Author Archives: Mark Brown

Under 17s: Sensational Spartans seal sixth silverware of the season

Reds99TomWilson2016Spartans Reds 99 made it the joy of six on Saturday when they lifted the final piece of silverware this season with a 4-3 win over Hutchison Vale who took the Tom Wilson Trophy to the wire with a late comeback attempt.

Bonnyrigg’s New Dundas Park was once again the venue for this Under 17s Edinburgh Derby between two sides who had met four times previously during the year, with Steven O’Neil’s side undefeated throughout. Continue reading

Under 17s: O’Neil’s Reds look to go out on a high in Final finale

Steven O'Neil with Cameron Dawson

Steven O’Neil with Cameron Dawson

Saturday sees the curtain come down on a great season for Spartans Reds 99 when they take on Hutchison Vale in the Final of the Tom Wilson Memorial Cup at New Dundas Park.

Ahead of the Under 17s attempt to secure their sixth piece of silverware this season against Edinburgh rivals Hutchie, Head Coach Steven O’Neil spoke of the amazing journey his side have been on in a successful season on and off the park. Continue reading

Under 19s Division 2 League Cup Final: Spartans lose out to Leith

DSC_6204Spartans U19s were dealt a devastating second defeat in 72 hours at New Dundas Park, this time in the Final of the 2nd Division League Cup.

Facing Edinburgh rivals Leith Athletic, who remain unbeaten in the League this season, Spartans were looking to bounce back from their Cruden Cup loss on Sunday however it was to be another 11 goal game that saw the opposition prosper. Continue reading

Under 17s Reds beat Loanhead in Craig Gowans Memorial Trophy Final

Spartans Reds 99 v Loanhead 05/06/16Spartans Reds 99 were made to work hard for their 3-0 win by a determined Loanhead side in a pulsating Craig Gowans Memorial Trophy Final under a blanket of blue sky at New Dundas Park last Sunday.

The Under 17s Spartans side were looking to cap off a great week having secured the League Title against Windsor at home, whilst the Mid Lothian outfit set out to secure the silverware in their home county. Continue reading

Big weekend sees trio of teams in Cup Final action

imageWe’ve a trio of Cup Finals coming up this weekend as teams look to add to the silverware in what has been an impressive end to the season across the Youth Section so far.

All roads lead to New Dundas Park, Bonnyrigg where young Spartans lads will be in action across both days, with three games featuring our u19s, 14s and 17s in a hat-trick of tough fixtures. Continue reading

Brady brace and Dawson double send Spartans Reds 99 to Title success

Spartans Reds 99 Title 2016A Matt Brady brace and a Cameron Dawson double saw Spartans Reds 99 clinch the Under 17s South East Region title with a 4-0 victory over Musselburgh Windsor in Wednesday night’s championship decider at Ainslie Park.

There was a decent crowd inside the sun-soaked stadium ahead of kick-off as the sides locked horns for the second time in less than a week, with Spartans looking to replicate their Regional Cup success over the same opponents at Dunbar a few days previously. Continue reading

Spartans Reds out to make a point – a win league title

imageFor the second time in just five days, the Spartans Reds 99 side take on Musselburgh Windsor, this time in a potential league decider crunch mate on Wednesday night.

Both teams served up an epic Regional Cup Final in the Dunbar sunshine last Saturday, with Stevie O’Neil’s young men eventually coming out on top after a Jake McCreadie goal secured a 3-2 comeback win. Continue reading

Spartans in silverware showdowns – Dates for your diary

Here is the latest list of confirmed Cup Final dates involving Spartans teams as per the South East Region Football Association website.

Good news for supporters is that you will only have to programme your SatNav once to get to the ground for all the games (EH19 3AE)!

Date Age Grade  Opposition  Competition  Venue Kick-off
Sat 4 June Under 19s Hutchison Vale Cruden Bowl New Dundas Park 1pm
Sun 5 June Under 14s Bonnyrigg Rose Ian MacKay Cup New Dundas Park 11am
Sun 5 June Under 17s Reds Loanhead MYFC Craig Gowans Cup New Dundas Park 2pm
Tue 7 June Under 19s  Leith Athletic  U19 Division 2 League Cup  New Dundas Park 7pm
Sat 11 June Under 17s Reds Hutchison Vale Tom Wilson Cup New Dundas Park 2pm

Comeback kids win against Windsor in Under 17s Regional Final

072Spartans Reds 99 lifted the South East Youth Cup in a five goal thriller at a sun-soaked Dunbar on Saturday against Musselburgh Windsor.

After securing the Prison Officers Cup earlier in the week, Stevie O’Neil’s Spartans went head to head with nearest rivals Windsor in what turned out to be a ding-dong battle that saw Jake McCreadie’s late strike complete the Ainslie Park side’s comeback. Continue reading

Reds 99 secure Prison Officers silverware at sunny Saughton

Spartans Reds 99 HeroSpartans Reds 99 were crowned the Prison Officers Cup winners on Monday evening when they ran out 10-0 winners over Fernieside FC at a sunny Saughton Enclosure.

In front an impressive turnout stretching along the sidelines, the latest in a series of finals for the Reds got underway and it took just five minutes for them to take the lead.  Ogulcan Yildirim (aka Ogi) sending a blistering strike home from the edge of the box.  Continue reading

Currie too hot for Leith as double strike wins silverware for Spartans

Spartans u13s Scottish Cup 2016It was an early morning trip from the Capital to Airdrie for both sides with Spartans taking on Edinburgh rivals Leith Athletic in the Inspiresport U13s Scottish Cup Final.

It was a frenetic start to the showdown despite the 11am kick-off and Spartans almost snatched a 23rd minute lead when sub Glen Lorimer saw his shot crash off the crossbar.

Continue reading

7 a-side Fixtures

7s fixture list – 26th April 2015

Note – scroll down for pitch/venue 

Match Day Year Division HOME v AWAY
26 Apr 2015 2003 Pele Spartans Eagles v Salvesen
26 Apr 2015 2003 Pele Spartans Swifts v Leith Athletic
26 Apr 2015 2003 Maradona Spartans Hawks v Arniston Rangers
26 Apr 2015 2003 Maradona Star ‘a’ Black v Spartans Falcons
26 Apr 2015 2003 Zidane Spartans Harriers v Lothian Colts
26 Apr 2015 2004 Pele Loanhead Barca v Spartans Iniesta
26 Apr 2015 2004 Maradona Spartans Neymar v Muss Windsor Blue
26 Apr 2015 2004 Maradona Edin South Scorpions v Spartans Villa
26 Apr 2015 2004 Zidane Spartans Messi v BRFC Blues
26 Apr 2015 2005 Maradona Spartans Argentina v Muss Windsor Blues
26 Apr 2015 2005 Zidane Tranent Colts White v Spartans Brazil
26 Apr 2015 2005 Zidane Spartans Spain v Leith Athletic C
26 Apr 2015 2005 Zidane Edina Hibs Jewels v Spartans Holland
26 Apr 2015 2006 Pele Hutchie Vale v Spartans PSG
26 Apr 2015 2006 Pele Spartans Milan v Lochend YFC
26 Apr 2015 2006 Zidane Spartans Valencia v Dalkeith Blacks
26 Apr 2015 2006 Beckham Redhall Star Ac v Spartans St Pauli
9:00-10:15 1 Milan
9:00-10:15 2 Valencia
9:00-10:15 3 Hawks
10:15-11:30 1 U11 Girls v  Broxburn
10:15-11:30 2 Argentina
10:15-11:30 3 Eagles
9:00-10:00 1 Harriers
10:00-11:00 2 Swifts
11:00-12:00 3 Spain
10:30 -11:30 1 Neymar
10:30 -11:30 2 Messi
10:30 -11:30 3

Youth 19s v Dalkeith 19s

Saturday February 21st – Cowden Park Dalkeith 1.30pm

Goalkeeping Master Class and Six Goals Takes Spartans a Step Closer

Spartans FC Youth 97 v Dalkeith – League Division Two

Tomasz Wieruszewski was a doubt heading into Saturdays game but a late fitness all clear meant he would start. And what a performance! Steady and safe as he has been virtually all season, Tomasz would pull out World Class saves – four in total – to keep a clean sheet.   It’s a well-known cliché that starting with solid defensive set up gives the rest of the team the foundation to build on and when you have your goalie pulling of miracle saves the confidence just oozes as you move forward throughout the team. From a long range drive in the region of 35 yards which looked like the ball was soaring in under the bar, Tomasz, at full stretch tipped the ball over the bar. Safe handling throughout the game and patience with his distribution were key during the whole ninety minutes. Coach Sammy Lawson alleges not to have heard of Gordon Banks wonder save from Pele in the 1970 World Cup where he clawed the ball from the foot of the post and flicked it over the bar! Oh how we laughed Sammy! Well it might not have been AS spectacular but it’ll come pretty close in my book as one of Tomasz’ best of the season AND it was very similar to Pele v Banks, during the first period. Two more saves at full stretch which looked to be finding the net, from long range and close in saw the big number one take his clean sheet tally to ten for the season.

There was more magic and thrills outfield performed by Mario Falsone and Aaron Heinemeier. On the nine minute mark Mario brought a lofted ball from Aaron thrown into the box on the left side, down delicately, flicking it round with his second touch and volleying the ball across and past the keeper’s outstretched left hand into the bottom left hand post. Glorious!! Then that man Heinemeier, who would later protest at his withdrawal whilst on the promise of a hat-trick, grabbed two great goals. The first (our third on the twenty five minute mark, after good link up one two play with Max in the inside right channel, where he laid the ball into the path of the big striker who in turn slipped a neat return between the legs of his marker and back into Aaron’s path where the number two poked the ball under the body of the on-rushing keeper. That goal followed Blair Lawson’s blast from the penalty spot after that man Michie had been upended in the area on four minutes. There were a number of openings made during the first half which could have seen the boys come in with another 6-0 half time score line but good saves and poor finishing meant we had to be happy with just the three.

HT Dalkeith 0 – 3 Spartans

With possibly our strongest bench of the season so far we made it clear that changes would be made. Indeed one was forced before half time to avoid going a man down. Who was it? I know you won’t believe this dear reader but Andrew Hannigan following a couple of rushes of blood to the head was lucky to stay on the pitch! A miss-timed challenge which could easily have been a yellow saw him escape referee Calum Bryon’s book, but minutes later Andrew’s details were being recorded! He’d tried to make up for an awkward clearance and chasing out to recover the ball Andrew took flight, catching a Dalkeith player with both feet. Fortunately no injury ensued but, much to the frustration of the home side Andrew stayed in the game. Grant was sent on to restore peace!!

The second half changes saw Aaron replaced by Adam just after he had sent a sizzling free kick into the top left hand corner from 25 yards on the hour mark. Prior to that Arran Lovell who had one of his steadiest games starting from kick off made way for Jamie Cairns.

Coach McLean claimed an inspired substitution putting Cairns on the right flank, where, with virtually his first touches of the games he sped down the right delivering a superb ball into the box for Max to accept, turn and finish low to grab his 14th of the season. That was number five on 56 minutes.

At five nil, Dalkeith would see a man sent off after a second yellow. Max, who had been giving the Dalkeith team no peace, won the ball in the centre circle only to be caught in a pincer movement with challenges from two players arguably worthy of two yellows. Fortunately Max survived without serious injury but that was probably the signal to relieve him. Brad, nursing a little bit of a back problem duly took up the cause and created as much discontent in the Dalkeith ranks.

With sixteen minutes on the clock the game was done.   Jordan was replaced by Nick Marshall, ‘Eninem’ taking Mario’s wide left position and Mario slotting into the centre midfield role vacated by JoLo! For the last of six Blair, steady in front of the back four with Cap’n Sam, heard the distant call on the right flank from Jamie and sent a diagonal ball towards the corner flag. To be honest it was a great spot Blair but the execution asked a lot of his former Spartans FC team mate! However Jamie’s winged heels took him where he needed to go and the number nine floated a superb ball into the six yard area where Brad had made his run. Stopping to connect Brad got his head on the ball from about four feet off the ground and left the keeper flapping at the ball.

To those not mentioned above I say this – you all had solid performances, contributing hugely to the team effort.

FT – Dalkeith 0 – 6 Spartans

Pre match concerns about the pitch proved exaggerated and to the coaches delight the boys managed to play a level of football worthy of their overall ability. We are never 100% satisfied but this display saw the guys express all of the attributes that have brought them to the brink of something special – desire, hard work, communication, passing, movement, tackling, driving with the ball at feet, sound goal keeping, great touch, individual and collective moments of brilliance and TEAMWORK. The job isn’t quite done. There is no silverware in the locker room yet. BUT you are nearly there, thanks partly to a result which went our way with Newcraighall losing. Looking at the league table it doesn’t take a mathematical genius to calculate what we require to win the league!! I warn you though there are still FOUR GAMES TO BE WON. Stay focused.

FT Dalkeith 0 – 6 Spartans FC Youth

Squad: Tomasz; Aaron, Shuggy, Andrew, Baillie; Sam, Blair, Mario, Jordan, Arran and Max

Subs: Adam, Brad, Grant, Jamie and Nick M

Youth 19s v Hutchison Vale FC 19s


Nil is the Hardest Word or the St Valentine’s Day Massacre Arrives Early

Saturday January 31st – Lasswade Sports Centre 13.15pm

Spartans FC Youth 97 v Hutcheson Vale Division One – Bob Bankier Trophy

Spirits weren’t exactly high in the dressing room but there was a quiet confidence in the air given our previous displays against Division One opposition this season and there certainly was no element of fear.

Preparation could have been better but the late arrival of Coach McLean and four players far from helped. There was little time for an in depth team talk or discussion on players roles and approach for the day. Add to this the fact that it was a cold breezy day and the time for warm up was also limited. These factors may well have made for our sleepy start which allowed a devastating start down our left flank and for the loss of a goal without apparent attempt at a serious challenge. This within the first minute. Three more goals would be lost in the first fifteen minutes , three again down our left. Furthermore a forced change for fear of a second yellow for Ryan meant that one of our star men in recent weeks was leaving early.

Hutchie sat back and gave us time to play the ball around which was a positive from our perspective but our possession lacked any incision and as a consequence we created few chances despite our hard work.   On the contrary to our poor finishing Hutchie’s was outstanding and that in the main was the difference in the teams.

HT Spartans 0 – 4 Hutcheson Vale

We would play all five subs, Nick M replacing Ryan in the first half, Max for Brad, Arran for Mario, Grant for Andrew and Keir for James.

Tomasz had his busiest day this season, certainly from the point of picking the ball out of the net. He did manage to keep the score down with a collection of fine saves. Reflecting on individual performances, in the main no-one had a bad game, there were individual errors certainly and it was minor lapses which cost us, allowing a good strike force to get shots on goal regularly. Man of the Match Jordan Lock made some wonderfully incisive passes, attempting to force the team forward but we fell short in front of goal too many times, not getting into the areas where you can hurt your opponent. Good goalkeeping from the Vale keeper played its part too with a fine goal bound shot from Nick M being tipped onto the bar.

We move on though with a free week before we get back into action on St Valentine’s Day, the massacre well behind us.


FT – Spartans 0 – 8 Hutcheson Vale

Squad: Tomasz; Adam, Eoghann, Andrew, Baillie; Sam, Jordan, James, Mario, Ryan and Brad

Subs: Arran, Grant, Keir, Max and Nick

Coaches – David Hiddleston and John McLean

Youth 19s v Newcraighall Vics 19s

Fabulous Falsone Fine Free Kick

Saturday January 24th – Spartans Academy – Stadium Pitch 12.45pm

Spartans FC Youth 97 v Newcraighall Leith Vics Division Two

Two sending’s off, a tightly fought contest, a miss hit first goal, a deflected goal all paled into insignificance when Mario stepped up to take a free kick from 20 yards out just off centre, following a trip on Eoghann Douglas. Douglas had burst out of defence, linking up with Ryan Love for a one two and surged toward the Newcraighall goal. Just as there were sharp intakes of breath from the Spartans bench at this apparently risky venture, Eoghann was just about to pull the trigger when he was tripped, much to the disgust of the opposition bench. The referee didn’t seem to hesitate in making the award although it was difficult to see accurately what had happened.   David Hiddleston was heard to whisper within earshot of everyone on the Spartans bench that this is in, Mario will score from this. What powers of premonition, foresight, vision, has this man been gifted with? Because score is exactly what Mario did!! The Vic’s keeper appeared from where I stood to have got his wall slightly misaligned. However Mario took his time over the kick.   Ronaldo, Messi, Falsone! Names that are often celebrated around the football world. Three or four steps taken backwards, one final glance to get the vision in his minds’ eye of the balls trajectory, ran forward and drove the ball past the wall and past the outstretched left hand of the keeper low into the left hand side of the goals. Cue shouts of delirium from the Spartans fans.

Three minutes of normal time to play and then add another four the referee attributed to substitutions, injuries, bookings and sending’s off.

The second half had flown past and then that final whistle signalling the addition of three vital points to FC Youths tally for the season so far.

The game was one which had been hard fought, tough challenges, miss-timed tackles, wonderful saves. Controlled and sometimes uncontrolled aggression you might expect in a game of such significance. On the one hand Spartans hoping to keep Newcraighall at arm’s length in the race to the end of the season and on the other, our opponents determined to put a stop to Spartans league run and enhance their own prospects in taking the title.

Of course the race still has to be run and things can change, but Spartans have points in the bank, others have games in hand with the potential for slip ups by all concerned. So for the boys in light blue there is everything to play for and no complacency, hard work, team work and good football will be the flags which will be flown ahead of the remaining fixtures in season 2014-15.

The other facts about the game are that after 28 minutes a scramble close in saw Newcraighall fail to clear the ball out of the six yard box leaving Jamie Cairns the chance to get something on the ball, something that looked like a ‘sclaff’ as those in the golfing community might say, but enough to see it slip into the net. That’s how it would stay till half time.

HT – Spartans 1 – 0 Vics

The warnings were clear that this game was wide open and that one and all would need to be on their mettle. It was around the 58th minute when Vics drew level when a speculative shot on goal from some distance saw Andrew Hannigan stick a long leg out to block only to find the back of the net with Tomasz Wieruszewski at full stretch in the wrong direction. 1 -1!

Vics were now well and truly up for it and our work was cut out.

A match that recorded a number of yellow cards saw two players sent off after the delivery of second bookings. Firstly the Vic’s number three and then Spartans right back Adam Muir. Others booked for Spartans were Ryan Love and Nick Faulkner.

Back and forward the sides went in their desire to make the crucial impact and, as predicted, it would be Spartans who would record their third win of four encounters this season.

FT – Spartans 2 – 1 Newcraighall Leith Vics

Squad: Tomasz; Adam, Eoghann, Andrew, Nick F; Sam, Jordan, Nick, Jamie, Ryan and Brad

Subs: Arran, Baillie, Jack, Keir and Mario (Sadly, Arran, Jack and Keir not used)

Coaches – David Hiddleston and John McLean

Youth 19s v Salveson CFC 19s


Saturday January 17th – Spartans Academy – Community Pitch 3pm

Spartans FC Youth 97 v Salvesen 97 – Bob Bankier Trophy

It just gets better and better for this squad. The good football we are playing is equalled by the hard work and team spirit. However we cannot rest on our laurels, there is much work still to be done.

The boys couldn’t have got off to a better start! Three minutes in and Baillie skipped past a couple of challenges to give the ball to Ryan who sped down the left flank like the Roadrunner and into the box to strike a great shot which the Salvesen keeper parried away for a corner. From that Lovie swung in a great ball and the ensuing scuffle in the box Sam smashed another of his hallmark goals in under the bar. 1-0

Spartans were playing some really good football but Salvesen were giving as good as they were getting and came close on a few occasions only to be thwarted by that man Tomasz in goal ably assisted by his back line of Adam, Shuggy, Andrew and Baillie. Adam has slotted well into the right back spot vacated by Aaron and Shuggy and Andrew have blossomed into a solid and well organised centre back pairing, which makes it difficult to find places for Grant and Aidan. Baillie has made the left back position his, although with Nick Faulkner returning to the squad after injury the pressure will be on.

The system we seem to be having greatest success with, 4-2-3-1, allows Sam and Jordan to not only protect the back four but also acts as a foundation from which our attack can get going. Sam, once more, getting his name on the score sheet.

Moving into the next line of three we’ve been able to maintain continuity for the past few weeks with Nick M, Mario and Ryan. The pace, aggression and skill these three provide acting as a sound foil for our strikers, Brad today and last week, and Max, James, Jamie and Jack. Spoiled for choice.

Brad’s contribution and his ability to control and keep the ball close allows the attacking midfield to engage and breakthrough in support. He showed some wonderful skill on a number of occasions and he too would get on the score sheet with a fine goal.

Back to the match and if I was a neutral I’d say it was a real advert for youth football and highly entertaining stuff but I’m not!! So I’m bound to say that Spartans over the piece were the better football side but that Salvesen gave us a run for our money!

Looking comfortable, we were 9 minutes for half time and defending a free kick which was floated into the box, where Baillie went up to head the ball and for some reason (he says his hand was pushed high fending off an attacker) his hand was up and to virtually everyone the ball came off his head but the referee awarded a penalty – no booking though? The conversion made it 1-1 and that was the situation at half time.

HT 1-1

The brief team talk was meant to re-assure and settle the boys down to the task ahead. Nothing elaborate or complex, just keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll be fine.

Five minutes into the half and we were ahead. A decent ball played in by Mario to Nick M saw him go down the right and play into Brad who turned this way then that, around his markers to the back post drawing other defenders and keeper in his direction only to allow him to chip the ball over to Ryan at the back post who rose to nod down into the empty goal. Wonderful celebrations!

Ten minutes later, having survived another spell of Salvie pressure we were three up when Jordan played in Brad who, with work still to do, overcame a strong challenge and with the keeper closing managed to chip the ball over him from six yards. It now looked like the tie was won and where Tom and I had been hesitant to make any substitutions (in fact everyone was playing so well it was difficult to see who should be replaced). However we let things settle for a few minutes and then made the first change, Arran coming on for Nick M. Arran to a little while to get his touch but gradually worked his way into the game, eventually getting the fourth goals after some good link up play. His strike in the 93rd minute from 25 yards, low and across the keeper into the left had corner put the seal of approval on a fine display by the team.

Tomasz still had his work to do too. Making a number of crucial stops, blocks and catches to keep the gap to two. Nick F replaced Baillie and Mario made way for James, with Max stepping into the front role for Brad. Aidan made his return alongside Shuggy giving Andrew a well-deserved rest. It’s fair to say that making these changes over a period of 10 minutes from the 70 minute mark felt right, but albeit risky. Why? Inevitably it was during the period of change that Salvesen got a goal back from close in after the referee allowed a corner when the goal kick should have gone Spartans way. However the substitutions all did their jobs as if they’d played from the kick off.

And so to the last 9 minutes of normal time and 5 added things were moving end to end. Salvesen had chances to take the tie to extra time but a combination of bad misses and great defending kept us one ahead. And then that clincher and the sense of relief and joy around Ainslie Park was indescribable.   The ball was played into Brad who had come back on for Max after a few minutes on the bench (Max taking a knock to that damaged knee that’s been haunting him for a long time now), (no doubt Max was very disappointed to be taken off, but the coaches decision was double edged – maintain the effectiveness of our strike force and use up a little time to disrupt any momentum Salvesen had. It worked and having gathered the ball in and drawn defenders to him created space for Arran, laying the ball into his path for that sweet strike.

Finally the whistle blew to resounding cheers and applause from the large number of supporters who had turned out.

FT – Spartans 4 – 2 Salvesen 97

Squad: Tomasz; Adam, Shuggy, Andrew, Baillie; Sam, Jordan, Nick, Mario, Ryan and Brad

Subs: Aidan, Arran, James, Max, Nick F