Tomorrow’s keenly anticipated East of Scotland Premier Division clash between Leith Athletic and Tynecastle at Meadowbank 3G will be an occasion to savour for the Capital’s football purists.
So says Tynie boss Dougie Dalgleish, whose side are looking for their second successive win following a 6-5 triumph over Edinburgh University last weekend.
“We’re looking forward to playing against Leith Athletic,” said Dalgleish. “They pass the ball around and are coached well by Derek Riddel. As we play the same way, the game on Saturday should be for the football purist.
“But we will have to make a couple of changes from last week. Finlay Mathews suffered ligament damage to his wrist and will be missing for about four weeks and Gavin McCarthy has not fully recovered from his ankle injury.”
For hosts Leith, Riddel looks set to offer first-team experience to a handful of under-19 prospects, as only 12 senior players are available to him.
“It’s not ideal, players taking holidays at this time of the season and with seven players missing, it leaves us with only 12 players available for the game against Tynecastle. But it does give us an opportunity to give some experience to our under-19s and, after 17-year old James Hainey made his debut on Saturday [at Spartans], we’ll include another three or four of the 19s again this weekend.”
Civil Service Strollers travel to take on Coldstream, with Strollers boss Andy Raeburn pleased to have a full complement of players from which to select.
A university derby between Edinburgh Uni and Heriot-Watt will be hotly contested at Peffermill, where visiting Watt manager Chris Smith will be looking for his side to arrest a recent run of defeats.
In the fourth top-tier clash, the East of Scotland teams affiliated to Stirling University and Spartans will face each other at Forthbank Stadium.
Craigroyston welcome Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale to St Mark’s Park for a first round tie in the Alex Jack Cup, with both squads looking a little thin.
Craigie boss Ross McNeil has a trio of players unavailable for the match, but welcomes back another three players.
“We are without Mark Hendrie (injured), Neil Campbell (wedding), and Scott Ritchie (holiday) but do we have three players back from holiday.”
Lothian manager Grant Carnie, meanwhile, will arrive with his high-flying team minus seven players.
Carnie said: “We’re expecting a hard game. If we play to our strengths I expect to win, but Craigroyston will be a stiff test.”