Spartans ran out comfortable winners in the Belmont Vauxhall Cup final, on a day where everything fell perfectly into plan for the Edinburgh side at New Dundas Park, as they hit Peebles for five on their way to cup glory.
The eventual winners created the first chance of the tie with just a minute gone, and it was a sign of things to come. Luke Fyvie would have been disappointed when he missed an excellent opportunity at the back post after Harry Little’s pinpoint cross, however only a minute later Spartans went one better.
Little was once again the tormentor of the Peebles defence as he drove down the wing and fired a low ball across goal where Lusanda Ndlovu was on hand to tap home from close range. His side could hardly have dreamt of a better start, and his day was about to become even better.
A few minutes after a decent effort from Logan Cameron flew over the bar, Spartans lead was doubled on six minutes, and it was Ndlovu who found the target again. Adbou Thiam forced a corner after his long range drive brought the best out of Oliver Gray in Peebles’ goal. From the ensuing corner, a goalmouth scrambled followed, with Ndlovu coming out on top from close range. Spartans had started the cup final flying out of the blocks.
It was now-or-never for Peebles at this early stage in the game, with Rory MacDonald having their first threatening chance of the game straight from kick-off, although his shot never matched his run and it drifted wide of Dylan Tas’ goal.
In the 9th minute the frantic pace to this cup final only continued, when Lewis Scrimger was put through on goal following a neat one-two. He looked set to half the deficit before Daniel Hood nipped in to clear the ball for a corner; a tackle that had to be timed perfectly, and it was.
In the 20th minute Spartans took a huge stride to wrapping up the trophy early on. A lovely looped ball over the top of the Peebles backline from Little found Cameron Brincker who had made a clever run through the middle. He brought down the ball with ease, side-stepped a defender and placed his shot beyond the goalkeeper to give his side a three-goal advantage. It was a goal full of quality and composure, leaving Peebles in a sticky scenario with plenty left to play.
The team facing an uphill battle had a glimmer of hope right on the stroke of half-time. It was a relatively simple yet well-taken goal from Keith Kitching, as he drove through the Spartans defence with the help of a few deflections, and powered a great curling shot into the top corner. It was the perfect way to end a forgettable half, and made the outlook of the second-half more interesting.