Spartans playing with no fear as Blair Carswell reveals one fan is not easily pleased

Blair Carswell can attest to the fact that some people are tougher to impress than others.
Spartans' Blair Carswell celebrates with young Ollie after defeating Dundee United.Spartans' Blair Carswell celebrates with young Ollie after defeating Dundee United.
Spartans' Blair Carswell celebrates with young Ollie after defeating Dundee United.

The Spartans goalkeeper, who rounded off last season with penalty saves in the promotion play-offs to help the capital club earn their place in the SPFL, has picked up where he left off. With another penalty stop in an overall impressive showing as the League Two newcomers pulled off one of the most notable results in their history, defeating Dundee United 1-0 to top Group B after one round of Viaplay Cup fixtures, the 28-year-old was widely praised but it turns out that not everyone was as easily pleased.

“My wee nephew Ollie was out on the park celebrating at the end. He wanted a number on his strip and I hoped he was going to say number 1, but he went for 11 because his favourite player is Cammy Russell!” revealed Carswell.

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In a superb team performance, where the part-timers were worthy winners, Russell was one of those who took the game to Dundee United and refused to let them settle. He was also the man who played in Blair Henderson for what turned out to be the only goal of the game. That might have been the case had Carswell not prevented Tony Watt converting from the spot in the 64th minute.

“People say I have a good record from the spot, but it’s really just about picking a side and sticking with it,” explained Carswell. “I had an inkling where Tony might put it, and it turned out well. Then, the next thing there’s a bit of a deflection and one of their boys is right through and after that it’s all about reaction. He’s hit it early, I’ve moved my feet, stuck a leg out and stopped it. In games like these you always have to ride your luck a bit, like when they hit the bar right at the end. On another day, maybe we could have been two or three down. But we got the early goal, hung in and all the boys were great.”

Next up is Falkirk, who head to Ainslie Park on Tuesday night and they will pose a stern test. “We’re off the back of a great run which took us to promotion and into League Two, so we’re used to winning,” the shot-stopper continued. “There’s no fear, we just go out with a smile on our face, play our game and enjoy the occasion. It’s a great stepping stone at the start of a historic season for the club.”

And, the next chapter in Carswell’s Spartans story. “I’ve been about nine years now, so I’ve been part of things here since we were in the East of Scotland League, then the Lowland League and now into the senior leagues. I came through the Academy with lads like Jamie Dishington and Mikey Allan. We’ve seen all the progress and it’s been great to be part of it. When you’re a kid in that situation, you’re not really thinking about where the club’s headed, you just want to make the first team whatever league they might be playing in. But, hopefully, where we are now is the start of the next stage for the club and it can inspire more and more young people to come along and enjoy the environment.”