Spartans Youth FC 16s breezed past their opponents, Leith Athletic Colts, in the Colin Greenhill Memorial Trophy – played in memory of the late Evening News sports journalist known as “The Gadge” – as the match finished 9-1 at a windy Broughton High School.
However, the consolation goal was something to behold, fired in from fully 30 yards.
Spartans were quick off the mark putting the ball in the net in only the third minute of play. A well timed ball forward from Keir Russell looped over the Leith backline and found Jack Carr who brought the ball down and put it under the keeper rushing towards him.
The weather was clearly an important factor to be considered in this second-round tie. Both goalkeepers struggled to find team-mates with kicks as the ball hung in the air for longer than usual and the style of play for both teams had to be adapted.
Leith tried to get back into the match and nearly did as a chance fell for Corey Griffin but the angle was too tight for him and the keeper made himself big enough to get a strong hand to the attempt.
Spartans doubled their lead as the Leith defence was pressured into making a mistake. Joseph Evenden knocked an inviting ball across the technical area, a dummy run over the ball set the keeper off balance and Robbie Walker was at the back post to tap in.
Good play from Reece Mason, Jack Crombie and Walker furthered the score line for Spartans. Leith would go on to get a consolation goal. Dylan Greatorex found himself in a pocket of space 30 yards out from goal and struck a shot towards goal. The Spartans keeper read the flight of the ball wrong as the ball was kept in the air by the wind and lifted over his head into the roof of the net.
Spartans went on to further the scoreline before half-time. Good pressure from the attack forced a mistake which Carr pounced on. At half-time Spartans were ahead 5-1.
As the second half started it was clear Spartans were not going to take their foot off the gas. They won a corner early on, it came in high to a crowded six-yard box and the Leith keeper did well to get a hand to a snap shot and turn it away.
Nicholas Reid came on as a substitute for Spartans and instantly made an impact, a quick one-two put him through on goal but the keeper pushed the effort wide of the post. It wasn’t long before he made amends driving a low effort across the keeper into the bottom left corner in the 46th minute.
Leith found it hard in the second half to contain the pressure. Spartans were quick to close down players on the ball and often players had no choice but to pass backwards and rebuild an attack from the keeper. With the elements against them this half it was hard to build momentum and they created few clear chances.
As Leith ventured forward, Spartans’ Jonathan Jarron put in an impressive display in defence to break up the attack.
Russell and Reid combined well to add further goals for Spartans.
The final play seemed to serve as a fitting epithet for the match. Mason made a blistering run down the wing outpacing his markers and powered into the box to rifle a shot into the top right corner of the net.
On the day Spartans were a class above their opponents and thoroughly deserved their victory.
Leith Athletic Colts 16s: Nathan Watt, Gru Singh, Leighton Calder, Lewis Weir, Josh Hill, Sam Smiles, Andrew Eagan, Jack McKinnon, Corey Griffin, Dylan Greatorex, James O’Hara, Louis Davidson, Jakub Suchoki, Ethan Roxburgh, Tyler Morgan, Liam Duffy.
Spartans Youth FC 16s: Niall McFadden, Jonathan Jarron, Thomas Baur, Kieran Moyles, Christopher Cameron, Jack Ewing, Harry Maguire, Reece Mason, Jack Crombie, Joseph Evenden, Lorcan Gray, Kornel Durda, Keir Russell, Campbell Swanson, Luke Morris, Robbie Walker, Jack Carr, Nicholas Reid.