Spartans’ adventure in this season’s Irn-Bru Challenge Cup came to a painful end last night as they were thrashed 7-1 by SPFL League 1 outfit Stranraer at Stair Park.
There was to be no repeat of the Ainslie Park side’s previous heroics when they swept aside League 2 opponents Berwick Rangers 3-0 in the first round.
Manager Dougie Samuel had revealed prior to last night’s encounter he would be using the tie to get some minutes into his fringe players, making three changes from the side that started Saturday’s 5-2 Football Nation East of Scotland Qualifying Cup victory over Gala Fairydean Rovers.
Despite a positive start from the visitors, striker Craig Malcolm’s first-half hat-trick for the home side pretty much had the game dead and buried by the interval.
Mark Guigan netted a penalty just moments after the restart before Malcolm struck his fourth of the evening with a neat header after 54 minutes.
Former Kilmarnock winger Willie Gibson got his name on the scoresheet with a free-kick two minutes later and Kyle Turner added a seventh with six minutes left to play.
Substitute Eddie Malone scored a late consolation for the Lowland League men.