THE SPARTANS FC (Ainslie Park)

After spending the previous day on the Banffshire coast, and the previous evening checking out some Aberdeen GBG pubs, it was time to begin the long journey home. Luckily there was a chance to get another game in en-route as The Spartans of Edinburgh were taking on a Manchester United XI in a game to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the club.

It was an all-ticket affair and Spartans were rewarded with a bumper 3000+ crowd. This was a record crowd for Ainslie Park, but not quite their all time record which was v St Mirren in the Scottish Cup at their old City Park ground.

The pitch looked absolutely immaculate and In comparison to yesterday, this game was played in glorious sunshine. It was your typical game of two halves. The United side, skippered by Darron Gibson, played some delightful stuff, as you would expect, but their hosts matched them blow for blow and the scoreline was level at the interval, John Cofie giving United the lead after 6 minutes before Alex King beat Tomasz Kuszczak from the penalty spot just before half time.

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
Pre-Season Friendly
The Spartans 1-7 Manchester United XI
Attendance: 3,127

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