SPARTANS have the advantage going into the second leg of their Ramsdens Cup qualifying match with Threave Rovers after Robbie Ross scored a double in their 4-2 win over fellow Lowland League side Threave Rovers at Ainslie Park on Saturday.
The Edinburgh side almost found themselves behind in the opening minutes of the match when a free-kick was whipped in and they failed to clear the danger. A goal-mouth scramble ensued and the final effort went just wide of the target.
Jack Beacher then had a terrific chance after a perfectly-placed pass from Jack Beesley, Beacher found himself one-on-one with Threave keeper Vinnie Parker, but he blasted the shot high over the bar. T
hreave then had another opportunity from another free-kick. This time the cross fell to the feet of Liam Patterson and his shot missed the target.
Just before the interval Beesley almost broke the deadlock when he timed his run perfectly to beat the offside trap, his shot beating Parker, but also the post
Minutes into the restart of the match and Spartans found a break. Once again Beesley went on an attacking run and his perfectly placed cross found Ross, who fired home. Ross picked up his second a few minutes later when a cross was played over and the big striker out-jumped the defence and headed home.
Threave introduced Shaun Milligan from the bench and this gave them a spark up front and within minutes of coming on, he was on the score sheet.
The forward slipped in between the defenders and when a low ball was fired in, he had the simple task of directing the ball into the net from point blank range.
This spurred Threave on and Milligan was again causing problems for the Spartans defence and as he broke into the box, keeper Scott Bennett came racing of his line and lunged into the forward, leaving referee Nick Walsh with no option other than to award a penalty. Scott Wilby stepped and levelled the match.
It was looking like both teams would take a share of the spoils, however Garry Cennarazzo broke into the Threave box and was tripped by Darren Kerr. Kevin Motion stepped up and dispatched the spot kick.
Spartans got their fourth of the afternoon when Chris Anderson got on the end of a cross and smashed the ball into the net.
Double marksman Ross said: “It was great to score on my debut, it’s really good to get that monkey of my back.
“I thought it was a great game. We thought at two-nil they would tire, but then we found ourselves on the back foot and suddenly things were all level. We will look forward to the trip to Threave next week and with the opportunity to play Queen of the South, it’s important we get a win”
Spartans manager Dougie Samuel commented: “I am very pleased with todays game. It felt like we had to win the game twice as we switch of got a bit sloppy. At two-apiece, they looked just a likely to score as we did. Robbie did well to score in his first game and his movement in the box and off the ball was great. Beesley’s final balls into the box in the second half were also excellent.
“I am delighted overall with the performance and we will now be preparing for next weeks match and hope to get a victory”.
However, Threave boss Keith Knox was upbeat at the final whistle and he said: “I thought the first half was even there wasn’t much between both teams. I thought we lost two soft goals and I was worried how the boys would cope, but we changed things and it worked and we drew level.
“I always tell the boys not to lunge into tackles, but we did and paid the price with the penalty. It was really unfortunate that we concede the fourth in the closing stages, but we will really look forward to next week’s return match.”
Spartans: Bennett, Cennarazzo, Main, Sivewright, MacKinnon, Motion, Brown (Henretty 72), Whatley, Ross (Anderson 85), Beacher, Beesley subs Anderson, Gilpin, Blaikie, Henretty, McCuish
Threave: V Parker, Wilby, Kerr, Cooksley (Milligan 60), Patterson, Fyfe, Degan, Kay, G Parker (Roan 83), R Parker, Juston Nicholl subs Milligan. McClymont, Roan, Lawrie, Benson