East of Scotland: Leith Athletic open up gap at top

Robbie Mason bagged a double for Leith. Pic: Malcolm McCurrach

Robbie Mason bagged a double for Leith. Pic: Malcolm McCurrach

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Leith Athletic stretched their lead at the top of The East of Scotland League table to five points after a 3-1 win at Heriot-Watt University on Saturday.

The visitors took the lead after 17 minutes when Robbie Mason converted a penalty, but Heriot-Watt equalised on 37 minutes when Michael Connor scored from an in-swinging free kick.

Leith were back in front on 71 minutes when Mason scored his second of the afternoon when he reacted quickly to fire past Craig Saunders. The victory was sealed for Athletic in the closing moments when Neil Laurenson brought down Scott Wilson inside the area and Grant Burns scored the resultant penalty.

Victory over Eyemouth United (7.45pm) tomorrow night at Meadowbank would ensure Leith go eight points clear ahead of their meeting with Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale this weekend.

Watt manager Ian Little was pleased to see his side contain Athletic for long periods, as the students continue to hold open trials at Riccarton Campus this week. “I thought we competed well for long periods of the game,” he said. “We gave away a sloppy penalty for their first goal but apart from that, we didn’t do too much wrong in the game.”

There was an early contender for game of the season at Recreation Park as Tynecastle emerged victorious in a 6-5 thriller against Ormiston.

Scott Coleman netted the winner for Tynie in the dying moments to give Stevie Vinter’s side their first win of the campaign, with Stewart Adams netting four goals and Robbie McIntyre also on target.

“My heart-beat was racing after that, but in spite of the defensive lapses,” said Tynie manager Steve Vinter. “We showed today how good a team we are going forward and that’s Robbie, Stewart and Scott on 20 goals combined already.”

Ormiston manager Brian Johnston was astounded that his side lost the game despite seeing Chris Robertson continue his good run of form with a hat-trick, while Andy Jones and Mikey Hamilton also got on the scoresheet.

“Defensive mistakes have cost us dearly like it did against Burntisland a few weekend ago, and it’s disappointing because I’m really happy with the new group of players I have at the club,” said Johnston, who lost Michael Osbourne to a red card.

Craigroyston picked up their first win of the campaign with a 2-0 victory over Duns at St Mark’s Park.

Craig Dickson and Stewart Fisher netted both goals in the last 15 minutes for Andy Brown’s side.

Tomorrow night, Craigroyston travel to Stirling University, Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale host Duns (both 7.45pm kick-offs) and Heriot-Watt welcome Peebles Rovers to Riccarton (7.30pm kick-off).