EoS: Lothian taking heart from record against Leithers

Kevin Twaddle has goalkeeper Gregor Amos, below, returning

Kevin Twaddle has goalkeeper Gregor Amos, below, returning

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Champions Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale meet current Premier Division leaders Leith Athletic at Saughton Enclosure tomorrow.

Although Kevin Twaddle’s men were victorious in last weekend’s Image Printers Cup match against Easthouses Lily, they are without a league win since their victory over pointless Stirling University at the start of last month.

Gregor Amos

Gregor Amos

Twaddle is, however, looking forward to the challenge of facing unbeaten Athltic. He believes his squad can take confidence from their impressive form against Leith last season which saw them record five victories with two league successes and wins in the SFA South Of Scotland Challenge Cup, Alex King Cup and Qualifying League Cup.

“Since I came to the club at the turn of the year, our record against leith has been excellent. We recorded some really impressive victories against them last season so that should give the players confidence heading into this game,” said Twaddle.

“They have made a fantastic start to the season. They like to get the ball down and are lightning quick on the break so it should be a really good game.”

Twaddle welcomes back goalkeeper Gregor Amos to his squad after he missed last weekend’s win over Easthouses with a ligament injury, but will still be missing Connor McGregor as he serves the last game of a two-match suspension. Left back Kevin Keane faces a late fitness test along with Paul Crawford, with Ryan Malcolm and Callum Connolly absent.

Leith Athletic are fresh from their Alex Jack Cup semi-final victory over First Division Heriot-Watt with boss Derek Riddel reporting no fresh injury concerns for the trip to Saughton.

“It’s a big game for both teams and Lothian certainly are the team you need to compete against as they are the league champions,” said Riddel.

Elswhere, tomorrow, Craigroyston host Spartans EOS at St Marks Park with home manager Gary Aitchison looking for his side to convert their possession into goals.

“For all the possession and chances we had against Coldstream last week, we still weren’t able to get the right result and that was very frustrating for myself and all the players,” said Aitchison.

Spartans EOS welcome back Ian Bannatyne to their squad following an arm injury, with Alex Cunningham also able to call upon Seb Pyda, Andy Howat and Brad Raiker.

Tynecastle’s clash with Easthouses has been postponed tomorrow due to player unavailability at Easthouses with a date yet to be confirmed for the rearranged fixture.

In the Image Printers Cup First Round, Civil Service Strollers travel to First Division Duns after last weekend’s postponement due to heavy rain. Ross McNeill has no fresh injury worries and is hoping to hand a debut to former Whitehill Welfare midfielder Dayne Robertson following his transfer from Penicuik Athletic.

First Division

Heriot-Watt University take on Alex Jack Cup finalists Peebles Rovers at Riccarton

tomorrow with Chris Smith’s students looking to put last weekend’s semi-final defeat by Leith Athletic behind them.

Watt were undone by defensive lapses against the Premier Division leaders last weekend and Smith is eager to avoid a repeat against John O’Hara’s buoyant side. He said: “The fact is that, for all our hard work against Leith last weekend, we didn’t win the game and we do have to view it as a missed opportunity because there was a place in the final of a cup at stake.

“We have to focus on the league now and tomorrow will be a hard test because Peebles got a fantastic result against Tynecastle in the other semi-final. We are playing good football but we’ve still not managed to win our last two games and it is defensive errors that we have to rectify quickly.”

Smith welcomes goalkeeper Craig Saunders back to his squad for tomorrow’s clash with the First Division league leaders after he missed out last weekend due to holiday.

Elsewhere, Ormiston face bottom side Hawick Royal Albert at Recreation Park with manager Brian Johnston having to make a late decision on striker Dean Woods, who is carrying a slight knock.