Spartans downed by Dalkeith ace in Cup

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Dalkeith MW booked their place in the quarter-final of the Lothian and Edinburgh Amateur FA’s Miller Cup following a 3-1 victory over Spartans at Ainslie Park.

The Midlothian club will play either Silverknowes Vale or Glenpark Thistle in the next round.

Laurie Flynn scored two goals for Dalkeith after an unfortunate own goal by Spartans’ defender Chris Aitken handed the visitors a sixth-minute lead.

However, Robbie Laird scored a spectacular consolation goal for Spartans with 23 minutes of the match remaining.

Spartans had the first scoring chance in the opening minute but David Campbell shot wide of the left post from the edge of the penalty area.

Two minutes later, David Campbell’s shot was tipped wide by Dalkeith goalkeeper John Falconer.

Dalkeith took the lead with their first opportunity after six minutes. Paul McDermott played the ball to Flynn inside the penalty area and his shot was parried by Spartans goalkeeper Mark Sinclair, but the ball bounced off centre-half Aitken and over the goal-line.

The away team were dominating possession and Flynn could have added a second goal in the 24th minute after Mark Brown’s through ball into the penalty area. Unfortunately for him, the ball landed into the arms of the grateful Sinclair. Mark Brown continued to create chances for Dalkeith and, nine minutes later, his pass found Craig Brown, who shot over the crossbar from ten yards.

Spartans should have equalised with their next attack. Geoff Aberdein’s chipped pass went to James Campbell but his tame volley was saved by Falconer.

Flynn doubled the lead for Dalkeith in the opening minute of the second half. Craig Brown’s shot from the edge of the penalty area was parried but Flynn was first to the ball to tap it into the goal.

Four minutes later, Mark Brown’s shot from the left corner of the penalty area went narrowly wide of the right post. Spartans briefly looked like they were getting back into the match around the hour mark with Martin Douglas’s shot parried by Falconer.

But Spartans’ period of dominance did not last long and Flynn put the result beyond doubt in the 67th minute, heading into the left-hand side of the net from close range after Sean McDermott’s corner.

Laird replied immediately for Spartans with a spectacular 20-yard shot which flew into the roof of the net.

Dalkeith continued to push for a fourth goal, and they had penalty appeals turned down by referee Campbell Duncan, who deemed that Aitken had tackled Mark Brown fairly when he was squaring up to shoot.

With ten minutes remaining, a Dalkeith corner was headed narrowly wide by Mark Malone.

East Calder United also advanced to the quarter-final stage of the Miller Cup after winning their third round home tie against Arniston by 1-0.

Spartans: Mark Sinclair, Geoff Aberdein, Ross Hutchison, Chris Aitken, Marc Proudfoot, John Hall, Robbie Laird, James Campbell, Iain Cartwright, Martin Douglas, David Campbell, Garth Fitzsimmons, Liam Grandison, Cameron Clark, Jonah Fransson.

Dalkeith MW: John Falconer, Sean McDermott, Darren Combe, John Taylor, John Cooper, Mark Lothian, Darren Stewart, Paul McDermott, Craig Brown, Mark Brown, Laurie Flynn, Calum Gordon, Michael Laing, Mark Malone, Christopher Wright, Kevin Connolly.