Spartans fight back from goal down to beat Kelty Hearts

Jack Nixon, left, was among the scorers for Spartans. Pic: TSPL
Jack Nixon, left, was among the scorers for Spartans. Pic: TSPL
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Spartans came from a goal down to see off East of Scotland League outfit Kelty Hearts 3-2 in their Football Nation Qualifying Cup first-round clash at Ainslie Park.

Sean O’Neil’s header from a free-kick had given their lower league opponents a 14th-minute lead, but the hosts responded and Willie Bremner converted a Craig Stevenson cross on the half-hour mark.

Three minutes later Spartans went ahead. Former Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale player Stevenson was again the creator and from his cross, Jack Nixon headed home from close range.

The North Edinburgh side increased their lead 15 minutes into the second half when Scott Maxwell and Blair Atkinson combined, with the latter capitalising on a quick breakaway.

However, the visitors set up a nervy finish as Stuart Cargill shot past Spartans No.1 Blair Carswell with just 11 minutes left on the clock.

Bremner came close to adding a fourth but was denied by goalkeeper Scott Christie as Dougie Samuel’s men held on to seal their spot in the next round.

Meanwhile, in the Lowland League, Edinburgh University host city rivals Civil Service Strollers at East Peffermill on Wednesday looking to make it back-to-back victories on home soil.

The students picked up their first three points in the Lowland League this season with a 2-1 triumph over visitors Whitehill Welfare on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Civil drew 2-2 at East Stirlingshire at Ochilview on Sunday, Andy Mair’s 85th minute header rescuing a point. Alex Cunningham’s men could move into the top half of the table with a win this evening.

Elsewhere, second-bottom Whitehill Welfare visit the Falkirk Stadium where Stirling University are their opponents.