Dougie Samuel believes his Spartans players can hold their heads high after their impressive William Hill Scottish Cup run came to an end with a 1-0 fifth round replay defeat away by Berwick Rangers last night.
Darren Lavery’s first-half strike sent the home side through to a quarter-final date with Hibs at Easter Road on March 8, but Samuel’s overriding emotion was pride following two tight encounters with the Shielfield Park club.
“I don’t know if there’s anyone in that dressing room who’s been further in the Scottish Cup,” he said.
“They can take a huge amount of satisfaction from that.
“They have created a huge amount of magic memories in this Scottish Cup run and we’ve sacrificed a lot for it. We’ve prioritised the cup since new year at the at the expense of our own league campaign.
“We had to play two games off the back of the last game and Berwick only had to play Saturday, so it’s a huge credit to my players’ fitness levels, their desire and their will to win that they kept going and that it was us on the front foot in the last ten minutes. I’m just hugely proud of them.”
His opposite number, 41-year-old Colin Cameron, played the full 90 minutes in the centre of Berwick’s midfield, and was full of praise for the Lowland League club. “They deserve a lot of, lot of credit,” said Cameron. “To get to where they did is fantastic – just as big as us getting to the quarter-final.”
Jack Nixon struck the crossbar for Spartans late on, and Cameron admitted a sense of relief that there wasn’t yet another late leveller as transpired in the original tie.
“I felt like “here we go again”.
“It just fell to him nicely and he sees his name in headlines. He did have a player wide of him but thankfully he didn’t see him!”