Edinburgh University 3
Jack BEACHER, Edinburgh University’s Hong Kong student, completed a remarkable comeback for his side when he stroked home the winning goal after they had trailed two-nil at half time to the league leaders, Spartans.
This was Spartans’ first Central Taxis Premier Division defeat of the season and for Edinburgh University the three points gained has lifted them away from the relegation zone.
Delighted match-winner Beacher said: “We are all buzzing and we now know that we are capable of beating any team in the league when we play to the best of our abilities.
“We are now aiming for a top six finish.”
Both teams had opportunities to score in the opening minute when the University’s Mike Gray hesitated after he found himself in a shooting position then Spartans’ Donal Henretty headed over from close range.
However, Spartans did take the lead in only the sixth minute when Daniel O’Donnell threaded a sublime pass to Gavin Malin, who jinked inside the penalty box and hit a low shot from 14 yards across Mark Tait in the University goal.
Edinburgh had a lot of good movement about them but failed to trouble Chris Flockhart in the Spartans goal, while Omar Kader hit the side-netting from a good position as the game was played at a very high tempo.
Spartans scored a second goal in the final minute of the first half. Henretty wriggled his way to the bye-line and his cross was met by the head of Chris Anderson, who guided the ball beyond Tait. It was a two goal lead which Spartans were probably fortunate to have although they felt that they could have increased their advantage at the beginning of the second half when Henretty and Tait collided in the penalty box with the home side claiming loudly for a penalty.
Ironically it was the students who were awarded a penalty at the other end in the 57th minute when Scott Fusco, a former Edinburgh University player, wrapped his arms around Beacher and the referee pointed to the spot. Central defender Danny Main calmly rolled the penalty behind Flockhart to give the University a lifeline.
Only ten minutes later they equalised when Dan Ward picked out Beacher on the left and his vicious shot was palmed away by Flockhart but only as far as Russian substitute Andrey Kuzmenko who fairly hammered the ball into the net from twelve yards.
The students were now on the front foot and it came as no surprise when, with 20 minutes remaining, they grabbed the goal that proved to be the winner.
Kuzmenko found Beacher wide on the left and the striker advanced at pace unchallenged to the edge of the penalty box where he struck a low shot through the legs of Flockhart.
“We started off a bit sloppy,” said goalscorer Beacher. “However, at half-time our manager, Douglas [Samuel] told us that the game was by no means over and that the next goal was crucial. Danny’s penalty lifted everyone’s spirits and we seemed to relax more on the ball.”
Spartans: Flockhart, O’Donnell (Beesley 50), Fusco, Sivewright, MacKinnon, Malin, Kader, Manson, Henretty (Finnie 77), Anderson, Hoskins. Subs: McTurk, Seeley, Donnelly.
Edinburgh University: Tait, Scott-Woodhouse, Vakalla, Cathcart, Main, Ward, Chatterjee (Mossavi 18, Irvine71), Beacher, Gray (Kuzmenko 63), Craigen, Gair. Subs: Frain, Brownie.
Referee: Brain Colvin.