Spartans back to winning ways against Birley Spar

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Spartans back to winning ways against Birley Spar

Posted by admin on February 12, 2013

Sunday morning dawned to heavy snow showers mixed with rain, but an early pitch inspection cleared the game to go ahead. 

This was an important game for the Spartans after last week's cup defeat and the manner of the defeat where they had been outpassed for big chunks of the game.

As game one started it was clear that the boys had taken on board what Mark and Dan had said about playing more of the passing game. Jack MB moved into the midfield as cover for Kieren and this proved to be a great decision from the off as the boys immediately put Birley Spar under pressure with plenty of movement and some well worked passing through midfield. Jack MB played Ramarye in a number of times before eventually the ball broke loose in a packed penalty area and Ramarye slotted home for 1-0. The boys the kept the pressure on, with Sam working his legs off on the left. Betsy then found himself on the scoresheet for the first time in a while as more pressure created another chance and he knocked it in off the post. Jack MB then broke down the right and fired in a strong shot that came off the crossbar. Betsy then made it 3-0 before half time as Sam made a fantastic cross after good work down the left, Ramarye missed it and Batsy fired in at the far post. It was not all one way ahowever, with James spiling a shot that skidded on the wet grass and then diving full length to stop the follow up. Josh and Cameron were their usual solid selves at the back, keeping things calm. The second half saw Birley Spar bring on a huge player, and this changed the complexion of the game somewhat as his strength and power (as well as good skills) disrupted the flow of the Spartans game. Birley Spar forced some pressure and a few goal kicks from wayward shots, until one break from the big lad was bravely saved by James as the player closed in. The Spartans passing game went to pot a bit in the second half, with Jack MB particularly trying to score spectacular goals every time he got the ball. The Birley Spar goalie made a few good saves too, keeping the score down to finish 3-0.

Game two started with the snow now stopped but rain still falling, but the pitch was holding up well. This was a more even game than the first as Birley stepped up their game. The Spartans tried from the off to keep the passing up, making the game easier for them. The first goal of the game came as some good work just outside the Birley area resulted in a shot  that was blocked with both hands in the area by the defender for a penalty. Alfie stepped up and fired straight down the middle for 1-0 (4-0). But the lead was not to last long as Birley pressed down the right  and a good shot to Kians left nestled in the corner for 1-1 (4-1). This woke the Spartans up again and the boys finished a great passing move with a finish from Alfie for his second of the game and 2-1 (5-1). Birley had a shout for a penalty themselves as the ball brushed Williams arm as he got his hands out of the way, but the ref decided otherwise. The second half was much the same pattern, the Spartans pressing when the pplayed their proper game, and Birley dangerous on the break, but Pav, William and Aman dealt with most things that came their way. Birley had the last word though. As time was about to expire, they broke down the left, crossed into the box, the Spartans failed to clear and a Birley player fired home with the last kick of the game 2-2 (5-2).

Overall, a much better performance at times, with some selfish play at others - but getting there. The result leaves the Spartans joint second in the league.

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