Lowland League Cup: Spartans aim to make home comforts count

Blair Tolmie and Spartans are looking to win their second trophy of the season on Sunday
Blair Tolmie and Spartans are looking to win their second trophy of the season on Sunday
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Defender Blair Tolmie insists Spartans must capitalise on home advantage when they ‘host’ BSC Glasgow in Sunday’s Lowland League Cup final.

The Capital outfit’s Ainslie Park ground was chosen as this year’s venue by the Lowland League committee, a decision you won’t find 27-year-old Tolmie or the rest of Dougie Samuel’s squad complaining about.

“We never expected it to be at home but we knew about it before the very first round at East Kilbride,” said Tolmie, who joined Spartans from junior Super League outfit Newtongrange Star last summer.

“It might have given us that extra incentive but, at the end of the day, we just wanted to get to another cup final.

“It wouldn’t have bothered the boys where the game was but, as it’s at home, we really have to make it count.”

Spartans’ route to the final hasn’t been a walk in the park. Far from it.

Three consecutive away ties to champions East Kilbride, East Stirlingshire and Gretna 2008 looked tough on paper. But the Edinburgh club’s end-of-season form has been notably impressive having netted seven goals without conceding en route to Sunday’s final.

“We’ve had a really tough run to get here in the first place, make no mistake about it,” Tolmie pointed out.

“Okay, East Kilbride put out a weakened side as they’d played Buckie [in the SPFL Pyramid play-off] 24 hours beforehand but we still had to do the job.

“Then, against East Stirlingshire, we had to play pretty much the entire ninety minutes with ten men so that was always going to be a difficult ask to come through that one.

“And, away to Gretna last weekend, we played really well and got the result we wanted. But it’s been three difficult away ties, that’s for sure.”

Spartans are looking to close the 2016/2017 season with a second trophy in the cabinet having clinched the Football Nation Qualifying Cup with a 2-1 win over East of Scotland League champions Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale in March.

The previous two meetings between Sunday’s opponents have ended in 2-1 victories for the north Edinburgh side but Tolmie is fully aware of the threat BSC pose.

“Looking back at the games we’ve played against them, I think the first game we should have won by more,” he said. “But the second one was a lot tougher and they had their chances.

“They’ve been doing quite well recently so I think it could be a really close game.

“I’m looking to sign off with a win on Sunday and then get ready for what next season brings.

“I want to be more consistent as I expect the gaffer will bring some new faces in but we have a good nucleus here.”