Spartans make it five unbeaten

Jack Beesley scored to give Spartans breathing space
Jack Beesley scored to give Spartans breathing space
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Spartans enjoyed a comfortable afternoon at Ainslie Park on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Vale of Leithen.

An early Ally MacKinnon goal and a second half Jack Beesley strike gave the Champions all three points on an afternoon when they maybe should have won by a greater margin.

Goalscorer Beesley was just happy to get back to winning ways after conceding a later equaliser to Edinburgh University in midweek.

He said: “It was a good day at the office especially after the disappointment of midweek. As much as anything we were happy to start the game well and that gave us the confidence to kick on.

“Even when we weren’t playing that well we managed to create quite a lot of chances so it’s more a case of converting them if possible. The second goal definitely gave us a nice wee cushion which helped a lot.”

Dougie Samuel’s side made the perfect start when they took the lead with their first attempt on goal within five minutes. Beesley’s low free-kick was parried into the danger area by Vale keeper Mark Wilson, leaving MacKinnon with a simple finish.

Spartans were unlucky not to double their lead four minutes later when Mikey Bruce’s glancing header from a Beesley corner came back off the cross bar.

Vale made their first foray forward on ten minutes. Josh Morris’s neat first touch from a high ball gave him a sight of goal but home goalkeeper Kevin Swain narrowed the angle well to deny the striker.

Spartans’ John Grant probably should have done better with his chance on 14 minutes but side footed the ball wide after being picked out by Willie Bremner. Ryan Sclater had a half-chance for the visitors but could only nod his header wide of the back post in the 21st minute.

The home side were dominating by this stage and Donal Henretty first saw his flick knocked wide for a corner before Beesley sent a left foot shot fizzing over from distance.

Morris tested Swain again six minutes before the break but the stopper got down well to his right to hold the No.10’s low effort.

The second half followed the same pattern as the first with Spartans doing virtually all of the attacking.

A second goal looked inevitable and it duly arrived three minutes before the hour. Beesley was played in behind the Vale back line and took a touch before placing the ball beyond Wilson.

Errol Douglas was unfortunate not to find the net seven minutes later when he created space for himself in the area before curling a left-foot shot just over. The big No.9 then should have scored with a 77th minute header but managed to put the ball wide.

The home side eased their way through the closing stages to claim a fifth league victory of the season and boss Dougie Samuel praised his side’s creativity.

“I was really pleased with the amount of goal attempts that we created and also the clean sheet,” he explained. “I think we had a chance to make life a wee bit easier for ourselves had we put a couple of chances away but if you’d offered 2-0 at the start I’d have taken that, certainly.”

The Ainslie Park boss is now hoping his players can build some momentum.

“We’re unbeaten in five – we’ve drawn a couple of those – but we’re starting to knit together with an unbeaten run but it’s important we just focus on one week at a time. That’s all we can do. For one, we never seem to know what the squad’s going to be with injuries but there’s a long, long way to go.”

Spartans: Swain, MacKinnon, Cennerazzo, Sivewright (O’Donnell 22), Bruce, Stevenson, Beesley (Mushin 59) Grant, Douglas, Henretty, Bremner (McLeod 68).

Vale of Leithen: Wilson, Sclater, Saunderson (Stevens 55), Elliot, Blaikie, Gill, Brady, O’Brien, Anderson, Morris, Lynch (Hunter 71).