Bennett’s big save secures Spartans Queens date

Douglas Samuel. Picture: Toby Williams
Douglas Samuel. Picture: Toby Williams
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Spartans manager Douglas Samuel is delighted that his side will play Queen of the South in the Ramsdens cup after seeing off Dumfries & Galloway side Threave Rovers in the qualifier.

Although Spartans went into Saturday’s game two goals ahead of Threave, Samuel knew his team couldn’t take it for granted, and that proved true as Threave won the match 1-0, with Spartans edging the tie 4-3 on aggregate.

The Spartans boss said: “It was a hard game and over the 180 minutes, I take my hat off to Threave for their effort and application. They kept going and they work hard for each other. They have an experienced manager who has coached them well and they have a great spirit.

“We changed it around after half time and that allowed us to get on the front foot, for the first 30 minutes of the first half we were on the front foot. We came out to make it tight in the first half and we wanted to get the goal to put the tie to bed. They got a reward for their work today they have some fantastic players. Our goal keeper had an important save, but maybe he was due us that after last week’s penalty.”

“Next week we play Queens and that is great for the club on two levels. One is a financial benefit, but the players will also get the chance to go and play at a senior ground against a senior side.”

Threave made this game difficult for Spartans and with 20 minutes remaining took the lead. Russell Parker played an excellent ball over the top to find Shaun Milligan, who crossed and Dean Fyfe placed a curling first time effort into the net. A few minutes later Ali MacKinnon gave away a free kick 25 yards out and Scott Wilby curled the ball round the wall and look net bound, but somehow big keeper Scott Bennett got a hand to it to push the ball around the post.

That was enough to see Spartans through and they will play Queens next week at Palmerston Park.

Threave: V Parker, Wilby, Kerr, Cooksley, Patterson, Nicholl, Fyfe, Batty, Milligan, Degan, McClymont (R Parker 70). Subs: R Parker, Roan Lawrie, Tait

Spartans: Bennet, Main, Blaikie, Sivewright, MacKinnon, Cennarazzo, Motion, Whatley, Ross (Anderson 77), Beacher, Beesley. Subs: Anderson, O’Donnell, Gray, Jackson