Spartans gain edge in title race as Stirling are defeated

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The race for the East Seniors Central Taxis Premier Division title is still a two horse race between Spartans and Stirling University, although the pendulum of power has swung slightly in favour of the Capital outfit after the students were beaten 2-1 at home by Edinburgh City last night.

Spartans lead the table by three points with Stirling in second spot and the two clubs meet this Saturday at Stirling.

City opened strongly against Stirling and in an evenly contested first half both teams had several chances to take the lead.

However, the game was goalless at the break – but within three minutes of the re-start, City took the lead when Ross Guthrie hit an unstoppable volley from 25 yards behind Kevin Walker in the Stirling goal.

Robbie Ross, City’s ever-alert striker, edged City further ahead in the 77th minute when his low drive found the corner of the net and although Stirling’s Chris Geddes notched an injury-time goal, City returned victorious to the Capital.

“It was an end-to-end game in which both goalkeepers made some unbelievable saves,” said City’s co-manager, Gary Jardine.

Spartans, meanwhile, were involved in the semi-final of the King Cup and they emerged as 2-0 winners against Whitehill Welfare who had striker Wayne McIntosh sent off late in the game.

Whitehill were the dominant team in the first half and it was against the run of play that Spartans took the lead five minutes before the interval. A Dean Hoskins free kick rebounded to Keith McLeod who slotted the ball home.

Spartans confirmed their victory in the closing minutes when McLeod added his second.

“We rode our luck in the first half and had to defend really well,” said Spartans co-manager Sam Lynch. “We are delighted to win and reach the King Cup final.

“Elsewhere, we knew that Edinburgh City were capable of beating Stirling University because we ourselves know that for Stirling to play three games in one week is very difficult. We play Stirling this Saturday and we are aware that a win for Spartans would clinch the title for us.”