East of Scotland: Strollers hope for better luck on grass

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Leith Athletic and Civil Service Strollers play the second match of their double-header in the East of Scotland League at Christie Gillies Park tomorrow.

The Meadowbank side stretched their lead at the top of the table to a formidable 19 points on Tuesday and maintain their unbeaten home record in what was their penultimate home fixture of the season.

Defender Neil Lowson powered in a header after 15 minutes from a corner as Athletic were rewarded for their early supremacy, but Strollers had chances to equalise with Davy Stewart striking the post, Ian Ballantyne and Matthew Cunningham also coming close in the second period as Leith held on for another three points.

Strollers boss Alex Cunningham knows tomorrow’s fixture is an entirely different prospect as they return to their grass surface at Marine Drive for only their fifth home game of the league season.

“I’m just glad to get back on the grass because I think that’s where football should be played, having had to play on 3G surfaces constantly for the last few months,” said Cunningham. “I thought we played really well on Tuesday and could count ourselves unfortunate against a really good side. They deserve to be in the position that they’re in but tomorrow should be a different type of game.”

Spartans host Stirling University at Ainslie Park (2.15pm) fresh from their 4-2 win over Coldstream in the Central Taxis League Cup on Wednesday evening.

Goals from Blair Atkinson, Chris Anderson, Iain Thomson and a first East of Scotland goal for Jordan Brown ensured Spartans’ progress, after Coldstream fought back from two goals down with John Crawford netting another brace.

Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale travel to Eyemouth United with the hosts still looking for their first win of the season. Lothian boss Raymond Carr welcomes captain Grant Munro back from injury. Carr said: “Grant’s been out for a while, he missed a big part of our Scottish Cup run so it was great to see him back against Heriot-Watt and we’ve still got other players to return from injury.”

Ormiston travel to Duns tomorrow, while injury-hit Heriot-Watt-University head to Peebles Rovers. Tynecastle and Craigroyston clash at Saughton Enclosure after their Wednesday fixture in the League Cup was postponed due to a waterlogged surface.

All matches have 2.30pm kick-offs unless stated.