Chris Smith is hoping the return of a large proportion of his Heriot-Watt University squad this week will let his beleaguered side recover from a disastrous start to their Premier Division campaign.
Smith saw the Riccarton outfit slump to a sixth successive East of Scotland defeat with a 2-1 reverse at Forthbank Stadium against Stirling University’s Lowland League side.
“It’s another tough result for us,” admitted Smith. “The way we started the game was our downfall. We can’t keep giving teams a lead and expect to get something from the game.
“We will address our preparation for the game this weekend [away to Tynecastle]. Hopefully, our squad will be nearer full strength at the end of the week.”
Elliot Sutcliffe opened the scoring for Stirling by converting a knock-down inside the penalty area and Khan Williams-Mitchell struck the hosts’ second with a right-footed drive from 20 yards into the bottom corner. Jamie Forsyth struck a consolation goal for Heriot-Watt.
In the only other Premier Division clash, Tynecastle earned a 2-1 win over the Spartans EOS side at Ainslie Park thanks to an early brace of goals. Jamie Devlin opened the scoring after 30 seconds by converting a Lewis Russell cross, and Shaun Turnbull doubled the visitors’ lead five minutes later. Although Spartans pulled a goal back, Tynie held on for victory to the delight of boss Dougie Dalgleish.
“I’m really pleased to get the three points, especially after a disappointing result last week,” said Dalgleish, whose team had lost 2-1 at Leith Athletic.
In the First Division, on-fire striker Max Todd, pictured, added another two goals to his season’s tally as a young Hibs team won 6-0 over Duns. Ryan Baptie, Jamie Beaton, and Scott Martin were also on target for Hibs.
At Kelso, Berwick Rangers Reserves won 4-1 in the only other second-tier fixture.
In the weekend’s Alex Jack Cup ties, Ormiston’s winning streak came to an end as they were dumped out of the competition at Eyemouth. Steven Shennan opened the scoring for Eyemouth, but Brian McEwan equalised for Ormi shortly before half time. James Wilson fired the home side’s winner to send United into the semi-final.
Cup holders Leith Athletic secured their passage to the last-four stage with a relatively comfortable 3-1 win over Peebles Rovers. Mark Leslie gave Leith the lead, only for Sean Paul Ritchie to level for Peebles. Christopher Barrie handed the hosts a half-time advantage, and Lewis Tracey made sure of victory with a second-half strike.
First Division outfit Easthouses Lily came close to to pulling off another cup upset as they ran Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale close at Saughton Enclosure. The Midlothian side had defeated top-tier club Tynecastle in the last round but lost in extra time to a Calum Connolly goal for Lothian. John Hunter’s penalty for Lily and a goal by the home side’s Sean Wringe meant the tie could not be settled in 90 minutes.
In the remaining quarter-final, Gretna 2008 defeated Stirling Uni on penalties after a 1-1 draw after the referee opted to go straight to penalties without playing extra time. It is understood League chiefs are due to meet later this week to rule whether the result should stand or the match be replayed.