Easthouses Lily manager staying grounded

Dave McQueenie (library pic)

Dave McQueenie (library pic)

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Easthouses Lily manager Dave McQueenie is keeping both feet on the ground despite seeing his newly-promoted team top the Central Taxis Premier Division in the wake of their 5-2 triumph at Coldstream.

A Mark Brown hat-trick and goals from Graeme Young and Paul McDermott sealed the win at Home Park – Lily’s sixth consecutive success in all competitions. They have now netted 12 goals in their opening three league games, while also progressing to the quarter-finals of the League Cup and the second round of the Image Printers Cup.

McQueenie, however, is not getting carried away. “For us, it’s just one game at a time,” he said. “We’ve had a couple of very good victories, but we’ve also had some tough games.

“But scoring goals gives you confidence and we’re doing that at the moment. We can get goals from all the over the park. – look at players like Graeme Young, Paul McDermott, Kenny McMillan and Mark Brown, who have all been fantastic.

“I couldn’t really have imagined us making a start like this, but it’s a new squad and everyone seems to have blended in well. We’re just looking to continue our recent run and take it from there.”

Leith Athletic also maintained their unbeaten start, although they were given a late scare at Stirling University. Keith Murray scored a first-half double to put Leith ahead, but an Elliot Sutcliffe penalty ten minutes from the end and a red card for Murray on 85 minutes ensured a nervy climax.

“It wasn’t our finest performance and we’ll probably play better in other games this season and still lose,” said Athletic boss Derek Riddel, “but the record books will say it’s a win and that’s all that matters.

“We’ll certainly need to play better next week because we’ve worked hard to get ourselves into this position.”

Meanwhile, Gary Aitchison has returned to Craigroyston to take up the reins after Tom Hendrie’s departure as manager. Aitchison, who was part of the coaching staff when the St Mark’s Park side won the First Division two years ago, had been in charge of the East of Scotland select team, but relinquished that role to make his comeback and has been joined by assistants Paul Cavanagh, Andy Jack and Justin Cameron.

Aitchison was in attendance as his players went down 4-0 to Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale under the stewardship of captain and interim boss Russell Hogarth. Second-half goals from Callum Connolly, Connor McGregor and Willis Hare (2) secured the points.

There was some bad news for Hutchie, however, with Scott Moffat expected to be out for six weeks after dislocating his knee last week.

In the other Capital derby clash, Spartans EOS and Civil Service Strollers drew 1-1 at Ainslie Park. Steven Moncur netted a penalty for Strollers on 75 minutes, but a Davey Stewart free-kick ten minutes later ensured a share of the spoils. Spartans’ Ian Ballantyne suffered a broken arm, with manager Alex Cunningham confirming that he is expected to be out for up to six weeks.

“We applied pressure for long periods, but a draw was probably a fair result over the piece,” said Cunningham.

Strollers manager Ross McNeil felt his side did not perform to their usual standards on the day. “We only made one change at right back, but it was a disappointing performance,” he said. “The boys train regularly on the 3G surface, so I’m not using that as an excuse.”

Elsewhere, Tynecastle booked a second-round clash with First Division Eyemouth United in The Alex Jack Cup after a 4-2 victory over Kelso United.

It was a tough game in the Borders, but Tynecastle emerged victorious thanks to goals from Tony Mear, Dean Cummings, Jamie Devlin and Brendan Edwards with Kelso’s strikes coming from Ryan Beveridge and Darren Bowie.

Tynecastle will now meet Eyemouth at Fernieside a week on Saturday.

Ormiston, meanwhile, missed out on a potential second-round tie with Premier League Leith Athletic as they lost a nine-goal thriller at Recreation Park against fellow First Division opponents Duns.

Ormiston were ahead after just eight minutes through Declan Quinn and Brian McEwan, but despite Quinn adding two more goals in the second half to complete a hat-trick, defensive lapses saw the Border outfit fight back to claim a 5-4 victory.

Duns will now face Leith Athletic at Meadowbank on Saturday, September 13 with a 2.30pm kick-off.