EoS champions Lothian closing in on leaders Leith

Lothian boss Raymond Carr

Lothian boss Raymond Carr

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Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale boss Raymond Carr says his side have been given a glimmer of hope they can retain the East of Scotland league title after leaders Leith Athletic lost 2-1 to Stirling University on Wednesday night.

The reigning champions closed the gap on Derek Liddel’s men to nine points with a midweek 10-1 thrashing of bottom side Eyemouth United at Saughton and still have two games in hand over their rivals.

Lothian take a break from league duty tomorrow with a visit to Peebles Rovers in the semi-final of the King Cup but will look to reduce Leith’s advantage to six points when they make a swift return to Peebles on Monday night for their rearranged league fixture.

“It’s still Leith’s to lose as they’ve got the points but we’ve got to play them ourselves so the boys have given themselves a chance. We’ll continue to give it our all,” Carr said. “But I still think we’re going to have to win all of our remaining league matches which is really difficult to at this time of year when you’re playing three matches a week.

“We’ve got two games in hand over Leith but it’s just a shame we’ve dropped a couple of points ourselves recently.”

Carr is, however, hoping his players make their return trip to the Borders on Monday as King Cup finalists.

“Peebles are a very strong outfit and John O’Hara has them well organised,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough game but we’re hoping to get through to the final. You’ve got to take these games as they come. We’ll approach the semi-final tomorrow before turning our attentions to Monday’s league game.”

Leith will be looking to bounce back when they travel to Duns for their King Cup second-round clash.

The club have encountered a difficult week after they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat by Spartans in last Sunday’s League Cup final.

Elsewhere, third-placed Civil Service Strollers, who are in a rich vein of form having won their last seven matches, will look to make it eight-in-row when Coldstream visit Marine Drive. Heriot-Watt University welcome Ormiston to Riccarton and Tynecastle take on Stirling University at Saughton Enclosure.