Spartans defeated by Blue Brazil

Posted on 25/07/2012 by

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Cowdenbeath inflicted a second home defeat in a row on Spartans on Tuesday night as they ran out 2-1 winners in the pre-season friendly at Ainslie Park (writes Alan Clark).

Spartans had lost 2-1 to Third Division Annan Athletic on Saturday afternoon and succumbed to another Scottish Football League club – this time the Blue Brazil from the First Division.

It was Spartans last home friendly of pre-season while Cowdenbeath will be delighted to win their last preparation match before the serious stuff begins at the weekend when they take on Alloa Athletic in the Ramsdens Cup.

Michael Fleming won it with superb volley in added time after the impressive Greig Stewart had given them a half-time lead.  Spartans pressed in the second-half and took advantage of a goalkeeping error to equalise but were undone late on.

The first action of the encounter came after four minutes when Greig Stewart tested Chris Flockhart in goal with a powerful left-footed drive which was parried for the corner.  After 24 minutes, Stewart was in the thick of it again as he gets a shot away despite being crowded around by Spartans players, only for the ‘keeper to save – albeit with a spill – low to his left.

Stewart made amends just a minute later however with a fantastic individual goal.  The striker went past three defenders to glide into the box, before rounding Flockhart with ease to tap-in to an empty net for 1-0.

Kyle Miller went close with a header for the Fifers a minute later, and on 37 minutes Scott Linton hit the post with a header from four yards. Linton could have done better but it was an acute angle. Colin Cameron’s side were pressing down Spartans at every given opportunity and that was making the home side’s play very jittery.

Cowdenbeath’s domination of the first-half continued as two minutes before the break Linton missed another chance, this one a lot worse than the first. Lewis Milne’s cross gave Thomas O’Brien a great opportunity to score but the defender mis-hit his poked effort. The ball eventually trickled towards Linton who blasted his shot well over the crossbar from inside the six-yard box.

67 minutes had been played when Spartans had their first close encounter with the goal net, when a Cowdenbeath clearance from a corner landed at the feet of left-back Gary Cennerrazzo.  The number three hit a powerful low shot with his right-foot but it fizzled just wide of substitute goalkeeper Ricky Barnett’s post.

Spartans were looking more dangerous in this period and they were rewarded – some might say gifted – an equaliser 12 minutes later.  The half-time substitute Barnett made a horrendous error and the ball dropped to the feet of Sean Wringe, who passed to Jordan Finnie to comfortably pass into the net.  Finnie had lightened up the Spartans approach after coming on just a couple of minutes prior to the goal.

That was all to be for nothing though as Cowdenbeath snatched a late winner.  The corner-kick came in from the left and made its way to Michael Fleming on the right-hand side of the area, and Fleming rifled in a volley to the top corner of Flockhart’s net to win the game for the 2011/12 Second Division champions.

SPARTANS:  Chris Flockhart, Robbie Manson, Gary Cennerrazzo, Kevin Sivewright, Danny O’Donnell, Alastair Woodburn, Mark Whatley, John Grant, Sean Palizcka, Chris Anderson, Sean Wringe.  Subs: Ian McTurk, Jonathan Seeley, Jordan Finnie, Neil McCuish, Callum Donnelly.

COWDENBEATH:  Lee Wilson, Dean Brett, Murray Christie, Thomas O’Brien, Callum McNiel, Dale Finnie, Lewis Milne, Kyle Miller, Trialist, Greig Stewart, Scott Linton.  Subs:  Ricky Barnett, Michael Fleming, Arron Linus, Ben Anthony.