net after the Uni keeper pulled off a fine save in a valiant attempt to prevent further damage.
Full Time: Spartans 5-0 Heriot Watt University
Post-match, the squad were presented with the League Trophy with the Heriot Watt lads showing great sportsmanship in staying out on the field after a tough shift to applaud the Spartans team.
The players posed for their team photo with the trophy whilst sporting their Cammy Armstrong t-shirts, a tribute to their former team-mate who sadly passed away recently after a battle with cancer.