Spartans ‘still in the mix’ - despite being 15 points adrift of Lowland League leaders Kelty Hearts

Spartans striker insists Ainslie Park side can be in the mix for the title come the end of the season - despite a ‘few slip-ups’ in the early part of the campaign

Friday, 25th October 2019, 7:01 am
Updated Friday, 25th October 2019, 10:16 am
Blair Atkinson, left, in action for Spartans

Despite being 15 points adrift of early pacesetters Kelty Hearts, Spartans striker Blair Atkinson remains confident the Ainslie Park outfit will be in the mix to challenge for the Lowland League title come the business end of the season.

Dougie Samuel’s men are currently mid-table but do have games in hand on the teams above them.

The two-time Lowland League champions host East Stirlingshire tonight (kick-off 7.45pm), a side with their own title aspirations having invested heavily in the squad over the summer.

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And 23-year-old Atkinson is adamant the Capital outfit can propel themselves up the table starting with a big three points tonight.

“We always want to finish as high as possible,” he said. “We just need to take it game by game and keep winning. There is a lot more emphasis on youth this year at the club but there is a real hunger there.

“We’ve got a few players who have signed on loan from Hearts and Dundee United and they are giving everything to the cause too. We’ve had a few slip-ups along the way but generally it’s been a good start. Most teams do have a dip in form at some point, particularly when the midweek games come about.

“We played well against Queen’s Park in the Scottish Cup last week and I felt we could have at least earned a replay.

“Tonight will be a tough match for sure. East Stirlingshire have started this season well and look a side equipped to launch a challenge of their own. Jamie (Dishington) is obviously with them now so that adds a wee bit extra to the match. We really need to make sure we pick up maximum points as not only would it boost our chances, it would give them a bit of a setback.”

Elsewhere, Civil Service Strollers welcome Caledonia Braves to Christie Gillies Park tomorrow while struggling Edinburgh University are on their travels at Cumbernauld Colts.