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Spartans Surge Past Partick Thistle in Scottish FA Youth Cup

Spartans FC 4

Hunter 10, 32, 42, 68

Partick Thistle FC 2

Dillon 81, Gallacher 88
  • Sunday, 28 September 2014
  • Ainsle Park
  • Under 20´s
  • Scottish Youth Cup
Ryan Crombie

Ryan Crombie | YFS South East Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Spartans performed admirably to emerge victorious against a Partick Thistle side, who struggled all afternoon to break down the resilient Spartans back line. Spartans this afternoon were the perfect example of how to play counter attacking football, soaking up pressure and switching the flow of play instantly forcing their opponents onto the back foot. 

The frantic start this Scottish Youth Cup tie experienced told of the thrilling 90 minutes that were to unfold. An early chance fell to Christopher Dillon who found himself through on goal yet his shot was too central and was easily pounced upon by Spartans goalkeeper Blair Carswell. 

Spartans then had a chance of their own and capitalised. Sean Stewart played in George Hunter at the edge of the box and poked the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper to give the home side the lead.

Partick Thistle responded well though and after a string of good play incorporating 20 or so passes, the resulting shot just inside the box was pulled wide. 

A long spell of Partick Thistle pressure followed but with all the possession they had Thistle were finding it hard to create any clear goal scoring chances. Any foray forward from Partick Thistle quickly broke down due to the stalwart defending of Spartans’ back line. 

In the 27th minute a cut back from Dominic Docherty at the bi-line found Simon Colina but he sent his shot flying over the bar. 

Any chance missed from Partick Thistle proved to be costly as several minutes later Spartans got their second. It was almost a carbon copy of the first except this time it was Blair Atkinson who fed the ball into the path of Hunter who managed to keep a cool head to slot passed the keeper Marc Waters. 

Partick Thistle looked to respond instantly and a thunderous shot was tipped over the bar by Spartans’ number one. 

However Thistle were to rue another missed opportunity as, to the delight of the home support in the stand, Spartans broke up the other end and were awarded a penalty due to a handball inside the area. 

Hunter stepped up and slotted the ball inside the right hand post to complete his first half hat-trick minutes before the break.

  • Half Time:
  • Spartans FC
  • 3-0
  • Partick Thistle FC

The second half took five to ten minutes before both sides managed to find their rhythm again. The ever dangerous Hunter was on the scene once more to create the half’s first chance. His shot was saved and then cleared by the Thistle defence. 

The game then descended into long spells of scrappy play where both teams found it difficult to gain any momentum and clear cut opportunities. The ball was irregularly getting into the final third due to both sides struggling to ease into a rhythm.

A Spartans counter attack around the hour mark sparked the match back into life. Atkinson was speeding down the left wing when Hendry came across and upended the player preventing him from continuing the attack. 

However Hendry had already been booked at the penalty incident and received a second yellow forcing Partick Thistle down to ten men. 

In the 72nd minute Spartans had a corner and as the ball was whipped in the referee pointed at the spot awarding the second spot kick of the afternoon. Everybody was bewildered with the decision but it was given for what appeared to be shirt pulling amidst the bodies during the corner. 

Once again Hunter stepped up and he fired passed the goalkeeper to tick the score over to, Spartans 4 Thistle 0. The home side were well and truly in the driving seat at this point.  

Spartans then looked like they were going to further their lead when they broke with pace and precision from a Partick Thistle free kick, however goalkeeper Waters was on hand to save. 

A lifeline was thrown to the visitors with ten minutes remaining, when number ten Christopher Dillon neatly found the side netting giving the goalkeeper no chance and denying him his clean sheet. 

The goal had reinvigorated Partick Thistle and they surged on looking for a second. As many people know in football, once you are within two goals of your opponents, anything can happen. This was the aim for Thistle and they did in fact find their way to goal once more with only a minute remaining. 

Lee Gallacher grabbed the sixth goal of the game with a composed finish from eight yards. Spartans were now trying to stem the Partick Thistle tide but it seemed as if the surge had come too late to have any impact on the outcome of the match. 

As the referee blew for full time he confirmed what had seemed a formality for the majority of the second half, Spartans were to progress from this Scottish Youth Cup tie.

 A well-deserved result it would have to be said as the home side performed with grit, drive and determination and did enough to see off a late Partick Thistle rally. 

  • Full Time:
  • Spartans FC
  • 4-2
  • Partick Thistle FC


Spartans FC
Partick Thistle FC

1. Blair Carswell
2. Alex Imlah
3. Harry Oliff
4. Paul Dickson
5. Kris Buchanan
6. Scott McGrory-Irvine
7. Sean Stewart
8. Jamie Dishington
9. Blair Atkinson
10. George Hunter
11. Sam Daniel
12. Andy Mair
14. Jordan Brown
15. Dylan Tait
16. Ross Davies
17. Martin Lackie

1. Marc Waters
2. Matthew McInally
3. Michael McMullin
4. Jack Hendry
5. Liam Lindsey
6. Dominic Docherty
7. Declan McDaid
8. Jordan Leyden
9. Kevin Nesbitt
10. Simon Colina
11. Christopher Dillon
12. Connor Cullin
14. Lee Gallacher
15. Neil McLaughlin
16. Dominic McLaren

Star Player
Spartans FC
Partick Thistle FC
George Hunter - Was the difference between the two sides with his four goals. His composed finishing set the tone for the match.
Marc Waters - Made some vital saves and managed to limit the damage inflicted and was able to keep his side always in with a shout of getting back into the game.
Magic Moment
Spartans FC
Partick Thistle FC
When Hunter completed his first half hat-trick from the spot. Any hat-trick inside the opening 45 minutes should be celebrated!
When Dillon calmly slotted away his effort to give the visitors a route back into the match.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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