Spartans defender dedicates shock St Mirren result to manager Dougie Samuel

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Spartans defender Gary Cennerazzo has dedicated the club’s best ever result to Dougie Samuel as their manager recovers from a heart-attack.

The reigning Lowland League champions drew 2-2 with Premiership newcomers St Mirren on Tuesday evening after storming to a two-goal lead after 55 minutes in the Betfred Cup tie.

The shell-shocked Buddies went on to collect a Group H bonus point with a 5-3 penalty shoot-out victory.

Edinburgh-based Spartans’ performance was all the more remarkable given that long-serving Samuel suffered a heart-attack last Monday and assistant manager Darren Cameron was away on holiday, leaving coach Derek Riddel to take charge.

And Cennerazzo, who recently rejoined Spartans following a spell in the Czech Republic with FK Varnsdorf, admits Samuel remains in everyones’ thoughts.

He said: “I can safely say for all of the boys that that was for the manager, it was an excellent result and we’ve done him and the club proud.

“Dougie is a football man and he works so hard, Spartans is his life and what happened was so sad to hear but I’m glad he’s doing well.

“I’m sure this and the weekend’s draw with Dumbarton will fill him with pride and we want to keep building.

“Derek came in and did well but all our wishes are with the gaffer and touch-wood he makes a speedy recovery and is back with us soon.

“It’s been hard for the coaching staff and the players but that results just illiterates how good our team spirit is.

“It was an incredible performance, no-one gave us a chance and I think going into the game the I don’t think the boys would have thought we could achieve a result like that.

“We played magnificently in the first half and to be leading a full-strength Premiership team 1-0 at half-time is credit to the boys.”

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