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Spartans may have taken on Hearts on Friday night but the biggest match to take place at Ainslie Park this weekend was the East of Scotland League 21s clash between Spartans and Whitehill Welfare. With both sides settling in to the newly established East of Scotland Under 21s set up everything was to play for and both Spartans and Whitehill attacked from the word go.
Spartans were first to get a real chance at goal seconds in to the fixture as they won a free kick in an extremely dangerous position. Unfortunately the chance was wasted as the free kick was cannoned in to the wall.
The visitors’ first opportunity on goal came when Johnstone played a tidy through ball to Ogilvie who was deemed offside by the referee.
Spartans then took the game by the scruff of the neck and ploughed forward in search of an opener. Cameron Sneddon looked dangerous in possession as he drove in to the box before sending the ball narrowly over the bar.
Welfare finally succumbed to the Spartans pressure as Lulek’s low cross met Sneddon in the goalmouth after a superb diagonal ball from Kneebone was delivered out to the Spartans winger. Sneddon showed no signs of hesitation as he blasted the ball home to take the lead.
Spartans maintained the pressure as tricky winger Wilson linked up a one-two with Kneebone in midfield before threading a dangerous pass through to Sneddon in the box who was unable to beat the rapid reactions of Lawson in the Whitehill net.
Spartans controlled the possession for the rest of the half but a well organised Whitehill defense kept the Ainslie Park side at bay until the whistle.
Half Time: Spartans 1-0 Whitehill Welfare
Spartans commenced the second period as the ended the first, throwing relentless waves of attack at their Whitehill Welfare rivals. Another superb pass from midfielder Kneebone set up Lulek in the box but the winger mishit the ball, firing high and wide of the target.
Striker Taylor thought he had grabbed Spartans’ second of the game after he beat the Whitehill goalie only for the ref to wash it off for an offside.
Taylor quickly managed to better the Welfare defence again as he chased down a long ball from his defenders, forcing a great save from Euan Lawson. It was then Clarke Veitch in the Spartans goal’s time to shine as he tipped over Scott Cairney’s ambitious effort.
Whitehill Welfare’s game started to pick up as the final whistle drew in on the match. The Midlothian side forced a number of saves from Veitch, the most notable chance being Christopher Dolan’s powerful volley from Kevin Lalley’s cross.
Both sides began to tire but Whitehill’s Johnstone maintained a superb work rate, pressuring Spartans defenders all over the park, even pinching the ball and working the keeper with a curling effort just inside the box.
Full Time: Spartans 1-0 Whitehill Welfare