DEAN WALKER sparked wild celebrations when he scored the winning penalty for The Spartans as they overcame Salvesen in a penalty shoot-out to lift the IME League Cup at Paties Road.
A tight contest ended 1-1 with both sides having chances to get a winner in normal time.
It had taken only nine minutes for the opener to come for Spartans. The ball broke to Mark Glasgow just over 20 yards from goal and the forward hit a sweet half-volley past Salvesen goalkeeper Callum Eadie into the far corner.
With 35 minutes on the clock, Salvesen levelled. When a Spartans defender headed the ball back into his own box, James Davidson pounced to cross the ball low across the face of goal to Ross Gunn, who tapped in at the back post.
The rest of the game was played out in the same end-to-end manner with both teams missing great opportunities to get in front. Just after the hour mark, Salvesen’s Jack Townsley received the ball on the right-hand edge of the box and struck it towards goal. The ball eventually landed at the feet of David Ross, whose shot smacked off the crossbar.
Ten minutes later, it was Spartans’ turn to hit the woodwork. Walker crossed from the left byline into the danger zone where Gareth Baxter met it to head powerfully, only to see the woodwork deny him.
Regular time finished with the scores 1-1, and extra time brought no clear-cut chances for either side.
With the score sitting at 3-3 following one miss for the Spartans and two for Salvesen, Walker converted to seal the silverware and clinch a cup double for his side.
Meanwhile, Ally Anderson inspired Fernieside to a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Tollcross Thistle to reach the Blaikie Cup Final.
He got his side off to a great start in the semi-final after 20 minutes at Meadowbank 3G, playing a neat one-two with team-mate Craig Lyall to get in behind the Tollcross defence before sending his shot past the advancing goalkeeper to score off the base of the post.
Anderson notched his second just after the hour mark.
A good ball was played forward and he got in behind the Tollcross defence again, shrugging off the challenge from the opposition before firing a low shot across the keeper to find the far corner of the net.
Tollcross hit back and reduced Fernieside’s lead to just one through a goal by striker Adam Perry.
However, Fernieside scored a crucial third goal with ten minutes left. This was almost a carbon copy of the second, another ball in behind catching out the Tollcoss rearguard.
This time, it was Chris Gordon who fended off the advances of a defender before stroking the ball into the bottom corner of the net to seal Fernieside’s victory and set up a Blaikie Cup final date with favourites Heriot Vale later this month.
Elsewhere, Shotts Victoria lifted the Anderson Cup defeating Pencaitland 2-0 in the final at Paties Road.
Both sides have already finished top of their respective leagues – Lothian West and East – so it was expected to be a close cup final.
Shotts scored the opening goal after 22 minutes, when a swift forward move was finished off well by a great left-footed strike from Scott Barr to make it 1-0. However, it wasn’t until the 72nd minute that Shotts got the all-important second goal.
After some neat build-up play, a through ball was played perfectly to Kristopher Russell, who rounded the Pencaitland goalie to slot into the net from an acute angle.
Shotts dominated the closing stages and had a late penalty saved. A great through ball by Johnny Lynch sent Russell clear, leaving a Pencaitland defender no option but to concede in the area – receiving a red card for his troubles. The goalkeeper saved well, though, from Russell’s penalty.