Football Nation Cup: Spartans aim to bounce back

Spartans manager Dougie Samuel
Spartans manager Dougie Samuel
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Lowland League champions Spartans will aim to bounce back from their midweek exit in the Irn-Bru Cup when they visit Hill of Beath Hawthorn on Football Nation Qualifying Cup second-round duty tomorrow.

Dougie Samuel’s side were edged out 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw with rivals East Kilbride and will be desperate to make amends against a club that joined the new East of Scotland League set-up this summer.

The Fife outfit have won three out of their opening four matches, their only blemish coming in a 2-0 defeat by Super League champions Bonnyrigg Rose almost three weeks ago.

Whitehill Welfare will be looking to stop the rot when they host East of Scotland outfit Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale at Ferguson Park, also in Football Nation Qualifying Cup second-round action.

The Rosewell men are in complete disarray having lost all four league matches this season. They have just three goals to their name and have leaked 18 at the back already. Head coach Gary Small was given his marching orders after just two games and the Whitehill board have yet to appoint his successor.

They won’t have it easy against Raymond Carr’s men despite Lothian’s opening 5-0 league defeat to Bo’ness United on Wednesday night.

Elsewhere, it’s a battle of the students as Edinburgh and Stirling universities go head-to-head at Forthbank.

Dorian Ogunro’s men have been in fine early-season form and will be confident of advancing through to the next round.

Meanwhile, with league leaders East Kilbride also involved in cup action this weekend, Civil Service Strollers could take their mantle should they pick up all three points from Dalbeattie Star’s visit to Christie Gillies Park. Strollers have won three out of their five matches so far under new boss Gary Jardine.