Spartans FC Reds 14s managed to hold on and record a 3-2 win over a feisty Musselburgh Windsor in Division 1.
On a weekend plagued with bad weather and a number of postponements, these two teams were thankful for the 3G surface although the wind did threaten the quality of the game at times.
The match started off fairly scrappy with neither team able to keep the ball grounded and settle in. It was however, Spartans who showed early intent through Chad Barclay.
The striker found himself through on goal following a wonderful first touch but Mussy keeper Diego D’Arcy was quick to smother.
Spartans’ Glen Lorimer then had a chance but Musselburgh took the initiative and went 1-0 up on 17 minutes through Lyle Jones. In somewhat controversial style initially, the ball made its way to Jones, who appeared to be well offside, before referee Jim Markey confirmed later the through pass had come off a Spartans player. A cracking strike from Jones saw his effort go in off the bar, leaving no chance for the keeper.
Spartans fought back immediately with the chance to equalise falling to Lorimer. Aidan Savage whipped in a lovely cross to the back post but an unmarked Lorimer wasn’t able to control the shot and it sailed over.
The high-pressing tactics from Spartans did pay off when they found the leveller in the 29th minute.
Musselburgh lost the ball in their own third and Barclay took full advantage. He made no mistake this time, with the original shot saved, he took the rebound round the keeper to tap into an empty net.
More high pressure followed from Spartans in the second half and they were in the lead for the first time just minutes in. Barclay was on the scoresheet again as he received the ball on the left just inside the box, drove forward and fired a fine strike high into the roof of the net to make it 2-1 to the away side.
Half-time proved an excellent chance for Spartans to reassess their game plan and it worked as they went 3-1 up straight after. Confusion in the Musselburgh box and failure to clear presented a chance for Lawson McConnell, who made no mistake as he was first to react and tap in from six yards.
The game looked likely to be over in terms of scoreline but Mussy had other plans. With just more than ten minutes to go, it was 3-2. Ben Gearty played in a textbook corner to the back post for Kurt Robertson to smash in his header and restore some belief in this game for the home side.
The tables had turned and it was now Mussy’s game as they worked tirelessly for an equaliser. And they almost found it through Owen Gray. Following a superb through pass by Jack Main and saved shot from Gearty, the ball fell to Gray whose effort from 18 yards came agonisingly close, clipping the bar before going over.
Gavin Yau nearly sealed the win for Spartans with a thunderous strike off the post late on, but it didn’t matter in the end as his side just held on for an important win.
Musselburgh Windsor: Diego D’Arcy, Aidan McFarlane, Adam Clark, Owen Gray, Lyle Jones, Ben Finlay, Cameron Eaton, Kerr Marr, Ben Gearty, Jack Main, Matthew Cassidy, Fraser Hall, Adam Henderson, Kurt Robertson, Jack Crighton.
Spartans FC Reds: Lewis Fox, Jack Tait, Alistair Adams, Pablo Martina Bell, Chad Barclay, Charlie Peet, Aidan Savage, Mikolaj Komocki, Lawson McConnell, Joseph Nicholson, Ryan Campbell, Glen Lorimer, Gavin Yau, Mac Rintoul, Oliver Laird, Lewis Bright.