Late goals give Spartans victory over Gretna 2008

Donal Henretty, right, set up the second goal (library pic)
Donal Henretty, right, set up the second goal (library pic)
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Spartans are into the third round of the Qualifying Cup following a couple of late goals at a windswept Ainslie Park which gained them a 2-0 win over Gretna 2008.

Both sides struggled to cope with the blustery conditions in an uneventful first 20 minutes. Jack Beesley was the first to show a touch of magic as he nutmegged Alan Inglis on the right wing and raced clear.

He whipped a ball to the back post where Keith McLeod looked to line himself up for a strike, however the wind changed the direction of the ball and it flew beyond the striker’s reach.

Spartans keeper Scott Bennett ensured the scores remained level with a couple of fine saves before half-time. He initially stopped a Lewis Todd strike from the edge of the box in 32 minutes and then made a wonderful reaction save from Joe Slattery on the stroke of half-time when the Gretna striker looked certain to score from just a few yards out.

Bennett was again at his best as he touched a Slattery strike round the post just after the break, however, as the game went on Spartans gained control and eventually took the lead in the 80th minute. Defender Jack Blaikie played a long ball out of defence which wasn’t cleared by Gretna centre half Sam Atkinson. Keith McLeod was able to then head it into the path of Alan Brown who half-volleyed the ball into the top of the net with his right foot.

As the game moved into injury time Spartans secured the win. Donal Henretty found space on the right wing, cut the ball back to on-form McLeod, who took a touch to turn a defender and curl the ball into the top corner.

Spartans: Bennett, Grant, Cennerazzo, Main, Blaikie, Whatley, Brown, Beesley (Anderson), Henretty, McLeod, Motion (Beacher) Unused: Bremner, MacCuish, Gilpin.

Gretna 2008: Wright, Blake, Inglis, Atkinson (Shiel), Wallance, Earl (McMath), Renyard, Main, Longcake, Slattery, Todd.