East of Scotland: Table-toppers set to clash

Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale boss Raymond Carr
Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale boss Raymond Carr
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The top two teams in the East of Scotland League go head to head at Meadowbank 3G tomorrow with Leith Athletic and Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale both looking to preserve their perfect start to the season (3.00pm).

Leith’s latest victims were Eyemouth United who they defeated 5-0 on Tuesday night at Meadowbank, while Lothian were given a stern examination by Duns at Saughton Enclosure, eventually emerging 5-4 winners on Wednesday night.

Whatever tomorrow’s result, Athletic will remain top of the table owing to their six-point lead at the top. Lothian, though, have two games in hand over their opponents.

Lothian clinched the East of Scotland Championship at Meadowbank on the final day of last season with a 4-0 victory, as well as claiming the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup against Leith in a 3-2 win at St Mark’s Park in May.

But recent results will count for nothing, with Athletic boasting an exciting forward line of James Hainey, Robbie Mason and Scott Wilson, all of whom have hit the goal trail already this season, along with Lewis Martin who has netted five goals for Leith so far since his return to the club after a travel break.

Spirits in the Lothian camp have been high since their 5-2 Scottish Cup second preliminary round win over Girvan last week, and manager Raymond Carr was delighted with his side’s win on Wednesday despite being in the dark over the identity of some of Duns’ players.

“We didn’t receive an official team sheet from them prior to the game so we were unsure of names, they may have been trialists and they are entitled to play as many trialists as they like, but they gave us a really hard game and we had to be at our best to beat them,” said Carr.

Carr knows tomorrow’s match with the league leaders will be an entertaining spectacle for the neutral and says it will have no bearing on the outcome of the East of Scotland League.

“We’ve had some great matches with Leith in recent seasons, both sides know how to play the game in the right spirit and I’m not expecting anything different tomorrow.”

In tomorrow’s other fixtures, Spartans EOS will be hoping to return to winning ways when they travel to Ormiston.

The Ainslie Park side enjoyed a free weekend last week owing to Lothian’s participation in the Scottish Cup, having suffered their first defeat of the season the weekend prior to Heriot-Watt University.

Ormiston will be missing Michael Osbourne, who is suspended following his red card against Tynecastle.

Heriot-Watt travel to Hawick Royal Albert, while Civil Service Strollers host Eyemouth United at Christie Gillies Park.

Craigroyston will be looking to make it three games unbeaten but they face a tricky trip to Home Park to face Coldstream.

All other matches kick off at 2.30pm.