Easthouses need to be switched on

Dave McQueenie, Easthouses manager.
Dave McQueenie, Easthouses manager.
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Easthouses Lily manager Dave McQueenie wants to avoid the start his side made the last time they faced Tynecastle when the two sides meet at Fernieside tomorrow.

The Midlothian outfit return to competitive action for the first time since December 6, having enjoyed a free weekend last week and seeing their previous three Central Taxis Premier Division matches postponed due to the weather.

A good result against Stephen McKenzie’s side would keep touch with Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale and Leith Athletic at the top of the division.

Second-half goals from Mark Brown, Darren Robertson, Graeme Young and Ally Elliot cancelled out early goals from Tynecastle’s Gary Bennett and Jamie Devlin when the teams clashed at the start of November, but McQueenie has not forgotten the start his players made in that match.

“We were two goals down at half-time in that game and didn’t do ourselves justice,” said McQueenie. “We can’t afford a start like that again tomorrow, we are playing against a good side and it’s important we are switched on from the start.”

McQueenie will be missing the suspended Paul McDermott, with Tynecastle reporting a fully fit squad to choose from as they seek their first victory since November 29.

Derek Riddel’s Leith Athletic will be looking to put last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale behind them when they travel to Civil Service Strollers.

Victory for the Meadowbank side will see them back at the top of the table owing to Lothian Thistle’s participation in The Image Printers Cup against Whitehill Welfare tomorrow.

Both Lachlan Thom and Jamie Lauder have returned to training following injuries and are back in contention for starting places, while Civil Service Strollers welcome back Jake Moyes and Dayne Robertson from suspension as they look to build on last weekend’s impressive victory over Tynecastle.

Spartans EOS travel to Stirling University with manager Alex Cunningham unsure of what personnel his in-form side will be facing at Gannochy Sports Complex.

“Depending on whether the Stirling University Lowland League game goes ahead, it can be difficult to gauge what players you’ll be up against as some of their Lowland League players can feature for their East of Scotland side as well,” said Cunningham.

Craigroyston have appointed Grant Carnie as their new manager following the departure of Gary Aitchison last weekend.

The former Whitehill Welfare and Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale boss won’t take up the reins at St Marks Park until next month due to work commitments, with Paul Cavanagh continuing on an interim basis until then.

Carnie’s immediate goal will be to steer the club away from the drop zone of The Central Taxis Premier Division, Craigroyston have picked up just nine points from 15 league games and are only two points ahead of bottom side Coldstream.

First Division

Ormiston manager Brian Johnston believes his side are capable of sustaining their challenge to current unbeaten league leaders Peebles Rovers.

Johnston hailed the application of his side in last weekend’s 4-3 victory at Burntisland Shipyard, which saw them recover from the loss of two early goals, but knows his side are capable of stringing together an impressive run on the back of last weekend’s victory starting with the visit of Duns to Recreation Park tomorrow.

“There are some games coming up which we have to target three points from,” said Johnston. “That’s no disrespect to any of our opponents because there are no easy games in this division, but it’s important we try to remain in touch with Peebles at the top and we have the players who can certainly do that.” Heriot-Watt University are back in action tomorrow against basement side Kelso United at Riccarton having seen their last two fixtures against Burntisland and Duns fall foul of the weather.

“It has been a little milder this week so we are confident of the game going ahead tomorrow,” said Watt head coach Chris Smith.

Scott Dargo is still on the treatment table for the students whilst Kurt Banks is still not ready to return to competitive action despite having resumed training.