Spartans FC U14’s marched on into the next round of the South East Region Cup with a dominant, slick, and vigorous performance against a Broxburn side who struggled to cope with the fluency of the Spartans attacking line all morning.
After crashing out of the Scottish Cup last week it would have been very easy for that defeat to affect Spartans’ performance however the reality was far from it. Spartans performed with zest and determination throughout the game which was the ultimately the reason for their victory.
It was evident the match was going to be a thriller as right from the off, Broxburn came forward with intent but good defending thwarted the early attack.
Minutes later the visitors looked as if they were about to open the scoring when Euan Fordyce rounded the keeper but he scuffed his shot allowing the keeper to scramble to his feet and pounce on the ball, inches before trundling over the line.
Both teams were looking threatening on the attack and a brilliant chance fell to John Balde of Spartans. Archie Morris whipped in a great ball to the back post where Balde was lurking but his stretching, first time effort was fired wide.
Soon after, the deadlock between the two sides was finally broken by the home side, following a stramash inside the area. Pinball ensued within the Broxburn box and a shot crashed off of the bar before falling to Morris. He made no mistake in his finish as he thundered the ball high into the roof of the net.
Morris was dictating the pace and flow of the game and he created another chance as he slipped in Kris Gaff at the left hand side of the box. Gaff took one touch to steady himself and drilled a low shot at the goalkeeper, however he was equal to it and prevented the home side doubling their lead.
Spartans were now well on top and were asserting their authority on to the match, yet the second goal of the game came against the run of play, and what a goal it was.
Declan Fulton for Broxburn, was presented with possession a couple of yards past the centre circle and decided to take the ball on a run. He glided past two players then jinked around another couple of white shirts before going one on one with goalkeeper Ben Ritchie. Fulton showed extreme calm to compositely slide the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper to resume parity.
The level score line did not last long however, as Spartans renewed their one goal advantage over Broxburn. Balde’s trickery freed him up on the right wing and he chipped a neat cross into Matteo Crolla, who slotted home effortlessly.
Blinked and you would have missed the third Spartans goal. Almost immediately from kick off Spartans nicked the ball back and a cross-field ball from Morris found Joe Tait who’s shot looped over the helpless keeper and into the net. The joy of the Spartans team was written all over their faces.
Broxburn were struggling to deal with the attacking fluency of Spartans and were being continually pinned back as the Spartans onslaught persisted.
The reward for the home team was a fourth goal minutes before the break. The ball ricocheted from a forceful challenge to Ross McGrail who controlled the ball well before firing high over the keeper to make proceedings slightly more comfortable for Spartans as the half came to a close.