In this, the Spartan teams' first game of the season, with the expanse of the Forth dominating the backdrop, the cobwebs were swept away in the breeze and rivalries returned as the Reds came out victorious with a five nil score-line despite the Blue's constructive efforts
As a start for either team it hard the air of a training session, with the promise of fair competition allowing them space to express themselves and the coaches would have been proud of all the application on show. In terms of styles, the blues were patient in working play from the back and there were signs this will pay dividends as an incisive and creative front line bed in to the season.
The reds passing appears to be naturally cohesive, with any number of the squad demonstrating a mature awareness of the options their teammates were offering. This eventually succeeded in giving them a grip on proceedings, turning attacks more clinically into chances effectively turned in. The overlaps and width coupled with guile to exploit space centrally saw numerous well-formed counters and opportunities on the transition with plenty of good challenges pressing high up-field as well.
Add the ability to play direct balls out from defence into attacking positons as for the 3rd goal with a pass from right back Calum O’Neil and Spartans Reds certainly have a breadth to their play to cause problems for most opposition. Once these qualities had gone towards settling the result it was going to require a steel the blues were unlikely to apply to their club opposites, but a day for settling the balance will surely arrive soon.
After 15 minutes of a fierce opening battle, and disputes over finding their rhythm first, the opener nearly came from a Reds corner which Damien Mullen rose to get a head to but it flew just above reach. 5 minutes later William Linton burst forward with a good determined run in a strong wind and Jack Murray out wide right made a fine interchange with Kieran Pirie but it didn't quite come off.
There were threats developing and at 20 minutes a goal was denied by a disputed offside call as a great ball into Mat Brady from centre back Jack Murray give him the chance to turn and feed the pass through for the chance.
By now the reds passing was coming into view and the blues looked to hold them off whilst making pacey runs down on goal against a defence running with a high line. This brought them a free kick on the edge of the Red’s area and another goal was denied to Joseph Paterson after quick close control and a smart low finish at the back was curtailed by a call for a push in the area.
On 25 minutes the breakthrough came for the Reds after a well worked move down the left came inside and gave Micheal Alan the opportunity amongst a crowd on the edge of the box and he finished with an excellent left footed rising shot which was hit firmly and with power down and the keeper despite getting fingers to it couldn’t effect its path and it flew into the net with dip.
On 28 minutes the reds nearly made it two with a good long range effort that went over from number Jack Murray before a competitive tackle high up the pitch allows a break on the counter attack down the right for the Blues but the support wasn’t quite there to collect the cross.
After 35 minutes the score became 2 nil after great play passing down the right for the Reds made space for the cross and Blake Rutherford put it away competently with a neat finish.
Both teams were alert but the blues were not quite managing to dictate play and after 40 minutes number Calum O’Neil had a fine attempt with a good half volley strike after a good moments play around the boxpassing from left to right