|A robust challenge from Arbroath's Kieran McAnespie|
The second half was slightly more one sided as United, who made a raft of substitutions as half time, simply put Spartans to the sword (ahem!). Jesse Lingard bagged a hat-trick (50, 57, 59p) Larnell Cole, who was my man of the match, helped himself to a brace (61p & 90) and Michael Keane scored in the 87th minute. The score was harsh on The Spartans but I think they can look back on their efforts with pride.
This was also the last game at Ainslie Park until October (at the earliest) as the club replace the grass pitch with a modern synthetic surface.
Sunday 24th July 2011
The Spartans 1-7 Manchester United XI
The league decided to invite the top two Highland league teams (Buckie Thistle and Deveronvale) into the competition and Deveronvale were lucky enough to get a home tie, versus Stirling Albion, so it was 427 miles north to Banff I headed.
What didn't help matters is that it was a 1pm kick off as the Vale goalkeeper was getting married, so the Bino's agreed to an earlier kick off to allow the rest of his team-mates to get to the evening reception. This meant an even earlier start!
Luckily I was there in good time and even had the luxury of being able to visit the local GBG entry, The Ship Inn, for a quick half. For all you film buffs out there, the bar scenes of the 1983 film 'Local Hero' were shot in this pub and whilst I was there some fans entered the premises and had their picture taken behind the bar. Some people are really geeky!!!!!
There was a reasonable attendance of around 400 at Princess Park, but that was not as many as I anticipated. There was a subdued atmosphere as the game got underway and the home crowd never really found their voice. In absolutely freezing, windy conditions (I was wrapped up as if it was winter) the home side made the early runnings and hit the post after 10 minutes but once Lewis Bonar scored from the penalty spot after 20 minutes, the result was never going to be in doubt.
Bonar added his and Stirling's second just after the break before Mike Mckenzie blasted home a thunderbolt free-kick to bring Vale back into the game. However this didn't prove to be the catalyst and soon after Gavin McPherson added the Bino's third to comfortably put them into the next round.
|The pitch in the foreground is the home of Deveronside FC|
|Lewis Bonar gives Stirling the lead from the penalty spot|
Saturday 23rd July 2011
Scottish League Challenge Cup 1st Round
Deveronvale 1-3 Stirling Albion