Winning a cup-final spot with a midweek victory over rivals Edinburgh University will not influence Heriot-Watt University’s approach to their second derby meeting in four days, insists Watt boss Chris Smith.
Smith’s students overcame their Peffermill-based counterparts on penalties to win a place in the final of the Queen’s Park Shield, which will also feature Stirling University in a showdown at Ainslie Park next Wednesday.
The Capital uni sides will face each other once more tomorrow – this time on Central Taxis Premier Division duty – in a clash at Riccarton, but Smith insists that the proximity of kick-off to Watt’s spot-kick victory two days ago won’t sway the balance in either side’s favour.
“The boys would be motivated going into a derby match anyway,” said Smith. “If we’d been beaten on Wednesday, we would go into tomorrow’s game just the same.
“We know how Edinburgh normally set up to play, and the boys were well-briefed before Wednesday on that. Playing them only confirmed what we already knew about them.”
Smith’s side are joint-bottom of the table alongside Civil Service Strollers and are six points away from third-bottom Leith Athletic with just four games to play.
Watt welcome David Myatt back into the squad and are further boosted by the signing of Michael Lynch, a student at the university from Tranent Juniors. Lynch has signed a deal until the end of the season.
Craigroyston prepare for a tricky test at Coldstream, with Craigie assistant boss Gary Sutherland setting his side the target of lifting their level of performance after some recent below-par displays.
In defeat to Stirling University last weekend, Craigie all but surrendered their title challenge, but Sutherland believes personal pride – and the one remaining chance to win silverware – should provide motivation for his men.
“We are expecting a hard, physical encounter and, after last week’s performance, we must do a lot better,” said Sutherland. “The gaffer [Tom Hendrie] could make a few changes because the performance last week was not acceptable by the players or the club.
“They set themselves standards, and we have been playing well below them for two or three games, so we have to do a lot better all over the park. I, for one, want us to go and try to win every game from now until the end of the season. We still have the chance to win a cup, so there’s a lot to play for.”
Elsewhere in the division, Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale host Spartans at Saughton Enclosure.