SPARTANS boss Dougie Samuel remained in upbeat mood after seeing his side lose 4-0 to holders Queen of the South in the first round of Ramsdens Cup.
The Capital side, who qualified for the competition after beating Threave Rovers over two legs, came up against an impressive SPFL Championship side led by Jim McIntyre.
And, with an inaugural Lowland League campaign set to kick off on August 10, Samuel was able to take positives from his team’s display. He said: “It was great for the players to test themselves against such a high-calibre team as Queen Of The South, who recently took four goals off St Mirren. I don’t think there is any shame in us losing. I am disappointed in the manner we lost goals as we lost four from set-pieces, but that’s what happens when you have a group of new players who are still getting to know each other. However, we will address that and we will not lose four goals again in a game this season.
“I was really pleased with the lads in the second half and we can take lots of positives out of the game and also a few things that we can work on to prepare for the league starting in a few weeks.”
Spartans fell behind after 12 minutes when a corner was whipped in and, as the defence failed to clear, Stephen McKenna nipped in at the back post to head home.
Six minutes later, Jack Beecher got caught in possession and fouled Chris Mitchell on the edge of the box. Mitchell fired the free-kick into the danger area and Derek Lyle broke away from his marker and slotted the ball into the net.
McKenna got his second of the afternoon on 23 minutes with a headed effort. Spartans had a few chances to score, Kevin Motion firing just wide of the target, before Beecher went one-on-one with Queens keeper Antelope only to square the ball and see the danger cleared.
Queens’ Kevin Holt headed home powerfully from a corner on 68 minutes to complete the scoring.
Queen of the South: Antell, Mitchell, Holt, Young, Dowie, Higgins, McKenna, Burns, Lyle (Russell 50), Paton, Carmichael (Reilly 60). Unused subs: McShane, McGuffie, Atkinson.
Spartans: Bennett, Cennarazzo, Blaikie, Sivewright (O’Donnell 67), Main, Motion, Brown (Anderson 72), Whatley, Ross (Henretty 65), Beacher, Beesley. Unused subs: Trialist, Jackson.