Spartans win to replace Albion Rovers in Scottish Professional Football League

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Lynne Cameron/PA Archive

Spartans have replaced Albion Rovers in the Scottish Professional Football League after Blair Henderson’s penalty earned them a 1-0 victory at Cliftonhill.

The Lowland League champions have become Edinburgh’s fourth team in the SPFL after securing a 2-1 aggregate win over the cinch League 2 bottom club in the Pyramid Play-Off final.

The defeat ends more than a century of uninterrupted league membership for the Coatbridge club, who had Blair Malcolm sent off in the 77th minute.

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Rovers started well but fell behind in the 16th minute when Henderson sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot following a foul on Jordan Tapping.

Sandy Clark’s Rovers side put on some sustained pressure but Joe Bevan was denied by a great stop from Blair Carswell, who denied Charlie Reilly after Malcolm saw red following a confrontation.

Rovers first joined the Scottish Football League in 1903 and have been members since 1919 after a brief absence during the First World War.

Spartans were formed in 1951 and for decades were generally an East of Scotland League side for former university football club players in Edinburgh, before joining the newly-formed Lowland League ahead of the pyramid being brought in.