Cup exploits come at cost for Leith Athletic

Derek Riddel
Derek Riddel
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Leith athletic manager Derek Riddel admits he may have to reshuffle his team for tomorrow’s Central Taxis Premier League clash with Easthouses Lily after the Leithers’ surprise 3-2 win over Stirling University in midweek.

Athletic defeated the Lowland League side 3-2 in the Image Printers Cup to cause an upset, but they had to play 70 minutes with ten men due to Kenny Hall’s red card. Riddel is concerned that fatigue may be a factor after his team’s exertions on Tuesday and wants to make sure his players are sharp for the visit of in-form Lily to Meadowbank.

“To defeat Stirling University was a fantastic achievement, even with some of the changes they made to their team. But tomorrow’s match is going to be equally as tough, so it’s important we keep everyone sharp and that might mean having to make some tweaks to the team,” said Riddel, whose team tops the Premier Division.

“Confidence is high throughout the squad and it’s important we don’t lose focus against a side who have really impressed this season.

“The red card for Kenny on Tuesday, we can have no complaints about. The referee got it bang on and Kenny himself admitted that he knew it was a red straight away. The tackle wasn’t malicious, it was just mistimed.”

Lily travel to Meadowbank only three points behind Athletic and manager Dave McQueenie is confident his side can improve on their last visit to Leith when they were defeated 3-1 at the end of September – their last league defeat.

“We conceded three poor goals that day, but we also hit the bar and the post so we’re certainly capable of going there and creating chances,” McQueenie pointed out.

“We have a full squad to choose from for tomorrow, and it has the makings of a good game. We’ve shown this season that we can handle the pace of the Premier Division and Leith like to play that way.”

In other Premier League action tomorrow, Spartans EOS travel to Stirling University EOS with Alex Cunningham able to welcome back Lucasz Rusin to his squad as the Ainslie Park outfit face Stirling for the second time in a fortnight.

Both matches are at 3pm.